In a previous post(we discussed why digital transformation is closely tied to unified communications (UC). Digital transformation and the ability to take full advantage of technology in every aspect of the organization are driving UC adoption. At the same time, the ability of UC to enable seamless collaboration is critical to reaping the rewards of digital transformation.

In fact, the new Webtorials 2019 Digital Transformation Market Trends Report lists UC as one of the key technology investments to support digital transformation. More than one in four respondents listed UC as the most important or second most important technology investment.

To be clear, digital transformation shouldn’t be viewed as optional or a “nice to have” initiative. According to the Webtorials report, nearly four in five respondents said their primary industry is evolving to the extent that digital transformation is necessary for survival. Improving the customer experience is the only business priority that respondents rated more important than digital transformation.

Why is digital transformation such a high priority? Consider the benefits. The most important benefits cited in the Webtorials report are an enhanced customer experience, industry competitiveness, streamlined business processes, development of new business models, and enhanced productivity. However, digital transformation is fraught with challenges.

The top challenge of digital transformation, according to the report, is budget commitment. The benefits of digital transformation are strategic and long-term, which can make it difficult for many organizations to justify the necessary investments over short-term, easily measurable gains. Because digital transformation is also a long, complex process, budget reductions during these projects are common. 

For the same reasons, getting executive buy-in can be difficult. It’s one thing to get a budget approved. It’s quite another for leadership to stand firmly behind digital transformation projects, which is critical to success. Of course, the problem isn’t just in the C-suite. Employees tend to resist change and often push back against digital transformation. However, if you keep employees informed, convey the business value, and maintain transparency in your strategy and process, you can greatly reduce apprehension and gain support for digital transformation.

Another obstacle for most organizations is a lack of in-house skills. Digital transformation typically involves moving away from legacy tools and systems and implementing modern technology. Extensive expertise is required to create and manage a strategy, assess existing IT environments, analyze how new solutions can be integrated with business processes, and choose and implement the right solutions. Most organizations simply don’t have the expertise to manage the technology they have, much less the technology they need for digital transformation.

Finally, some organizations lack the infrastructure and maturity to support the modern tools that come with digital transformation. Do you have adequate bandwidth? Is your network reliable and available? Will your cabling support high-performance applications? Can you handle the increased traffic generated by big data analytics, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence tools? These and other questions must be answered and addressed before moving forward with digital transformation.

IPC offers consulting services to help organizations develop and manage their digital transformation strategies. Let us help you overcome the complexity and confusion that can easily derail these projects and help you realize the full benefits of digital transformation.