There is no doubt that digital strategies help businesses become more competitive and enable leaner operating models. To however meet these goals, the right execution is needed. Taking the wrong approach can hinder technological adoption and transformation, leading to time and resource wastage.
Here are some critical challenges associated with the execution of digital strategies and how to effectively tackle them:
1. Transitioning from Legacy Business Models & Outdated Technology Tools
Making the transition from older traditional business models and assets to more advanced technologies can be difficult. Some businesses can find it hard to have to part with systems they invested so heavily in. However, stagnation brought on by clinging to outdated technology and obsolete equipment can often prove costlier than making timely updates. Not to mention the challenge of having to sustain systems that vendors no longer support and therefore become less secure. And, because the business will keep growing, there will have to be some continued introduction of new technology that may not work well with legacy systems.
Solution: Relaying the importance of keeping up-to-date with technologies to all the stakeholders should be a priority. Partnering with a team of experts with experience in the same industry is a good way to ensure a smooth transition as they take on the task of ensuring proper training of team members and integration and adoption of the required hardware and software.
2. Revamping Customer Experience Model
Customer interaction with businesses can significantly alter when there is a change in digital models. Consumers prefer simpler, more interactive, and personalized digital communication. With any changes in digital strategy, it is important to ensure that customers get to keep enjoying these benefits to ensure better brand loyalty and increased sales. Much care must be taken to ensure that as updates are made, customer experience continues to thrive.
Solution: To ensure strong customer engagement and satisfaction, data collection and analysis is ideal. Tools like polls and surveys can help identify problem areas from the customer standpoint. Identifying how these areas link to operational processes can then emphasize where digital transformation is needed. The information gleaned can result in better products and an improved customer experience journey.
3. Dealing with Cultural Change and Organizational Resistance
Resistance to change is natural. People become accustomed to doing things a certain way and worry that allowing changes will affect their job security and value to the organization. Unfortunately, they forget that delaying digital transformation can affect the broader business by making it lag behind competitors. As they struggle to maintain the status quo within the company, digital trends being adopted by competitors make them a more appealing choice for consumers thanks to the better benefits being delivered to the market.
Solution: Improved communication with team members can help them gain a better understanding of how their roles affect the broader business and its performance in the market. Learning how adopting new technologies can impact the bottom line and market share can encourage stronger acceptance of the need for change. Creating a nurturing environment where employees can get better training and support can also make transitioning easier. Encouraging participation while also setting challenging but achievable targets can help boost motivation.
4. Integrating Newer Technology to Existing Set-Up
Digital transformation does not mean the total abandonment of pre-existing models and equipment. It is possible to bring in an entirely new system and realize that there is duplication in certain areas. While technology does tend to evolve quickly, many components do remain viable in the medium to long term. They can still be integrated into more advanced systems and perform just as effectively.
Solution: Engaging expert consultants with the right skillsets can help in identifying which processes are problematic and can achieve better efficiencies with digital upgrading. Once you identify the key areas that need improvement, then you can formulate digital strategies that will guide your choice of technological solutions. An audit of existing systems will then pinpoint what specific investments and training that need to be done. This can make for a better streamlined and budgeted process.
5. Data Security
Data is at the core of all business decisions and must be safely stored to keep providing value. During digital transformations, it is not uncommon for the recording, analysis, and leveraging of data to become mismanaged. Cybersecurity risks tend to increase during such projects with exposure of confidential client data and hacking being amongst the major concerns. There are increased areas for attack thanks to the simultaneous operation of legacy and new technology. Much of the problem lies in failing to factor in security threats during the development stages of transformation projects. These concerns are often left to be handled under legacy systems until the new changes have been fully adopted.
Solution: Incorporating automated and well-defined data analytics and cybersecurity models help. This will make it possible for the business to keep monitoring for threats and upgrade cyber protections. When introducing new applications and devices, they should already be equipped with in-built security. Again, engaging expert consultants with skills in cybersecurity can help to safeguard your systems during this transition period and provide training to team members on how to reduce the risk of exposure and attacks.
With any kind of change, you can expect to encounter challenges. Thankfully, in business, most can be identified ahead of time and contingencies arranged. Much of the resolutions depend on your choice of implementation partner. To maximize chances of success when executing digital strategies, be sure to carefully choose expert consultants that will not only work on improving your systems but keep your firm’s expertise updated with relevant training.