The advantages that digital technology brings to enterprises and the benefits it bestows on their customers have led to a digital transformation stampede. The journey to becoming a digital enterprise is not, however, without its challenges. In this article, we examine what those challenges are and how organisations can overcome them.
The costs of transformation
Acquiring and deploying the latest digital technologies can require significant investment. This is especially the case for enterprises that want to create digital environments on-site. Setting up an in-house data centre will involve the purchase of server and network infrastructure and the costs of housing, powering, cooling, securing and insuring it. In addition, businesses will need to consider the costs of software licencing and application development.
The high cost of using on-site infrastructure to achieve digital transformation is one of the key reasons why so many enterprises have migrated to the cloud. In the cloud, the infrastructure and many of the associated costs mentioned above are paid for by the service provider. Instead of huge capital investment and ongoing running costs, businesses simply pay a more manageable monthly fee.
What’s more, the cloud comes with built-in elasticity, if enterprises need to scale up storage, CPU or RAM resources, they can be had instantly, on demand, and on a pay-as-you-go basis. At the same time, proprietary software licencing is often cheaper and there’s access to a myriad of open-source apps, including those that enable companies to benefit from big data, AI, machine learning, automation and the IoT.
The has been a shortage of suitably qualified and experienced IT talent for years and it’s an issue that can stall digital transformation in companies unable to afford the large salaries that demand has led to. Positions like data scientists, infrastructure architects, DevOps engineers and application developers are particularly hard to fill.
The recent economic downturn and the unsurprising redundancies that result, have increased the number of qualified people seeking new roles, however, many companies are now recruiting those from other fields and investing in training them up to ensure digital transformation can take place at the pace they need.
Those enterprises which have migrated to the cloud can benefit in two different ways when it comes to talent. Firstly, the managed solutions offered by cloud vendors mean that some of the tasks carried out by in-house IT staff are taken care of by the service provider, for example, updating and patching operating systems, server monitoring, server optimisation, business continuity and infrastructure security. As a result, IT teams have more time for training and for working on digital projects.
The second benefit is that vendors have very experienced IT specialists working for them. With a partner like Hyperslice, for example, enterprises can benefit from this expertise, with bespoke solutions that help put the right infrastructure and support in place for digital transformation.
Digital transformation can bring about radical change within a company. It inevitably means things will be done differently, with some roles being changed and others potentially becoming redundant – just think of the impact of cashier-free banks, checkout-free supermarkets, robot-staffed warehouses and, when they finally arrive, drone deliveries.
Resistance to change is, perhaps understandably, part of the digital transformation process. Not everyone within an organisation will be comfortable with it, especially those who find their status downranked, their roles changed or their jobs at risk. To avoid internal conflict and disputes with workers, there is often a need to change the culture within an organisation so that it embraces digital technology rather than putting up barriers to it.
One solution for many enterprises has been to appoint a digital transformation leader. Apart from being responsible for managing the roll-out of the transformation, this role involves explaining the advantages of digital technology to staff and changing their attitudes towards it. In some organisations, particularly those that are set in their ways, such a role can be crucial in ensuring a smooth transition.
Digital transformation can have a positive impact on every part of an enterprise’s operations, from the sourcing of supplies and the acquisition of new customers to aftersales service and future forecasting. Faced with rapidly transforming competitors, the ceaseless rollout of new technologies and growing consumer demand for digital experiences, for most companies, digital transformation is no longer a question of if, but when. Hopefully, this article will have highlighted the main challenges that enterprises are likely to face during transformation and provided useful insight into how to overcome them.
For information about our managed IT solutions, visit Hyperslice.com.