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How to Overcome the Challenges of Digital Transformation

by Mack G
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Are there easy solutions to major digital transformation challenges? Changes are sweeping through the business world, now more than ever before. However, many companies face obstacles that can be the difference between success and failure. Not all business models are naturally compatible with digital transformation, after all.

Luckily, any company can overcome the challenges of digital transformation with a few key tips and best practices.

Take the Leap

One of the most common digital transformation challenges is moving from planning to implementation. Many businesses simply get stuck in the planning phase and freeze up when it’s time to put things into practice.

This can occur for various reasons. For example, sometimes digital transformation plans get so big it’s hard to know where to begin and how to phase in new tech.

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A good rule of thumb is to start small and grow from there. Remember, digital transformation is a change and not a switch. It will be a process and isn’t designed to happen overnight.

Team leaders should structure their transformation strategy in a way meant for growth. Maybe the office starts by moving bookkeeping to a digital platform. Aim to continue moving processes to these mediums until the whole office is paperless.

Reskill and Upskill

Successful digital transformation brings everyone along for the journey. However, employees can be hit or miss when it comes to adopting new technologies. Businesses have to be understanding of this and offer opportunities for training and growth. Sometimes digital transformation means someone’s job no longer requires the same set of skills it used to.

Reskilling is when an employee is trained in a whole new set of skills. Upskilling takes existing abilities and builds on them, often toward more advanced or in-depth knowledge. Both of these are beneficial to workers as well as businesses. In fact, many companies report finding skill-building more effective than bringing on new hires.

Employees who are skeptical of digital transformation may be much easier to sway when free training is offered to help them adapt to changes in the workplace.

Revise and Adapt

One of the keys to success in digital transformation is a strategy designed for growth. The change may not go the way the planning team originally expected. One software program might sound perfect at first, but it does not fit a business’s specific needs down the road. Likewise, a new digital model might work well for employees but lack a good customer experience.

Part of growing through digital transformation is staying open to revisions and flexibility. In fact, 49% of business leaders report revising their long-term digital vision as part of their transformation strategy. It’s completely normal for needs and preferences to change as a business adapts to new technology. The original is not set in stone, so remember to keep searching for ways to improve and update the strategy.

Prioritize Cybersecurity

Unfortunately, some businesses make the mistake of underestimating their cybersecurity needs when they first get started in their digital transformation. This needs to be a core part of the plan from day one. Cybercrime has been surging since the COVID-19 pandemic sparked widespread digitalization in 2020. In fact, ransomware attacks alone rose 105% in 2021, hitting businesses particularly hard.

One breach can leave a business scrambling to pick up the pieces. This may sound intimidating, but a strong cybersecurity strategy will prevent unwelcome guests from harming or stealing company data. Businesses that are new to digital transformation may lack proper safety measures simply because they aren’t sure where to start. The Federal Trade Commission has official cybersecurity basics guidelines that offer a good jumping-off point. It may be a good idea to assign an expert to the digital transformation team, as well.

Check in With Customers

The goal of any digital transformation should ultimately be to provide a better experience for customers, which is where optimization comes in. Improvements happening behind the scenes are largely just the process of moving business operations to digital platforms. It consists of a whole new model built with this in mind.

Successful digital transformation relies on building a good customer experience. It’s OK if this takes some time to work out. The important thing is to make an effort to check in with real customers to see how new processes and platforms are operating. Short, anonymous surveys are often a good way to get feedback. Continue to tweak and update the new digital business plan, website, software and other tools to create the best customer experience possible.

Growing With Digital Transformation

Any significant change will be a struggle at first. It’s simply a natural part of the digital transformation process. Businesses that prepare for challenges and adapt along the way can ensure their strategy is set up for success. Ultimately, the challenges are well worth the benefits and growth opportunities that come with evolving and innovating into the digital age.

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