Digital solutions can be best defined as the tools, systems, software, and technology that facilitate digital transformation in companies.
These solutions are the support companies use to head towards becoming a “digital-first” enterprise. With digital solutions, companies become more efficient – collecting data better, providing better customer experiences, enhancing agility and productivity, and above all, increasing revenue.
The popularity of these solutions is at an all-time high, thanks to the rising need for digital transformation. It’s high time that companies, no matter how small or large, should turn themselves into digital firms while technology advances because the digital transformation will allow them to re-imagine how they do business.
Integration of Digital Solutions – Not as smooth as it seems
Today, digital transformation is no longer a question of “if” but rather a question of “how”. Companies understand digital transformation as a necessity and are now trying to figure out how to carry it out effectively.
However, digital transformation is still not as rampant a practice as it should be. Many key decision-makers in companies link the process with the chaotic deployment of complicated technologies.
According to a report by McKinsey, employee resistance and a lack of management support account for 70% of all digital transformation failures, while only 16% of employees believe their company’s digital transformation efforts improve or are sustainable.
Adopting digital solutions in business processes would mean considering a lot of things, from employee reactions to their impact on customer relations and their costs, and ultimately, how they align with the business goals.
Navigating through these considerations can be easier said than done, as companies must tackle some serious mindset blocks to go ahead with digital transformation.
Some common issues & challenges
Here are some key challenges companies face in implementing digital solutions:
1. Budgetary Constraints
One of the most basic challenges that companies face in adopting digital solutions is that these new systems are not a cheap investment. Scope creep can cause companies with a weak transformation strategy to push back deadlines and pile on new work, all of which adds to the project’s cost.
When companies factor in any consulting work, changes in customer expectations, or IT failures, the cost of digital transformation keeps rising.
For companies that are trying to implement digital solutions on a tight budget, it is important to consider the long-term benefits of the investment. In most cases, the return on investment (ROI) of digital transformation initiatives will eventually offset the high initial costs.
It is also important to consider less expensive alternatives, such as cloud-based solutions or open-source software. These types of solutions can provide many of the same benefits as their more expensive counterparts without breaking the bank.
2. Security Concerns
Privacy and cybersecurity issues are key barriers to digital transformation for many companies in data-sensitive industries. Employing digital solutions entails moving away from on-premise solutions and merging all of a company’s data into a single centralized system.
According to a recent study by Microsoft, 43% of business leaders believe that the fear of data breaches is holding their organization back from going digital.
This fear is not unfounded – in 2017, there was an average of 5 data breaches each day and more than 3 billion records were leaked.
Naturally, this raises the risk of attackers stealing customer information and corporate secrets. System weaknesses, bad installations, and unwary individuals can all be targets of online attacks which makes companies concerned about going ahead with the transformation.
3. Complex Solutions
Enterprise software is inherently difficult to grasp. It’s easy to be intimidated by new technology. This is a significant barrier for businesses undergoing digital transformation, both in terms of implementation and data integration, as well as in terms of end-user experience.
Technologies like ERP, Internet of Things, and Automation can be confounding for any new company that wants to take the plunge into digital transformation.
To help employees understand and use complex digital solutions, it is important to provide them with adequate training and support. In many cases, it may also be necessary to hire outside consultants or experts to help with the implementation process.
4. Lack of IT Competencies
Some of the main problems associated with digital transformation include poor resource management planning and a lack of IT resources. In terms of IT resources, a shortage of qualified personnel and a talent war in a competitive market are two obstacles to a successful digital transformation.
There appears to be a digital labor scarcity, due to which companies will never be able to overcome digital transformation hassles. Some areas where this scarcity can be seen are cybersecurity, application architecture, software integrations, data analytics, and data transfer.
One possible solution to this issue is to outsource some or all of your IT needs to an external provider. This can help speed up implementation and reduce costs, but it does require handing over some control to a third party.
5. Lack of a digital transformation & change management strategy
Another significant obstacle to the implementation of digital transformation procedures is a lack of clarity about what this progression involves. Companies often get enamored by the current trend and ignore several key aspects – for example, if or why they need to replace manual processes with digital solutions, or if they have a foolproof plan to adapt to these unfamiliar systems with minimum discord.
Going ahead with digital transformation without understanding the “what”, “when”, or “how” that goes into it, is the reason why a lot of companies are not seeing successful digital transformations.
More importantly, companies with legacy systems and manual procedures are still very old-school in their approaches. Change is slow, technology like automation is frowned upon, and adopting new systems is tough. That’s why one of the most difficult aspects of digital transformation is cultural change.
To develop a successful digital transformation strategy, it is important to understand the current state of your organization and where you want to be in the future. You also need to consider what technologies will be needed to get there and how you can best integrate them into your existing business processes. Once you have a clear plan in place, you can then start to implement the necessary changes.
The above challenges act as major impediments to digital transformation in companies.
However, these problems are mostly people issues or management issues; and with a nudge in the right strategic direction, companies can overcome them with ease.
Here are some possible solutions to these problems:
- Companies must have clarity on the digital transformation budget, with a target allocation of capital expenditure across departments with a clearly defined ROI in mind.
- Companies need to embed security measures into all applications as the first line of defense and deploy security controls across their internal, public, and cloud environments. Consulting a cybersecurity expert would help companies in identifying weaknesses in their defense.
- During the early stages of a digital transformation project, company leaders should assess the complexity of the solutions and seek out the most intuitive, integrated, and easy-to-use solutions.
- Companies must invest in digital talent and develop a pool of people that are competent with technology and solutions, be it by using an in-house team or hiring an outsourced team. Companies must also equip HR departments with the skills and resources to identify and come up with solutions that bridge the skill gaps.
- Finally, companies must drive a culture of change and innovation, and make their employees get accustomed to digital solutions without friction through a well-defined plan for seamless digital transformation.
Overall, there are a number of challenges companies face when trying to implement digital solutions. However, by taking a strategic approach and working closely with digital experts and customers, these challenges can be overcome. With the right planning and execution, businesses can successfully digitize their operations and improve their bottom line.
About Smart Data:
Smart Data is a company of problem solvers committed to improving the business processes of our customers through digital solutions. We design and implement scalable digital transformation solutions that help you modernize your business procedures, increase efficiency, and provide satisfying user experiences to your customers.
Employ Smart Data for your software development requirements, and achieve hassle-free digital transformation!