CIO Insight: How to Anticipate Your Digital Transformation Roadblocks

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation (DX) Roadblocks: The Survey

This past week I was at Alfresco’s Sales Kickoff Event in Chicago, and there were some great presentations that tied into my recent theme of Digital Transformation.  In my recent post, CIO’s Digital Transformation Playbook, I outlined the 6 keys to a successful digital transformation.  We all know that road is plagued with pitfalls and detours.  Wouldn’t it be nice to tackle and plan for those roadblocks prior to starting your DX journey?   Here are the top pain points in order (as outlined by Alfresco/Forbes Survey):

  1. Technology (legacy issues/lack of integration) – As CIO’s prepare their vision for DX, they have to figure out their legacy impediments.  Are existing systems cloud ready and cloud adaptive?  How do you replace the laggard technology to enable transformation?
  2. Talent/capabilities/skills gaps – the lack of quality IT talent on the street is a definite issue when it comes to transforming business.  How do you find that Azure or AWS expert?  If you decide to move from an on-prem ERP, can you find an experienced project manager to move to your chosen SaaS vendor?
  3. Lack of collaboration between IT and LoB – ah, the same old story, the struggle between IT and the Business Users.  Cant we all just get along?  DX can be a painful and scary trip for the business, and moving to new technology or a new system can wreak havoc on operations.  Collaboration between tech and business can slow down the move, and may even bring it to a halt.
  4. Organizational Silos – digital transformation is broad and all-inclusive, and breaking down silos to enable a true digital “flow” between departments can be a heavy challenge.  This ties into #3, and now IT becomes a facilitator between departments internally.
  5. Disjointed processes across departments – recreating broken processes in the digital realm is a recipe for failure and challenges.  Process improvement efforts during DX can add layers of complexity, and also slow down efforts.
  6. Company Culture – I’ll never forget a conversation I had with a CEO in my past, we were discussing paperless technology, and he said, “I can see all the benefits and the cost savings, but my employees will never go for that.”  What?!?!  Company culture and attitudes can be a massive inhibitor when it comes to transformative technology.

Alfresco has some great posts on Digital Transformation here:

Digital Transformation: It’s all about the flow

Digital Transformation Isn’t a Goal.  It’s A Journey.


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