What is digital transformation
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technologies into all aspects of a business, fundamentally changing how organizations operate and deliver value to customers. It goes beyond updating your technology, all the way transforming your entire method of doing business.
This definition might sound a bit technical, so let’s put it into an example.
Remember the times when all we could use for navigation were paper maps? They did help us find the locations we wanted to reach and perhaps even the shortest routes to them, but reading those maps correctly took some skills and you couldn’t check the directions while driving.
Now though, we can use GPS applications to guide us while we are driving. GPS technically does the same as paper maps did – help us find the way – yet, thanks to being connected to the internet, they can do far more than just show static routes:
- They can show the fastest route to a given location at that moment (and quickly change directions if it notices any obstacles, like traffic jams).
- Automatically update maps to include any changes affecting routes (such as road closures or openings).
- Estimate how long it will take to get to a specific location.
This way, GPS can make traveling far more convenient, efficient, and certainly far more comfortable than with a paper map. Custom software works in the same way – it can streamline core business processes, reduce time spent on manual work, and thus boost productivity.
What’s scary about digital transformation
Digital transformation can feel like standing at the edge of a high dive, knowing you need to jump but scared of what’s below. You know your company needs to change to stay competitive, but the worries pile up.
“Building custom software is going to be too expensive” you think, or “My team likes how things are; they won’t want to change.” Maybe your company’s processes are so complicated that you think it’s impossible to streamline them.
And let’s not forget about all the different tools you’re using. How are you supposed to make them work together without messing up your data?
These fears might seem a bit over the top, but they’re real concerns that can make the idea of digital transformation pretty intimidating. But while the worries are real, they’re also manageable, and the rewards on the other side can be game-changing for your organization.
Digital transformation challenges and how to overcome them
#1 Budget constraints
Investing in digital transformation can feel like a gamble, especially when budgets are tight. However, the long-term benefits often outweigh the initial costs.
The integration of technology into your business operations is not just a matter of spending money, but an investment in your organization’s future.
By 2026, global digital transformation spending is forecast to reach $3.4 trillion. What does that mean for you?
- Your industry might be spending money on going fully digital.
- This includes your closest competitors.
- If you don’t start now then you may not be able to catch up in the future.
The return on investment (ROI) for digital transformation can be substantial.
For example, automating manual processes can:
- Save employee time
- Reduce errors
- Increase efficiency
- Translate into cost savings
When considering digital transformation, it’s crucial to align your technological investments with your long-term business objectives. Your digital initiatives need to support these goals, and your objectives need to fit within the budget too.
#2 Overcoming resistance to change from employees
As already mentioned, change can be unsettling, especially in a work environment where people have their routines and comfort zones. When it comes to digital transformation, employee resistance is one of the most common roadblocks. Below is how to tackle it.
Understanding common reasons for resistance
- Fear of the unknown: Employees may be worried about how new technologies will affect their daily tasks.
- Job security concerns: The idea of automation and new tech can spark fears of job loss.
- Lack of trust: If there’s a history of failed changes or poor communication, employees may be skeptical.
- Comfort with current systems: People like what they know and may resist having to learn new tools or methods.
In some work environments, there will be only one or two reasons above that actually really apply. The thing is, they might be so strong that they create a significant barrier to change.
The key is to identify which of these factors are the most relevant in your specific situation and address them head-on.
➡️ Communicating the benefits to employees
To get buy-in from your team, you need to show them how the new technology will make their lives easier. Maybe it automates tedious tasks they hate, or perhaps it will eliminate common pain points in their workflow. Make it about them, not just the company.
➡️ Involving employees in the decision-making process
Inclusion is key. When employees feel like they’re part of the decision, they’re more likely to support it. Use surveys or meetings to gather input and make employees feel heard. Knowing that they can have some impact when it comes to the final decision will make them more encouraged to have their say, or give it a try.
➡️ Finding evangelists in your organization
Look for team members who are quick to adapt and excited about change. These “evangelists” can help sway opinion and get others on board. Their enthusiasm can be infectious and help overcome resistance. Particularly in larger organizations, you simply need to have such people in your team.
➡️ Providing training and support
Don’t just introduce new tech and expect everyone to catch on immediately. Offer training sessions, provide resources, and make sure support is available during the transition period.
#3 Navigating complex organizational structures
Complex organizational structures can be like a maze that you need to navigate carefully, especially when implementing new technologies. It’s a task that requires work upfront but is essential for the success of your digital transformation. Next we cover how to go about it.
Identifying key stakeholders and decision-makers
Before you even start with the technical aspects, know who’s who in your organization. Identify the key stakeholders and decision-makers who will have a say in the digital transformation process and build a strong implementation team that represents various functions within the organization, from IT to HR to Operations.
Addressing interdepartmental collaboration challenges
Different departments often have their own goals, priorities, and ways of doing things. This can create hurdles when you’re trying to implement a unified digital strategy. Open lines of communication between departments and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Adapting the technology to fit the organization’s unique structure
Every organization is different, and a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. This is where a discovery workshop with a software partner can be invaluable. Such a workshop can assess how your organization operates and propose solutions tailored to your specific needs.
Ensuring compatibility and data integrity
The last thing you want is for your new tech to mess up your existing systems or data. Choose integration solutions that align with what you’re already using and put safeguards in place to maintain data accuracy during the transition process.
How can Inwedo help with digital transformation?
As you can see, implementing modern, integrated solutions doesn’t have to be as intimidating as you might have thought initially. After overcoming the above mentioned challenges, you can have faster and more efficient business processes, far less communication chaos, and happier employees who will see that the changes were for the better.
If you need a technological partner who will help you implement the digital transformation, you can always count on us in Inwedo. If you are looking for someone who can design bespoke software for your brand, even better.
One of the brands that trusted us with their project was Green Factory, who needed a custom solution to help them manage their growing amounts of data and provide them with real-time insights. We started with discovery workshops during which we researched their goals and requirements in detail and then planned all development stages (UI, UX, web development, and quality assurance) together with them.
Four months later, Green Factory received an MVP version of their platform for testing and then we needed additional three months for further development and fine-tuning.
The results of our hard work? Green Planner – a bespoke production planning application that continually analyzes the amount of orders and inventory state in order to suggest how the production process can be improved.
Director of planning
We’re now able to create a production plan one week ahead of time and we can show the purchasing team and the buyers how much of each raw material we need for each production date in each production plant, which has been really good. Our sales forecasts can also be recalculated for the components as well as for the raw materials, which has made us really good at planning 52 weeks ahead.
We can use our experience and skills to design a custom-fit application for your brand as well. Give us a call and we’ll invite you to a meeting during which we can talk a bit more about your plans, expectations, and challenges that you want to solve using the custom product.
Digital transformation might feel somewhat intimidating, especially if it requires you to completely change the way you work. But tackling the ups and downs of budgets, employee resistance, and organizational complexity doesn’t have to be a stressful experience – you just need to be well prepared for the change.
If you need help choosing the right solution for your needs and navigating the challenges, you can count on us in Inwedo. After we talk, we’ll surely have a few ideas on how we and our custom development skills can elevate your business to new heights.