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The biggest barriers to digital transformation and acceleration in industry: Part 1

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

New technology continues to transform the face of the modern workplace. Digital transformation is now imperative across every industry, as systems become more interconnected, processes become automated, and data becomes more readily available. Yet, the speed of digital transformation in capital-intensive industries remains slow despite numerous advances in technology enabling digital adoption.

The prospect of transformational change can seem overwhelming in terms of time, resources, and knowledge. This kind of change can be difficult, particularly as traditional, paper-based siloed methods have worked for decades. For executives and business leaders, transformational change may elicit concern about time to value and the length of implementation, data security, and the cost of significant cultural and organizational adjustments. On-site employees and managers may feel concerned about developing new technology skill sets, job security, and a loss of control.

In the age of Industry 4.0, digital transformation allows companies to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world and release all the inherent advantages of digitizing their assets and sites.

We’ll dive into the details on the following 8 common barriers to digital adoption and transformation in capital intensive businesses in this four-part series:

Cyber security concerns

As technology and knowledge of the tech space evolves and grows, so do incidents related to cybersecurity breaches.

Replacing legacy systems is difficult

Many organizations in capital-intensive industries are using systems that are decades old, and which pose a challenge to new shiny, smart IoT technologies.

Linking digital investments with business goals

It is not impossible to link technology investments with business goals. In fact, it should be a requirement.

Knowledge gaps across the business and problems with silos

There are expected differences and traditional silos regarding digital knowledge and information access between departments.

Employee resistance to change and a risk averse culture

The fear of being usurped by an AI is quite real, especially amongst site and factory-floor workers. This resistance can be the biggest challenge your digital transformation initiative will face.

Proof-of-concepts that don’t make it to production

When it comes to machine learning and artificial intelligence, data science fails to take proof-of-concepts into development.

Lack of leadership buy-in and support

If leadership does not buy in, you will not succeed, or at least not in time to stay on pace with your industry.

Choosing the wrong technology partner

It is common in the initial stages of digital transformation to invest in too many vendors. It is also common to invest in the wrong vendors.

Stay tuned for the next part in the series, where we dive deeper into the first three barriers to digital transformation: cybersecurity concerns, difficulty replacing legacy systems, and linking investment with business goals.

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