What are the barriers to Digital Transformation?

How a Lack of Communication is Hurting your Digital Transformation

IT professionals are often far more than service providers for their business. They are responsible for acknowledging digital trends and integrating them into their own business strategy. These professionals know that businesses need to adapt in a rapidly changing environment of digital transformation. Trends show shifts away from the more traditional technological movement and towards a digital age. Some businesses adapt to the new era of digital transformation while other face barriers to entry. These barriers can range from cyber security to insufficient funds, however, the more common barrier plaguing the adaptation to digital transformation is the lack of communication between the business and its IT department.

The Root of the Delayed Transformation

The miscommunication between businesses and their IT departments is not a taboo. In fact, a recent CEC survey found that 45% of IT leaders are dissatisfied with their C-suite’s performance, particularly when it came to digital transformation. Smart Insights found that leaders often lack understanding of digital trends to make overall digital transformation occur. In return, when IT departments do not have a knowledge and understanding of that business’ strategy they will be unable to identify how new digital trends can be used to benefit that business. Why do they not understand? The answer is simple, the two parties do not effectively communicate, and information and data get caught up in information silos. The departments within the business as a whole share the same goal– drive sales and make a profit. However, the road to accomplishing these goals is often foggy between departments. It is crucial for a business to ensure that all internal departments are sharing the same road for accomplishing these goals.

What this Looks like for You

If IT professionals pitch an idea to undergo digital transformation, and the rest of the departments in the business are not listening, what happens to it? The answer is, it crumbles. When there is a lack of communication between departments, ideas run the risk of getting caught up in information and business silos. Digital transformation translates to implementing longstanding change, which ultimately leads to innovation and success. As mentioned before, the digital environment is constantly changing, and if a business cannot adapt, and get out of the silos then it will not survive. Niall McKeown with The Digital Transformation People argues that while digital transformation completely overhauls the business, it also recreates the product’s life cycle. The time taken to introduce a new product or service, test it, launch it, see it grow, watch it plateau, and then ultimately fade is cut significantly. When a business is digitally transformed, the product life cycle is condensed according to McKeown. With more businesses undergoing digital transformation, the more behind a company that chooses not to will be. This ultimately means a decrease in revenue.

The Solution, and What that Means for Your Business

Digital enlightenment is upon us, and businesses that do not adapt to this new environment will simply not be successful. Miscommunication between IT departments and their business is a barrier for entry into this new technological era. The combined departments share the same goal, the ultimate growth and success of the business. The departments may have different strategies to fuel the growth and success. It is imperative that these departments communicate effectively with each other for the overall betterment of the business. According to Patrick Forth, Senior Partner and Managing Director at BCG, “by 2020, 75% of the Fortune 500 will be comprised of names we have not heard of yet.” — Be that 75%.


CIO, Communication between IT and non-IT workers in a state of crisis (2015)

The Digital Transformation People, What Can Happen to Businesses who don’t Digitally Transform? (2017)

Smart Insights, The Top Barriers to Digital Transformation (2017)

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