Culture challenge in digital transformation

April 04, 2019 11:02
Digital transformation poses implementation challenges for corporates as employees are often suspicious of change. Photo: Freepik

A survey of senior executives of Fortune 1000 companies showed that 91.6 percent of the firms had begun to devote more resources to Big Data and AI-related initiatives.

But many off them admitted that their investments in new technologies were yet to yield satisfactory results.

Meanwhile, only 31 percent of companies indicated that they’ve transformed themselves into data-driven organizations. The ratio has been falling in recent years.

Company executives attributed the failure mostly to culture challenges, while technical problem was seen only as a relatively minor issue.

Having served as digital transformation consultant for a number of companies over the last three years, here are some of tips I would like to share:

First, a company has to clarify its business strategy, and find out a clear digital business model.

The clearer the goal is, the more focused the transformation power would be.

I believe a company should decide Key Performance Indicators stage by stage during the data transformation process.

Second, we should not underestimate employees’ resistance to digital transformation.

People respond in different ways if they view digital transformation as a threat to job security.

Leaders should recognize this and try to change such corporate culture by offering good examples.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 3

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.