The fear of digital transformation

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2020, the start of a new era. My prediction? Even more digitalization and digital transformation within organizations. In 2019, 30% more businesses started a digital transformation process. The numbers are increasing, and more and more managers see the opportunities and possibilities of digitalization. Unfortunately, not everyone is as keen on taking steps toward a full digital workplace. Many businessowners fear such a transformation because of the impact and size of these projects.

 

But these fears are unjustified. Fear is the biggest killer of innovation. Don’t let fear take over, don’t get left behind. Here are a few of the most common fears concerning digital transformation as well as why these fears should not hold you or your business back!

fears of digital transformation

1. Fear of failure

Imagine putting in all the time, effort and resources to end up with a digital program that just doesn’t match with the expectations you had in advance. It is the worst thing that could happen and unfortunately it does happen sometimes. But how you can avoid such painful situations? I suggest consulting a digital transformation expert.

The digital transformation of your business (or even just one of your business workflows) is too big of a process to manage solely internal. It is also too important to mess up! Ask your network which external partners they worked with in the past to help you choose the right partner. What can a digital transformation expert do for you?

  • Evaluate the current situation
  • Translate your vision and goals into technical requirements
  • Come up with a tailor-made plan of action
  • Determine the timeframe, impact and costs
  • Training & support after implementation
 

2. The timeframe

It’s obvious to any person that the digital transformation of a business process can’t be done overnight. A full digital transformation process can easily take up 2 years or more! Obviously, smaller projects can be implemented quicker, everything depends on the scale of the transformation. A digital transformation project that takes more than one year to implement can be scary and overwhelming to many managers and businessowners. That’s why it is very important to specify a timeframe both you and your external partner can accept.

But it’s not only the timeframe that plays a part in the reluctant attitude of managers, it’s the disruption of the organization during that period of time.  The current business processes will be interrupted and a new way of working will be implemented. This operational change will most likely not go smooth from day one. Time is needed for the employees, the managers and the organization itself to get the hang of this new way of working, which is totally normal!! The reason you choose to start a digital transformation within your business is because you weren’t happy of the way things were being done. Not efficient enough, not fast enough, not thorough enough, … So, abide by the fact that a new process needs some time to be implemented and accept disruption when you know it will have a positive outcome in the long run!

 

3. Resistance of the team

People are inherently against change and in a business context teamleaders are the first to notice the resistance of their team. One in two managers are scared departments won’t overcome their fear of change and will refuse to accept a new way of working.

It’s difficult to introduce change, especially when you are talking about digital transformation. Many employees fear they will not be able to work with the new tools. The logical outcome is that they won’t approve the digital change. With a new digital environment comes technical complexity and user resistance. A new system needs explanation and the team needs time to adjust. Give them the training and support they need.

Another way to overcome this resistance is including your team from the very beginning of the digital transformation process. Ask their opinions and takes on the situation and see where they want to see improvement. Involve them in the decision-making and be transparent throughout the whole process. This way, it’s clear to your team or employees that the digital transformation is meant to be in everyone’s best interest. In addition, the fact that the whole team is involved will create a team spirit and mindset where everyone has the same goal: making the digital transformation successful and do better in the future!  

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