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Information Management, US: Cognizant’s VP & Global Leader, Digital Technology Consulting, Outlines How to Overcome the Top Digital Transformation Obstacles

“The road to digital presents numerous challenges as organizations strive to leverage advanced digital technologies to meet business demands, speed time to value and improve agility,” writes James Houghton. “The process is not easy, but addressing key barriers can help businesses overcome the challenges and build a digital transformation strategy that improves business operations and increases revenues.” Excerpts:

“In a recent study, top executives across industries cited three of their biggest obstacles to achieving digital transformation. While agreement on what digital really means may seem like the biggest obstacle, more than half said organizational restructuring and resistance to change were their top two obstacles, and nearly 40 percent cited the lack of key digital skills.

You should begin developing a solid digital transformation strategy by first establishing a small, integrated governance team with equal representation and influence from the business and IT, including security. The governance team will enable a clear line of communication between digital and legacy IT teams and ensure initiatives are synchronized so appropriate investments are made to harden core systems while securely exposing functionality that enables digital initiatives.

Next, identify a separate “digital exploration” team with deep cross-functional skills, for whom this will be a full-time responsibility and grant them the freedom to bypass internal rules and standard IT and change management processes. Empower them to experiment and test different technologies and have them report directly to the governance team.

As you embark on digital transformation, it helps to consider your associates in three categories: the early adopters, the undecided middle and the digital Luddites. Unfortunately, a certain percentage of your employees will never adapt, and it is critical to identify and neutralize them before they influence those who are undecided. However, an equal contingent will typically seek opportunities to participate in leading-edge adoption.”

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