Will Kaye

Managing Director

Will Kaye

Digital Business – What Factors Hinder Your Transformation

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The 2018 series of Gartner Symposium/ITxpo will be held on the Gold Coast this year in Australia at the end of October. The conference intends to present valuable insights into the challenges of building or transforming a digital business. Below are six topics that will be addressed at the conference. These can be considered when implementing a digital transformation strategy across your organisation.

1. A Culture Unwelcoming to Changes

If your organisational structure is resistant to change, then implementing a digital initiative becomes a challenge. A collaborative culture is necessary for a digital business to thrive. Red tape and hierarchical boundaries impede its transformation. If digital innovation is to be fully realised in an organisation with rigid hierarchical structures, then it must start out small. A mindset skewed towards embracing a digital culture must be cultivated first and then allowed to spread–organically–to different teams and departments.

2. Compartmentalised Knowledge

Employees and teams in one department may lack the ability or willingness to collaborate and share what they know with another department. These information silo’s or individuals reluctance can get in the way of rolling out a successful digital initiative. To get around these tendencies, try to identify and common areas of interest or mutual benefit and then leverage and communicate those ideas and shared goals. Also, keep in mind that some parts of your business organisation will benefit from a digital transformation while others may not.

3. Business Readiness Leaves Much to Be Desired

The digital transformation process can’t possibly begin unless the organisation has the skills and the resources necessary to enable and give it long-term support. Thus, assessing the readiness for digital adoption must be the first step.

4. Talent Gap

In any business organisation, for example, IT people do not focus on business operations in as much as salespeople do. In this kind of environment, the information flow required for a full digital roll-out is going to be slow. The solution to the digital resistance resulting from talent gap is to consider two approaches: up-skill and/or bimodal. An up-skill approach entails redefining individual roles to accommodate digital-supportive competencies and skills. A bimodal approach, on the other hand, involves the creation of a specific team with the requisite skill set for dealing with digital innovation.

5. Traditional Organisational Structures

Addressing the talent gap is just half of the equation. There are also prevailing practices, most especially if they are of the traditional kind, that impede digital transformation and implementation. If this is the case with your organisation, then an approach based on product management can help ease adoption of digital initiatives. A product management-based style encourages multiple iterations and supports traditional company practices until such time employees, as well as teams, have the necessary skill set to follow through a full-fledged digital business.

6. The Nature of Change

Adopting any innovation, even one that is less radical than digital transformation, is taxing and costly. Suitable platforms have to be developed. An ecosystem of collaboration needs to be set up. An overhaul of the organisational structure might even be needed. However, accounting for the challenges ahead helps greatly in ensuring the success of a digital transformation.

Both big and small businesses benefit from digital innovation. But to capture its benefits requires foregoing the usual hype that comes with digital business ideas. Assess your resources and existing talent pool, and then go from there to the nitty-gritty of digital implementation.