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5 top challenges to digital transformation in the enterprise

March 24, 2017

Here are the top five challenges that large enterprises, born before the digital age, often face when taking on transformation projects.

1. Organizational resistance to change

My rough guesstimate is that perhaps 10-15% of people in the world love change. They are excited by constantly having new challenges to tackle and new things to learn. But for the other 85-90%, change equals pain. It means uncertainty, a challenge to their role or identity, and, worst-case scenario, possibly the loss of a job and their family's security. After all, once you've got a good thing going, its natural not to want to see your applecart overturned. Digital transformation, by its very nature, upsets a lot of apple carts. However the truth is that in times of change, not changing is far more risky than taking the leap. It just doesn’t always feel that way.

 

2. Lack of a clear vision for a digital customer journey

Companies that succeed in creating a digital customer value proposition don't get there by accident. They develop a clear vision of how they will meet their customers' digital needs, set objectives against that vision, and execute - often over the course of multiple years.  Often times, companies that are not succeeding simply haven't painted a clear picture of what they want – or need – to be when they digitally "grow up."   While clarifying this vision doesn’t get you there by itself, in fact its only one of many steps,  not having a vision is like going on a road trip without a destination.  It's always possible you could stumble into something great, but probably not.

3. Ineffective gathering and leveraging of customer data

The root of digital success is customer data. There's more to the tree than the root, to be sure, but whether it's Facebook, Amazon, Netflix or Uber, digital success stories have the effective gathering, storing and leveraging of customer data at the core.  Many organizations today have a myriad of siloed systems containing various scraps of data about customer interactions, but no clear way to pull them together. Others have petabytes of data centralized in an information warehouse that they may use for reporting, however, they haven't figured out what to do with all that data in a manner that provides value to the customer.

 

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