Digital Engineering – The Challenges And How To Overcome Them
Digital Engineering is a change management initiative and it is quite obvious a business will cross a lot of challenges when it undergoes a change. Some of the challenges are employee-centric issues, structural issues, technical barriers, etc.
Digital engineering is just not a process of using new technology and software but it represents doing your business in a whole new different way that requires adaptation across all stakeholders.
A company should consider the following before undertaking a digital transformation initiative like how the employees respond to the change, how it will impact customer relations, the capital required for transformation, etc. Many of the businesses don’t include all these stakeholders while planning the digital transformation and hence will end up failing during the process.
According to a recent study, 70% of all digital transformation projects fail mainly due to employee resistance or lack of support from the management. Therefore, it is important to brief all the stakeholders upfront and make them a part of the digital transformation process. According to a Gartner report, 73% of the employees experience some level of stress due to digital transformation.
While digital engineering presents unique opportunities for organizations to innovate and grow, it also forces critical thinking and potentially reimagine aspects that are core to your business. Since data engineering projects are gaining popularity and use cases are growing in complexity, there are a few challenges that teams may encounter along the way.
1. Driving Adoption of New Tools & Processes
New software and tools might have superior output, but it is important the employees get comfortable with these new technologies. Experienced employees might feel that there is no need to learn a new technology and what they have been doing all these years is good enough.
To overcome this resistance to change, the management should provide adequate training and onboard the existing employees to the new tools and also ensure proper ongoing support is provided to them. It is significant to note that only 8% of the global companies achieve their targeted business outcome from digital engineering while others fail mainly due to lack of adaptation to new tools.
2. Lack of Change Management Strategy
According to a research report by Prosci, companies that have a proper change management strategy are 6X more likely to succeed in their digital transformation process. If a business decides to invest in a digital engineering initiative without having a proper change management strategy, it is most likely to fail.
A successful change management strategy involves building a strong relationship with all the stakeholders during the planning phase and making them involved right from the start so that they understand the importance of digital engineering and adapt to new changes.
3. Complex Software & Technology
Enterprise software is highly complex and choosing the wrong technology or tool might backfire and lead to failure. Learning new technology is not an easy task for everyone and one should also consider the integration problems. Business leaders should consider all possible tools and choose the most appropriate one that is highly suitable for their business needs.
4. Lack of Proper IT Skills
According to a recent KPMG report, 54% of the companies said they failed to achieve the desired success in digital transformation due to lack of technically-skilled employees. Some of the major challenges faced by the IT workforce are lack of skills in cybersecurity, application architecture, software integrations, data analytics and data migration.
5. Security Concerns
One of the core changes with respect to digital engineering is to shift from on-premise solutions to modern cloud platforms. Moving data to the cloud exposes it to third cybersecurity risks. Cyberattacks can happen due to system vulnerabilities, poor setups and unsuspecting users. It is important to have a proper cybersecurity strategy in place while moving to the cloud.
6. Culture Mindset
Established organizations with legacy systems have an old-school mentality. They are not friendly to changes and it takes a long time for them to adapt to new technologies which are not easy to learn. The real challenge is the cultural mindset. All the stakeholders in the company should be made aware about the benefits of changes and they should be willing to take a leap of faith and adapt to changes.
7. Talent shortage
A leading industry experts survey points out that nearly 149 million new digital roles will be created between 2021 and 2025. Like the great depression of the early 90’s, enterprises faced the “Great Resignation” in 2021 where 69 million Americans quit their jobs for higher pay and benefits. There is a worldwide talent crunch for highly skilled employees. Companies should have a proper recruitment strategy in place to hire the required talents and at the right price.
8. Lack of Chip-to-Cloud Capabilities
Chip-to-Cloud is one of the leading opportunities in the digital engineering space. One of the biggest concerns for IoT devices was lack of security and that is now taken care by enabling chip-to-cloud methodology.
Some of the leading examples of Chip-to-Cloud are autonomous vehicles and connected smart cars. As mentioned earlier, this requires either training your existing employees or hiring new talents who are highly skilled in Chip-to-Cloud capabilities.
9. Pressure on Engineering and Research & Development (ER&D) Budgets
Companies would like to upgrade themselves by initiating digital engineering but when it comes to R&D budget there is always a constraint. Some leaders will increase the budget for legacy systems which are only for maintenance. It is important for the organizations to calculate the required budget for R&D for digital engineering and allocate the budget needed. By 2025, digital engineering spending is likely to be around 1.2X over legacy systems budget.
10. Need for Reliable Partners
Thanks to pandemic and work-from-home culture, companies worldwide opted for end-to-end partners to help them with project management. Even though we are well behind the pandemic, companies still prefer a comprehensive partner and this has helped in cost optimization and efficient digital transformation.
How to overcome challenges
1. Invest in a Digital Adoption Platform
A new digital application or technology can only be successful if the employees are willing to embrace the change. By investing in a Digital Adoption Platform(DAP), it provides the proper training to the concerned team and enables a seamless onboarding process that will lead to a higher success ratio. A DAP involves
1. Interactive walkthroughs and user flows,
2. Product tours and onboarding experiences
3. Embedded knowledge bases
2. Create a Change Leadership Team
Analyse your existing team members to identify influential and innovative members and form a cross functional team that will enable and take care of change management. This change leadership team will create a vision for digital engineering that is aligned with business goals while taking the employees into confidence.
3. Align Business Goals with Digital Transformation Strategy
The initial step towards digital transformation is identifying the pain points of all stakeholders and coming up with the core business goals that need digital transformation and everything during the process should be closely aligned to achieve this goal.
4. Be Agile
Being agile means, taking advantage of new opportunities as and when they arise even if it means adapting a new technology in a short period of time. Never be afraid of new processes and tools that are likely to offer better growth for the organization.
5. Hire a Digital Transformation Consultant
Digital transformation is a wholesale realignment of core processes and tools. Majority of the businesses would have never undergone such a wholesome change and hence it is better to hire a digital transformation consultant who have already handled such a project successfully before.
The Solution: TAFF’s End-to-End Digital Engineering Solutions
Leading player in digital transformation TAFF has built end-to-end digital engineering solutions to solve next-generation, enterprise-grade engineering challenges.
We help enterprises bridge the gap between supply and customer demands across next-gen engineering segments such as Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, the Internet of Things, and others, by offering complete solutions and a robust and attractive partner ecosystem.
TAFF is one such team that have enabled many businesses to plan and execute their digital transformation journey. Get in touch with us to properly plan your digital engineering process. Contact us today for a free consultation