With the ever-rising dependence of organizations on technology for performing daily tasks, especially through the internet and cloud, digital transformation is no longer a choice but a vital need. For a majority of organizations, the need of the hour is “to be digital or die”.
Digital transformation is a process that entails investment in technology, processes, people, and systems to transform how businesses function in the digital economy. It is, in fact, the transformation of the whole culture of the office where process become more automated and digitalized and it affects every unit of organizations.
Digital transformation, thus, is not at all an easy undertaking for organizations, whether big or small. There are a number of digital challenges facing businesses as they attempt to change the way they do business. This article identifies the top challenges facing them as well as how these issues can be resolved.
1. Finding the Right Leadership
One of the biggest challenges facing any business is finding effective leadership. Without a powerful leader – whether that is a department or an individual – businesses will struggle to complete even the most mundane of tasks. This is especially true when considering the digital transformation. Businesses attempting to embrace the new digital economy and the transformation that comes with it will quickly realize the importance of an experienced leader with good judgment and action-oriented values.
Above all, leaders must be able to adopt a digital mindset. They will need to adapt to the changing business landscape and embrace new operating and business models. This is absolutely vital for the growth of things like constant engagement with investors, employees, customers, and suppliers via cross channel connectivity. A business’s leader sets the tone for the transformation process, and can make things go very well, or very badly.
2. Enhancing Customer Experience
Today’s customer expects a lot from businesses. They demand a level of interaction and responsively that was unheard of just a few decades ago. The idea of “business” vs. “work” hours is rapidly disappearing, for example, and customers expect to be able to receive help with their question or problem when it’s convenient for them. If the customer doesn’t have to leave their house and can arrange everything online, that’s even better. Service lines and long queues are things of the past where the digital generation is concerned.
Many businesses are ill-equipped to enhance the customer experience and provide the kind of service and attention that customers expect. This is because their values and business practices are far behind the times, and they’re finding it difficult to catch up.
If the digital transformation is not embraced – if businesses do not begin to adapt their mindset and adjust their business practices to align with the transformation – the gap between what customers want and what the business is prepared to give will only grow. In an economy as competitive as today’s, that could utterly devastate an organization.
3. Engagement of Employees
In the past, there have been rather well-defined groups within an organization. These departments tended to interact within themselves and typically didn’t go out of their way to communicate with others beyond the bare minimum required for completing projects. The same can be said of the power hierarchy.
A few decades ago, it’s likely that few employees personally communicated with the head of their organization at all. There were very particular groups, in other words, and inter-communication throughout an organization, particularly a large one, wasn’t a priority.
Today, employees have access to a whole host of different tools when it comes to contacting their employers or their coworkers. While it’s certainly true that not every employee has had personal conversations with their CEO, it is equally true that the likelihood of such a conversation has increased exponentially with the dawn of the digital transformation.
As their access to coworkers and business information increases, the role of employees has changed in a fundamental way. Businesses that understand this and are willing to leverage it to their advantage will find much to appreciate in the new employee – but those who cling to more traditional values might find the experience frustrating and inefficient.
You can understand more on digital employee engagement by reading How a Truly Digital Workplace can Improve Engagement, Agility and Productivity of your Employees.
4. Handling Competition
It’s important to note here that the digital transformation is not restricted to a single country or generation. On the contrary, globalization seems to meld quite well with the demands of digital transformation. As this pairing continues and each process gains ground, businesses will soon find themselves with increased competition from all over the world.
No longer do customers located in North America, for example, only have the choice of purchasing from a seller also located in North America or, if the item in question is particularly popular, perhaps somewhere in Europe.
Consumers accustomed to the digital economy and the digital transformation as well as globalization processes can now purchase from almost anywhere in the world. With increasingly advanced shipping methods, a user in North America can place an order for an item in Asia and receive it within a few days (as long as they’re willing to pay for the privilege, of course). This means that brands are becoming increasingly drawn to the idea of becoming a “super brand”.
Super brands cover a large swath of the market by offering a variety of services and products that span from cell phones to sporting gear. As these brands gain strength and become more prevalent, “regular” businesses will find themselves at a bit of a loss when it comes to attracting and keeping the attention of their target audience.
5. Handling the Talent Confrontation
It only makes sense that, as the business landscape continues to change and shift into something new and unprecedented, there will emerge individuals will certain skills and experience that are suddenly very important. It is likely that there will not be enough of these individuals initially to meet demand, which means that businesses will find themselves at war with one another in the fight for talent acquisition.
This talent confrontation will not be easily one. It is quite likely that businesses will aggressively pursue the individuals they believe can help transform their company for the digital era, and that they will do so at both the talent and managerial level. It will become quite difficult to hang on to these employees until the supply increases to meet the demand – or until the demand shifts entirely.
6. Changing Company Culture
As has been discussed extensively throughout this paper, the digital transformation will affect businesses on all levels. This includes things like employee role and production, as well as inter-co0mpany communication and marketing strategy. Because the change must be so all-encompassing, it’s important that the company culture align with the new values dictated by the digital transformation and the digital economy.