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5 Reasons Why Organizations Find It Hard to Go Digital

November 17, 2021
By Ron CrabtreeNovember 17, 2021

Until 2021, only 15 percent of organizations had prioritized digital transformation, according to Forrester. These are low numbers, given that most companies and businesses were forced to shift online due to the pandemic.

The remaining 85 percent of organizations are working extra hard to keep up with the numerous digital transitions, with little effect. Is it because they lack access to technologies or in-house expertise to properly make the necessary changes happen? Let's examine why companies find it hard to embrace the digital transition and what digital transformation barriers you might be experiencing.

warehouse workers using tablet and overcoming digital transformation barriers

1. Inadequate expertise about the digital transformation concept

Having no clarity of thought among CEOs and business owners is one of the biggest barriers to digital transformation in companies. In 2020, Ford, a giant brand, asked their CEO to step down as he was unable to provide digital solutions to cope with rivals.

Digital transformation requires several initiatives that some of the top-level executives fail to embrace. Some leaders even find it hard to precisely define digitalization to their employees.

Others think that digital upgrades require costly, complex tools and technology. What they may not know is that digital amendments mainly need precise planning and the willingness to accept adjustments to how work gets done.

2. No implementation knowledge

For any organization to successfully transition digitally, there has to be a committed and highly trained IT team in place. However, companies are finding it hard to build such a team. This is because top brands are always ready to absorb the few available experts.

2020 survey showed that at least 54 percent of companies were unable to pursue their digital transformation objectives due to a shortage of skills. This varied from lacking experts in technical architecture to struggling to find cybersecurity gurus.

One way organizations can avoid this challenge is through hiring experts and IT consultants outside their setting. This plays a pivotal role in supplementing your team.

3. Resistance to change

The most critical step in accepting the reality of digital transformation is the ability to accept changes. Even with the best strategy and sufficient budget ready, you can't implement a robust digital transformation plan without developing measures to govern your organization's broad changes.

Employees tend to resist developments in an enterprise because of lacking satisfactory information on the impact the new technology may have on their work. As such, it's essential to establish clear communication channels across the organization. In addition, initiate a good company culture that makes it easy to persuade your workforce whenever there are any changes.

4. Fear of retrenchment

New technologies create fear and anxiety among employees, as they have genuine concerns about losing their jobs. This is usually attributable to misinformation about the impact digital transformation may have. As a result, many leaders and owners of organizations are reluctant to begin the digitization journey.

They are apprehensive that these changes will create disruptions that may affect productivity and profits. However, digital changes involve making employees part of the game-changers. It requires training and giving them central roles throughout the transformation process.

5. Lack of a clear strategy

Digital transformation is a term many companies struggle to understand, particularly what it takes to achieve it. It has pushed many organizations into making decisions to go digital without knowing what the journey entails.

Starting without transparent goals and priorities, or a logical interpretation of your stakeholders, will only make it difficult for your transformation to take off. That's why it's advisable to hire an experienced expert to do the homework for you.

Lack of a coherent strategy also affects your budgeting. In the absence of sound knowledge regarding the scope of your project, you may end up making decisions that only balloon your budget, leading to losses.


Despite all the barriers to digital transformation, there are so many benefits of being online, including flexibility, improved transparency, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency, among others. Have you been hesitant because you don't know where to start? Or maybe you don't have the right developer yet? We can help you make your way into the digital world and reap all of its rewards.


About Ron Crabtree

Ron Crabtree, President of MetaOps, Inc., is an organizational transformation coach/trainer, operational excellence (OpEx) adjunct facilitator at Villanova University, Lean and Six Sigma (LSS) speaker, author and thought leader in business process improvement/re-engineering (BPI/BPR). He is a consultant to private industry and government agencies in supply chain management, design of experiments (DOE), statistical process control (SPC), advanced quality systems (AQS), program evaluation review technique (PERT), enterprise resource planning (ERP), demand flow, theory of constraints, organizational change management, and value stream/process mapping and management. Ron has a BA in Management and Organizational Development, is a Master LSS Black Belt, and is Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Integrated Resource Management (CIRM), and Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) by American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). If you are an executive and would like to chat with Ron about anything related to business process improvement and operational excellence, please get on his calendar here:


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