Enterprises are pursuing digital transformation in an effort to outpace their competition and improve the customer experience. Those who don’t embrace this change are in danger of becoming irrelevant in their market, or of watching other companies pull ahead and capture market share.

A digital transformation strategy is about more than implementing cloud solutions for data storage or switching to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It’s about disruptive change that upends business processes and allows for innovation and new revenue streams.

This is why any enterprise embarking on digital transformation should carefully consider who should champion the effort. It heavily influences IT, but it’s more about collaborative change across the organization. In some cases, a CEO or CMO might be a better fit than the CIO for working in collaboration with finance, marketing and operations.

Take a look at a few of the more common barriers to digital transformation:

Resistance to change: This can occur at the organizational and individual levels. Large companies aren’t built for change, and it can be a significant challenge to create enough momentum and convince key stakeholders of the benefits of a transformation. On the individual level, many executives respond to change looking through the lens of how it impacts their career path and their impression of job security. Executives sometimes operate within their own silos that feel like a small empire and they may resist organizational disruption.

Fear of failure: A successful digital transformation requires a shift of perspective when it comes to failure. A comprehensive change across the organization can’t occur without some failure in the process, and those that embrace it as an opportunity to learn or refine will be more successful overall. Much like a solid investment strategy, digital transformation requires a long-term view that doesn’t overreact to small setbacks.

Shallow understanding of the customer: The drive to improve the customer experience assumes that the enterprise has an in-depth understanding of its customers, and many simply don’t. There may be a lot of activity around various metrics and data analysis, but that’s not a guarantee that the right things are being measured.

Lack of agility: It’s one thing to be able to choose a new direction on a particular project; it’s another thing to do it quickly. If an organization has a 14-month approval process on capital investments or if a decision requires too many approvals, digital transformation will stall out. It’s important to give those leading the digital transformation the authority to make decisions and move quickly to implement them.

Lack of collaboration: Getting buy-in from other departments is critical for a successful digital transformation because the transformation isn’t just for the IT team. It’s important to create a unified approach to the transformation, marketing successes along the way and highlighting how they impact each department.

Don’t undertake digital transformation without the help of Clarksys. Contact us for more information about structuring disruption for business success.