Digital Transformation Challenges for Enterprises

Robby Gupta

Brands and enterprises these days are only focused on one thing. Providing a flawless digital experience to their customers. And although brands would like to cater to all age groups, they end up targeting millennials, as they are the ones who are the most tech savvy.

So, what does this mean for enterprises?

Many brands or enterprises that are legacy run, seem to slowly shrink out of existence. This is because they were established before the digital age. For such brands and enterprises to stay relevant in today’s fast paced digital world, they need to digitally transform.

Read About Digital Transformation for Enterprises Here.

While there is a plethora of information about how enterprises can digitally transform, there is hardly a mention of the challenges that they face while they transform!

In this article, we will discuss the key challenges of digital transformation that enterprises face.

Enterprises are like ships. They move at a gradual pace but are always on course to their destination. They seldom waver off. However, ships take time to adjust to any change in course, take the Titanic for example! Enterprises are not comfortable adapting to changes or advancements in technology. They take time to align themselves with how the world has changed.

Digital transformation in its crux is all about adapting to the latest technology and the best strategies to help organizations stay ahead of their competition.

As a company TechJini. Inc has helped many organizations adapt the latest technologies and employ innovators who can steer the massive ship (read enterprises) to their destination (read success). However, we have, over the years, seen many an organization fail to transform and eventually lose their position as market leaders. In our efforts to help organizations, we’ve compiled a list of challenges faced by enterprises, or that are only applicable to enterprises.

Here are a few enterprise level challenges for digital transformation.

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Resistance to Change

Change is the only thing constant in life. This is possibly one of the greatest dictums. However, as humans, we fear change. We yearn for something that is predictable. For many of us change equals discomfort. If we’ve got a good thing going for us, we wouldn’t want it to end.

Enterprises are similar to us in this aspect. They don’t like change. Because there are too many individuals who participate (read employees) in an enterprise, change for them equals discomfort.

Digital transformation, as mentioned above, is change at its core. For enterprises that are trying to remain relevant in today’s day and age, not adapting to the change is riskier than taking the leap. Resistance to change can manifest in many ways for enterprises.

Kodak is the best example for enterprises being too afraid to change. While it was Steven Sasson who invented the digital camera during his tenure at Eastman Kodak, the company did not let his camera see the light of day! This was because Kodak back then was the industry leader in producing films that were needed to capture photos. They didn’t let the digital camera out for mass production because the management were too afraid, like all of us, of change.

During the same time, another organization which was an industry leader did the opposite of what Kodak did. They recognized and embraced the change. That organization is Bell Atlantic. It realized the power of mobile phones and immediately set a course to adapt itself to the change. This transformation led to it becoming Verizon. While we can praise the management for their gamble on mobile phones, we need to recognize them to accepting that fixed line telephones will not be a part of the future.

What Bell did was that it kept itself free of risk by only changing the mindset of a few individuals.

Inconsistencies in Customer’s Digital Journey

Often, organizations that fail have one commonality – a lack of vision. The ones that do succeed in creating a phenomenal value proposition for their customers, do not get there by accident. To explain this element, let’s discuss Snapdeal, an organization that went from being an ecommerce portal to a deal website and finally to an online marketplace in less than a month. This clearly shows an absence of vision.

Enterprises should always have a clear understanding of what the customer wants. They need to have a vivid picture of what they need to do to address the customer’s needs. Enterprises should set expectations and objectives against that vision and execute it over a period of time.

For enterprises to thrive, they need to:

-Assess themselves.

-Understand they customer’s need.

-Be aware of new technologies.

-And finally, set a process that will help them create a great value proposition for their customers.

Rigid Development Processes

To provide a successful digital experience for customers, iteration is required. Organizations that have successfully iterated or took the test and learn approach have seen success more often. Using this method organizations can regularly measure, adjust, and develop based on feedback given by the customers.

Enterprises often have long and drawn out release cycles for most of their products. To survive in a startup filled world, enterprises should think about leveraging processes and technologies. They should constantly iterate on their products and channels to provide the best digital experience to their customers.

Iteration here does not exclude processes. Workflows and business rules need to be altered so that they can be leveraged better. Companies that try to build innovative products on traditional technologies will only lead to disappointment and unwanted iterations. Apps like Netflix, PayPal, and Uber are testament to new apps being built on new technologies.

Traditional Processes

For a digital transformation strategy to succeed, leadership and executive support is necessary. With these an enterprise cannot adapt or mature.

Digital transformation at its heart is customer centric. Therefore, to become customer centric, enterprises should have a culture of customer-centricity. This shift in ideology and environment is needed to enterprises to thrive. Also, a customer centric culture is required to empower employees to work together, seize new opportunities, and solve challenges.

Enterprises that are undergoing digital transformation, in their own unique ways, create new processes, build new teams, form new business models, invest in new technologies, etc. to stay relevant in their own industry. This is because the market is constantly evolving, and the startup game is much more aggressive than what enterprises can imagine.

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For succeed, enterprises should start thinking and behaving like startups. This is so that they can avoid being disrupted in their own industry. Similarly, enterprises need to be customer centric and more human as well.

Those enterprises that do cross the chasm, adopt a digital strategy that offers more scale, revenue and profit than their traditional or legacy approach ever would. This does require experimentation, which involves risk, and the possibility of failure. It is such enterprises that address these challenges that come out victorious.

Do you have a similar list of challenges faced by enterprises regarding digital transformation? If you don’t, let us know by commenting below. Also, share your thoughts about this blog post as well.

about the author

Robby Gupta

Robby Gupta is the head of US operations for TechJini, Inc. He has had varied experiences working in New York, Cupertino, and Bangalore with packaged & amp; custom web and mobile app development for an assortment of industries. His current focus is Immersive Technologies, IoT, AI bots and their applications in the digital enterprise.