Challenges of Digital Transformation

Challenges of Digital Transformation

In a survey conducted by McKinsey Global, more than eight out of ten participated respondents admitted having endeavored to transform their organizations digitally in the last five years. Yet, only a few of them seem to have reaped some benefits out of it. The survey pointed out that less than one-third of digital transformations have been successful so far. 

This points out that there are a number of challenges in the path of the digital transformation of organizations. If the organization is not able to mitigate these transformational challenges, the business would not be able to reap the benefits of digital transformation. This calls for a look into the challenges of digital transformation.


Implementing new systems entail an amount of investment. When it comes to implementing the whole hog of digital technologies, the investment needs to be substantial. In fact, a big digital makeover entails big-spending which can surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2019 itself taking into reckoning industries as a whole. 

The problem with such a big budgetary requirement is that business managers tend to bang their heads over the return on investment and in many cases stay away from the digital transformation.

Legacy Systems

Legacy systems are the biggest obstacle to digital transformation. It is the old operating systems and programs that are holding back businesses from adopting new technologies. Making subtle changes is one thing, but a complete makeover of the digital infrastructure means doing away with most of the legacy systems. Here again, return on such a huge investment and obsolescence of legacy systems is a headache for the business managers. 

Talent Requirement 

To accomplish digital transformation, the first requirement of a business is enhancing the digital skills of employees. You may need to enhance the skills of existing personnel or bring in a completely new set of people with the required skill set so that you can build the case for digital transformation. Otherwise, the return on your investment in digital transformation may become a cause for worry. You may also need to create specialist job roles like big data analysts, robotics technicians, etc. Here again, you need to thoroughly understand what skills you are lacking in and how to fulfill that requirement.

Talent Sourcing, Cost, and Retention

There is no doubt that new-age skills like a robotic technician, big data analyzer, robotic specialists, etc. are the latest frontier in the field of digital transformation. You may need to induct these people in roles to get a strong digital makeover. However, it is also a fact that these talents command a high price, and there is also a shortage for such personnel.  

Here again, it is the budget and problems with retention of talent that can make you feel like shooting yourself in the foot. 


To adopt digital transformation, one needs to have an appetite for taking risks. A risk-averse culture is not amenable to digital transformation. Yet it has been seen that in about 49% of digital transformation case studies, culture is the number one challenge. The best tool to fight this culture is to have tech-savvy leaders. Senior leaders, if they are tech-savvy, can represent the case for digital transformation. 

Aligning the Roles and Responsibilities with the Goals of Transformation

While digital transformation is a much sought-after change in the organization, it can bring a whole new change in the operations of the business. This means a change in the roles and responsibilities of employees. In fact, your employees need to have a whole new perspective about conducting businesses, transactions, and more. For this, you need to train your staff and make them ready for the goals of the transformation. 


In essence, there are a number of challenges of digital transformation. While budgetary considerations and return on investment are the number one roadblock in the path of digital transformation, talent, legacy systems, etc.are no minor irritants. However, a thoughtful and careful implementation can surely help to transform the business into complete digital entities. 

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