Digital transformation in any organization is a very big change. But change must happen for any business to survive. The most recent report 2019 Executive Perspectives on Top Risks states that boards and C-suite leaders globally are most concerned about their organizations’ ability to transform so they can compete with organizations that are “born digital.” 

When organizations do embark on a digital transformation only 5% achieve or exceed their own expectations. Why? Because organizations fail to recognize one of the largest contributing factors to the success or failure of a digital transformation, people and their resistance to change.

Why Do People Resist Digital Transformation?

The first thought many people have when facing a transformation is uncertainty. They know nothing about this new technology or how to use it. It makes them feel incompetent, that their skills are obsolete and so they resist.

New technology ushers in a new way of doing business. People often lay claim to an area of the business for which they were hired as “experts.” For many, they also tie expertise to self-worth. Suddenly, their area of business is under attack. Loss of control rattles their identity as an expert and so they resist.

Digital transformation is a major technology impact that sends disruptive ripples throughout the entire workforce. People are creatures of habit. Disruptions are not tolerated well. They are found to be distracting and even confusing. People crave the automatic nature of routines. Change is not automatic. It is uncomfortable and so they resist.

Top Risks for 2019

  1. Existing operations meeting performance expectations, competing against “born digital” firms
  2. Succession challenges and ability to attract and retain top talent
  3. Regulatory changes and regulatory scrutiny
  4. Cyber threats
  5. Resistance to change operations
  6. Rapid speed of digital innovations and new technologies
  7. Privacy/identity management and information security
  8. Inability to utilize analytics and big data
  9. An organization’s culture may not sufficiently encourage timely identification of risk issues
  10. Sustaining customer loyalty and retention

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