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Learn About the Challenges and Opportunities of Digital Transformation

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the obstacles that companies can face on their digital transformation journey.
  • Explain the business value of digital transformation.

It’s Not Easy!

Digital transformation can mean a lot of different things. At Salesforce, we think of it as anything you and your communities are doing to adapt and succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

We know that digital transformation is worth the effort. But change is hard. People don’t like change. There are countless white papers and case studies discussing digital transformation efforts gone bad. Companies have spent millions of dollars on transformational projects that didn’t produce the expected results. But every digital transformation effort starts with good intentions. Where do things go wrong?

Many times, the poor results can be attributed to any or all of the following.

  • Inadequate change management—Failing to invest adequately in change management resources can sink any major initiative. Transformation projects require a detailed communication and training plan for everyone involved. If your users can’t answer the questions, “What’s in it for me?” and “Why should I care?” about a digital transformation initiative, the project is likely to fail.
  • Lack of C-level sponsorship—True digital transformation touches nearly every aspect of an organization. Everyone across the company needs to be on board, and that starts at the top. As any veteran project manager can tell you, without the support of senior leadership, you’re toast.
  • Talent deficits—The skill sets of top technology talent are different today than they were even 5 years ago. Does your company have the brainpower to make the right decisions in today’s environment? User experience experts who can make beautiful apps for any device, data scientists who can extract insights from enormous data sets, IoT engineers to connect products—talented people with these backgrounds are in hot demand.

These challenges are not simple ones. Digital transformation can be a difficult climb. But knowing that up-front, and preparing for it, can give you the best chance for success. The good thing about challenges? They bring opportunities.

The Business Value of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is an investment. To truly change your corporate culture and strengthen your customer relationships requires money, time, and people. One of the great things about this investment is that it can pay off—handsomely. A recent Isobar study found strong correlation between an organization’s Digital Strength Index and its share price. This metric is an aggregate measure of the digital performance of the top 1,000+ public companies in the US.  It’s a pretty complicated calculation based on several dimensions (see the full details in the Resources section). The conclusion: Companies that invest more in digital transformation outperform their peers over time. Those companies are more prepared for disruption. They are better able to take advantage of new digital channels and build a larger, stronger user base.

Higher share price is just one measurement that can improve from digital transformation efforts.  Companies are also seeing increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction survey results, and improved employee productivity as a result of their efforts.

What Does Digital Transformation Look Like for You?

Now you know a little about digital transformation. To dig deeper into the subject, see the Resources section for some great additional articles that can get you inspired. 

And now you can start contemplating the digital transformation journey for your organization. 

  • Which trends from the Fourth Industrial Revolution are affecting your business?
  • How can you build deeper and more meaningful relationships with your customers, employees, and partners?

These are big questions with no easy answers. The good news is that Salesforce can partner with you on this journey. In the Salesforce Expeditions module we show you how.