Digital Transformation

The 5 biggest challenges to digital transformation and how to overcome them

While the digital experience is vital to a company's success, it also comes with many obstacles, according to a Riverbed report.

Out of 1,000 business decision makers, 98% agree the delivery of digital services and apps is critical to a successful company, but 95% encounter challenges when trying to do so, according to a Tuesday report from Riverbed.

Companies are aware of the increasing importance of a successful digital experience. Survey respondents reported that this success is measured by improved user experience and satisfaction (53%), greater market agility (49%), increased revenue and profitability (49%), increased employee productivity (49%), and faster time to market (48%).

SEE: Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (Tech Pro Research)

The failure of digital strategies, however, are due to massively inadequate systems. Here are five of the most significant barriers when working towards a better digital strategy, according to the survey:

  1. Budget Constraints (51%)
  2. Overly complex or rigid legacy IT infrastructure (45%)
  3. Lack of full visibility across the digital or end user experience (40%)
  4. Lack of available or appropriately-skilled personnel (39%)
  5. Lack of buy-in from leadership on prioritizing digital initiatives (37%)

Additionally, 80% of respondents reported that their digital applications and services are failing multiple times a month, which negatively affects user experience and productivity. A digital service failure can reflect poorly on brand reputation, impact consumer loyalty to the company, decrease sales and revenue, or even delay project releases, according to the report.

However, there are ways to combat these failures. In fact, 77% of global decision makers believe it's important for businesses to actively invest in improving digital experiences within the next year, said the report. Some key areas business decision makers suggest investing in are modernizing networks and infrastructure, better monitoring and managing user digital experience, improving service desk capabilities, and accelerating application development.

SEE: Digital transformation: A CXO's guide (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

While it should be noted that Riverbed is a cloud solutions provider, almost all-99%-of global decision makers reported cloud technologies as key solutions in digital strategies. The survey outlined some of these emerging technologies including data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain technology, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and 5G networks.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • The biggest challenges in digital business strategies are budget constraints (51%), overly complex or rigid legacy IT infrastructure (45%), and a lack of full visibility across the digital or end user experience (40%). — Riverbed, 2018
  • Cloud technologies, such as data analytics, IoT, blockchain, ML, AI, VR, and 5G networks, are key drivers in overcoming digital transformation challenges. — Riverbed, 2018

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Image: iStockphoto/Radachynskyi

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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