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The Top barriers to Digital Transformation

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 10 Aug, 2017
Essential Essential topic

Chart of the Day: What challenges do a successful digital transformation programme need to overcome?

Our latest Managing Digital Marketing Research report showed that many businesses are actively pursuing Digital Transformation with over one-quarter (30%) of businesses already having a transformation programme in place. 33% are planning to start a digital transformation programme within the next 12 months.

By its very nature, successful digital transformation requires significant changes to diverse areas including marketing, technology, and skills. This new July article from the McKinsey Quarterly highlights a range of challenges according to a survey of senior respondents in large businesses. It's useful since it highlights the main risks that need to be managed in a transformation project:

The biggest challenge featured as the headline and recommendations of the McKinsey article is not digital-specific, but relevant to any large change management project, i.e. Cultural and Behavioural changes.

The other challenges noted are less surprising, these include marketing technology suggested by lack of IT infrastructure; lack of digital marketing skills and talent, creating the right structure and processes.

The high rating of 'lack of understanding of digital trends' as a challenge is surprising since there is a lot of information available on these relating to new business models, changing consumer technology adoption such as smartphones and techniques such as Machine Learning and AI for Marketing. Perhaps the real challenge here is prioritizing where investments in digital marketing and technology will have the biggest impact.

  • Source: McKinsey Quarterly, July 2017, Culture for a Digital Age
  • Sample: 2135 respondents in large organizations worldwide
  • Recommended Smart Insights toolkit: Managing Digital Transformation includes the 7 Steps to Managing Digital Transformation and Change Management Success Factors guides
Auhtor's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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