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7 Barriers to Digital Transformation

Posted by Anna Mielczarek on 08-Nov-2018 07:30:00

Every business today is undergoing some kind of transformation. Emerging technologies; increasing demands of the customers regarding their relationship and experience delivered by companies; pressure to change and innovate, enterprise mobility – all these factors make firms realise that they cannot carry on for much longer without implementing Digital Transformation into their business, and changing their operating models.

But of course, just like any other change or transformation, even when necessary, implementing Digital Transformation enterprises will face certain challenges and barriers in their digital efforts.

From a plethora of potential barriers to Digital Transformation, whether small or big, we’ve chosen the top 7 you should definitely know about.

Have a read and see if you can recognise any of them in your business.

source: mbaworld

1. Inability to Experiment Quickly

According to a survey by the Harvard Business Review one of the biggest barriers to Digital Transformation is an inability to experiment quickly enough, with more than a half of senior executives surveyed (53%) highlighting that this is a key barrier to the success of their digital projects. In one of our previous articles we talked about how a true digital leader needs to be a fearless experimenter. But it’s just the beginning! In order to successfully implement Digital Transformation, the whole company must be able to experiment, and hire risk-takers. Creating the environment where people are encouraged and rewarded not only for succeeding but also for trying hard will only support the process of transformation.


2. Inadequate collaboration between IT and lines of business 

Today more than ever before, technology is an intrinsic part of any company, especially when we are talking about Digital Transformation. As every process is, to a certain extent, supported by technology, it comes as no surprise that IT department must be connected with all other aspects of the business. The same survey from Harvard Business Review found that 49% of respondents surveyed chose inadequate collaboration as an obstacle on their journey to Digital Transformation. For this reason, business leaders will need to make sure they promote collaboration, not only between co-workers but, most importantly - between departments.


3. Risk-averse culture

We have mentioned risk aversion when talking about a great cultural change in the financial services. Interestingly, in a survey by the Harvard Business Review, 47% of respondents indicated that a risk-aversive culture was a real challenge to their Digital Transformation attempts. Organisations must understand that risk should not be feared but accepted instead, as it is an intrinsic part of any change. Innovation is ought to be not only welcomed but also encouraged, and this mind-set will need to be embedded into organisational culture if a company wants to succeed digitally.


4. Change management capabilities

Change needs to be managed, and Digital Transformation requires a great change is most – if not all - areas of your business. Therefore, any business, which thinks about embracing Digital Transformation must be sure it has the capabilities to manage and facilitate all changes, whether they may be building digital team, utilising new technologies or changing the culture.  46% of senior executives surveyed by the Harvard Business Review stated that an inability to manage change properly presents them with a serious challenge when implementing Digital Transformation.


5. Lack of a corporate vision for Digital

In most cases, apart from knowing that they should go digital, businesses don’t really know what they should do or how to do it. It means that they are clearly missing a digital vision and strategy, which would determine their next steps. Digital Transformation requires vision, planning and preparation, and clear objectives. Blindly trying to become more digital in order to stay ahead of its competitors won’t do much. Remember: preparation and expertise are essential!


6. Lack of talent

Most digital projects face the risk of failure as companies don’t have the right people to do the job, whether it’s an IT delivery gap or aforementioned change management. Without people with the right skills, knowledge and experience you’re not that likely to be successful in your digital attempts. In addition to your internal talents, you might need to introduce both, external IT providers and change managers into your business in order to drive your Digital Transformation forward.


7. Insufficient Budget

Last but not least, if you want to transform your business digitally you need to invest some money in this process. Moreover, according to IDC report ‘spending on Digital Transformation projects is set to increase 42% between 2017 and 2019, meaning that by the end of 2019, spending on Digital Transformation will reach $1.7 trillion worldwide. So, it might seem that companies are finally realising that you cannot achieve great result without spending some money first. But, majority of businesses are still unwilling to re-invest their budget into Digital Transformation initiatives. And those who do not invest in innovation will quickly fall behind their competitors.




About Us: 

B60 is a global leader in delivering Digital Transformation and Technology Development and works with ambitious firms in the U.K. Europe and USA across multiple sectors. Since 2012 B60 has been embracing digital change by utilising our unique operating models, frameworks and methodologies to truly drive innovation and change from within our clients businesses.

If you’d like to discuss with one of our experts on how you could successfully deploy Digital Transformation and Technology Development in your business drop us an email at hello@b60apps.co.uk or alternatively call us on 0121 405 0270.


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Topics: Digital Transformation, Change and Innovation, Challenges