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Becoming a fully digital business is an aspiration for many companies, and, with the tools to enable transformation  increasingly accessible and affordable in recent years, more firms than ever have the power to revolutionise their operations. 

However, migrating to a more digital environment is not always simple, and obstacles can stand in the way of making this change with the utmost ease. 

Digital transformation is about much more than purchasing the latest technology, and requires firms of all sizes and within all industries to commit - as a whole - to changing the culture of the organisation at all levels. 

In this guide, we will look at the six main barriers - identified by Gartner in a recent report - that could be preventing your business from becoming fully digital, and offer advice on how to overcome them. 

1. A change-resisting culture 

According to Gartner’s Six Barriers to Becoming a Digital Business, and What You Can Do About Them report, the research firm states that a key challenge for enterprises looking to transform the way they operate is a resistance to embracing the new. 

The report explains that, in order to achieve success through digital innovation, a business needs to have a culture of collaboration. This means being open to new ideas, and cross boundaries in order to willfully accept changes to the way the company works as a whole. 

Many companies are restricted by their resistance to change, and traditional hierarchies, which very often hold them back in the long run. 

2) Limited sharing and collaboration

Marcus Blosch, research vice president at Gartner, says: “It’s not necessary to have everyone on board in the early stages. Try to find areas where interests overlap and create a starting point.”

“Build the first version, test the idea and use the success story to gain the momentum needed for the next step.”

3) The business is not ready 

In many cases we see, senior management and board members are ready and willing to begin the digital transformation process - eager to kick-start their efforts after considering the many benefits it can bring. 

However, while some key team members might be ready to implement the strategy, it can sometimes transpire that the business is not be ready in other ways, such as having the necessary personnel, experience or resources needed to execute digital transformation effectively. 

4) The talent gap 

In its report, Gartner states that larger companies often suffer more than their smaller counterparts when it comes to bridging the talent gap that often comes hand-in-hand with digital transformation. It argues that there are two approaches to resolving this issue: upskill and bimodal. 

Gartner acknowledges that in smaller, more innovative organisations, it can be easier to redefine individuals’ roles to include more skills and competencies required to support digital growth. 

With a bimodal approach, which involves creating a separate group of people to handle innovation with the skillsets required, larger companies can ensure they can dedicate adequate resourcing to the process. 

5) The current practices don’t support the talent 

In order to enjoy the plentiful benefits offered by digital transformation, the culture of the company needs to change.

This means identifying a renewed focus on customer satisfaction  and embracing new technology. In its report, Gartner said: “There are no tried-and-tested models to implement, but every organisation has to find the practices that suits it best.”

6) Change isn’t easy 

There is quite often a misconception among businesses that digital transformation will be easy. However, this is another stumbling block. The best mindset to have is to go into the process expecting there to be resistance and then take steps to overcome it. 

Gartner advises firms to adopt a platform-based strategy, “which supports continuous change, allowing new services to draw from the platform and its core services”. 

Contact Evaris today for advice on all your business IT needs, and for tips on transforming key business processes for more efficient operations. Either call us on 0330 124 1245, or email hello@evaris.com.

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