Obstacles That We Must Avoid To Achieve Digital Transformation
One year after the start of the pandemic, the initial disruption has turned into a transformative period. Before COVID-19, digitization was already a trend that the industry was slowly taking over; once the virus spread, it became a necessity.
Whether for e-commerce platforms or facilitating remote work, digital transformation has given businesses the agility they need to navigate this sea of economic uncertainty. Those that managed to digitize successfully before or during this contingency period were able to reverse the effects of the pandemic and increase their productivity.
The resilience granted by technology is key to obtaining competitive advantages at any scale. CIOs (Chief Information Officer) and ICT leaders have the challenge of virtually redesigning the operation of organizations; if not, the future is at stake.
Unfortunately, there is no button to click to connect processes to the internet; if so, all the businesses that have existed and will already be digitized. The reality is that it is a complex process that, for one reason or another, many fail. For a safe and effective digital transformation, it is necessary to anticipate the possible areas of opportunity. Next, we will address the most common obstacles that can arise in the face of digitization.
1. Continue Viewing The ICT Department As A Support Department
The internet has reached the pockets and devices of each employee and even so, in many industries ICTs continue to be in the back office ; they see technology as mere support for the operating model in general. When wanting to go digital, this philosophy tends to remain and the error lies precisely there.
For a successful transformation, the ICT team and staff are needed in an active role; If it is necessary to redesign the entire operation with a digital perspective, let it be done. Technology has to be the connection between people, processes and the market.
2. Little Participation At The Executive Level
A digital transformation goes from top to bottom and vice versa: both senior executives and employees at all levels have to participate in its implementation. A disinterested or merely observant behavior of managers permeates to the lowest levels of a company. Digitization must be seen as a key process for innovation and competition in the short, medium and long term. We work by example: managers being the guide for others.
3. Lack Of Digital Training
In addition to the above, the generation gap tends to be the cause of adverse attitudes towards technology among owners, managers and senior employees. There will be those who have been in a company or industry for 10, 20, or many more years; are more than familiar with systems, software and processes that they have performed for decades, leaving routines and tools behind is unthinkable. Young people, on the other hand, with their growth together with the internet, can adopt new technologies more easily; they commonly learn from new technology programs in college.
In this digitization process, it is necessary to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to learn and adapt. The learning processes of senior employees must be considered so as not to waste their experience and knowledge in this new facet of the industry. The transformation is not only in machinery but also in people. Training is vital to make the most of everyone’s abilities, no one can be left behind.
4. Lack Of Patience
Digitization does not happen overnight, it takes time, money and a lot of effort. Depending on the scale of the project, the price may be so high that managers choose to sell assets or acquire debt to cover the cost. Instead of wanting to apply all kinds of technology, be it blockchain , artificial intelligence, IoT or hybrid cloud at the same time, the priority should be solving the most latent needs before anything else.
You have to adjust the ambition and have a realistic implementation plan, detailed to the size and economics of a company. With each step, new ideas, requests and concerns arise. For a successful transformation, you have to listen to the voices of everyone involved and work together on a common goal with well-defined deadlines.
5. Prioritize Skill Over Strategy
Whether for digitization through subcontracting or with new internal staff, allies are needed and not suppliers. There will be those who come to offer a long list of applications and technologies; it is easy to get carried away by it, but you have to contemplate the commitment and character of the people.
If the goal is to have only the best technology and the best programmers, there is a risk of internal barriers that create vulnerabilities in the market. While the purpose of applied technology is to generate more revenue, the goal is optimization inside and outside the company.
A technology leader learns from data, involves everyone in the digital transformation, tracks and adapts changes with feedback efficiently. As mentioned in the first point of this article, the role of technology and those who work with it can no longer be merely supportive. The communication, creativity and leadership skills of people in ICT ensure a precise, secure digital transformation that takes all employees and customers into account. Systems implementation is not enough.