In the previous instalments of '7 questions to assess the digitisation of your company', we first looked at how to set clear and above all measurable goals to assess the level of digitisation of your company. In a second post, we focused on processes that can be digitised to further accelerate the transformation process of your company. Our journey continued with an analysis of the data coming from your digital systems to better understand your customers and some tips to improve your customers' experience with usable and responsive websites, apps and chatbots. Lastly, we addressed the topic of security, a crucial topic in the digitisation process of modern companies.
Let us now take a small step back to get a more comprehensive view, because digitisation offers many opportunities for businesses, but it is important to be aware of the challenges that can arise along the way. Let us look at some of them.
The resistance to change
Many employees may resist change, especially if they are not familiar with digital technologies. We have already seen in a previous post that change is not seen as a good thing by everyone. On the contrary, many see it as a nuisance or even a threat to themselves. In this case, it is important to train and involve staff to increase their adoption of new technologies.
Lack of knowledge and skills
Digitalisation requires a good deal of technical expertise, which may be limited within the company. In this case, the company may have to hire personnel with the necessary skills or invest in training existing personnel. For example, a manufacturing company wishing to implement an advanced automation system may not have robotics or programming experts on its staff. In this case, the company might decide to hire personnel specialised in the field or work with external consultants to make up for the lack of in-house expertise.
Costs for digitisation
Digitalisation requires some significant investments in technology, training and infrastructure. The company may have to plan carefully and evaluate the ROI to ensure that the investment is justified.
For example, consider implementing a comprehensive business management system that integrates accounting, human resources management and inventory management functions.
To implement such a management system, the company would have to invest in dedicated software that meets its specific needs. This may involve the purchase of software licences or the development of customised software, both with associated costs. In addition, as we have seen above, the company may have to invest in staff training to ensure proper understanding and use of the new system.
One can opt for a cloud solution and take advantage of the flexibility this system offers. With a cloud solution, the company can host its system on remote servers and access data and functionality via an Internet connection. This eliminates the need for expensive and complex infrastructure within the company.
Integration with existing systems
The adoption of new digital technologies may require integration with the company's existing systems. This may present technical challenges and require the assistance of specialists in the field.
To address these challenges, the enterprise should carefully assess its resources and competencies and identify areas where it may need to invest. The enterprise should also be open to staff training and collaboration with industry specialists, if necessary. In addition, the enterprise should have an action plan to address any data security or system integration issues. In this way, the enterprise can deal with the challenges of the digitisation process effectively and obtain the benefits that digitisation can offer.
How to meet the challenges
In conclusion, digitisation is a complex challenge for companies, which have to deal with human, technological and economic aspects. Employee resistance to change, lack of in-house technical skills, data security, and investment costs are the main difficulties companies have to overcome.
However, addressing these challenges can lead to important benefits. Investing in staff training, hiring new resources with digital skills, implementing appropriate data security measures, carefully planning costs and collaborating with specialists in the field can facilitate a successful digitisation process.
But it is important that companies approach the challenges of digitisation in a strategic and planned manner, taking into account their resources, competencies and business objectives. An all-encompassing approach, combined with an open mindset to change and collaboration, can enable companies to reap the full benefits of digitisation and remain competitive in an increasingly digital world.