Fix Culture to Make Digital a Success

Resistance to change is the biggest barrier CIOs are likely to face

According to a Gartner report, businesses with well-honed processes will often find it hard to adapt to new, digital transformation initiatives.

Resistance to change is the biggest barrier CIOs are likely to face as they attempt to execute a digitisation strategy across the workforce. 

In its ‘The Resilience Premium of Digital Business’ report, analyst Gartner has advised CIOs that digital transformation requires significant changes to culture and systems.  

A recent survey found that only a small number of organisations have been able to successfully scale their digital initiatives beyond the experimentation and piloting stages.

Research vice-president at Gartner, Marcus Blosch, said: “To change an organisation designed for a structured, ordered, process-oriented world to one designed for ecosystems, adaptation, learning and experimentation is hard. Some organisations will navigate that change, and others that can’t change will become outdated and be replaced.”

According to Gartner, digital innovation can only be successful when a culture of collaboration exists in the business, as people have to be able to work across boundaries and explore new ideas. The analyst firm warned that in reality, most organisations are stuck in a culture of change-resistant silos and hierarchies.

Gartner has found that issues of ownership and control of processes, information and systems make people reluctant to share their knowledge. 

Digital innovation, with its collaborative cross-functional teams, is often very different from what employees are used to with regards to functions and hierarchies – resistance is inevitable.

Blosch said: “The challenge is that many organisations have developed a culture of hierarchy and clear boundaries between areas of responsibilities. Digital innovation requires the opposite: collaborative cross-functional and self-directed teams that are not afraid of uncertain outcomes.”

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