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Six barriers to becoming a digital business

By Tim Sandle     Jul 26, 2018 in Business
Business analysts Gartner have identified six barriers to becoming a digital business, with the key factors stemming from a recent industry survey. Several of these barriers are linked to the need for significant changes to culture and systems.
According to Gartner, digital innovation can aid organizations in captivating customers, gaining their loyalty, and creating new business models. This is fine in theory. However, for many Chief Information Officers, delivering digital innovation is more challenging than it might first appear.
In a new report headed "Six Barriers to Becoming a Digital Business, and What You Can Do About Them", Gartner outlines what those tasked with digital strategy within an organization need to overcome in order to create a fully-functioning digital business.
Summarizing the six barrier, Marcus Blosch, research vice president at Gartner stated: "To change an organization designed for a structured, ordered, process-oriented world to one designed for ecosystems, adaptation, learning and experimentation is hard. Some organizations will navigate that change, and others that can't change will become outdated and be replaced."
The barriers are:
A change-resisting culture
The report explains that to achieve success with digital innovation requires a parallel culture of collaboration. This means that employees need to work across boundaries and be appeared to explore new ideas. The problem is that many firms are locked in a culture of change-resistant silos and hierarchies.
Limited sharing and collaboration
As Blosch explains: “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.”
By this he means: “Build the first version, test the idea and use the success story to gain the momentum needed for the next step.”
The business isn’t ready
Top management may be keen to tart a digital transformation process; however, it can be that the business is not ready in terms of not having the the necessary skills, experiences or resources needed.
The Talent Gap
While upskilling can work in small firms, the Gartner analysis reveals that in bigger companies a separate task group is needed to handle innovation with the requisite skill set - it isn't possible to do this with the existing workforce. So this means hiring new talent.
The current practices don’t support the talent
To achieve digital transformation success the organizational culture needs to change, in terms of a new customer focus and with embracing new technology. Gartner conclude that: "There are no tried and tested models to implement, but every organization has to find the practices that suits it best."
Change isn’t easy
Thinking that digital transformation will be easier is another stumbling block. Going into the process expecting resistance and dealing with it is the best mind-set. With this, Gartner recommends that organizations adopt a platform-based strategy which supports continuous change “allowing new services to draw from the platform and its core services.”
Due to the complexities involved and an associated lack of strategy, the Gartner survey concludes that only a small number of organizations have successfully scaled their digital initiatives beyond the experimentation and piloting stages. By going through the six barriers, this lack of success can be overcome.
More about digital transformation, digital business, Business, Gartner