Organizational culture is the main obstacle to digital transformation

30% of 348 RCGT survey respondents cited conservative culture as the number one factor in their digital transformation. (Photo: Getty Images)

Forget cost, labor or lack of practical knowledge/complexity. The main obstacle to corporate digital transformation is the “conservative culture” of organizations.

This is one of the main findings of the presentation of the 2019-2022 report on the digital maturity of Quebec companies, during the salon call – Business Digital Transformation June 9.

Editor in Chief BusinessMaren Thomas, presents this report by interviewing an audience of entrepreneurs Nathalie de Marcelles Warren, CEO of CIRANO, an organization that has published numerous analyzes on digital transformation.

Thus, according to a survey published in April by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (Quick survey about the digital transformation of Quebec companies), a conservative corporate culture is by far the number one barrier to digital transformation.

At least 30% of 348 participants in the RCGT survey cited conservative culture as the number one factor, far ahead of lack of knowledge/complexity of the process (21%), costs (20%) and labor (17%).

The time required to digitize the internal processes doesn’t really seem to be an issue, as it comes in at fifth (8%).

According to Natalie de Marsilis Warren, the fact that a conservative corporate culture is the main obstacle cited by entrepreneurs is largely due to a lack of communication within organizations.

However, despite resistance to change, digital transformation is a high priority for 81% of the companies surveyed by the RCGT (22% very high and 59% somewhat high), over the next three years.

This percentage reaches 94% for organizations that have already started their digital transformation. It rises to 97% for those planning to invest $100,000 or more in 2022, or even 98% for those who recently started Audit 4.0.

However, although digital transformation is a priority for the vast majority of companies, relatively few have made much progress on the ground.

Survey conducted by the Canadian Business Development Bank in May (Seize the Tech Advantage: Why Companies That Embrace Digital Do Better) with 1,500 SMEs that clearly illustrates this.

Four digital profiles with SMEs

Thus, SMEs are classified according to four digital profiles in Canada:

LATECOMER (19%): Use little or no digital technology.

Novice (47%): Use digital in customer-related activities, primarily to digitize sales and marketing.

Emerging (20%): Starting to implement digital enterprises at the enterprise level.

Advanced (5%): Effectively use digital technologies for transformation.

In the eyes of Natalie de Marsells Warren, the various items that emerged from the two surveys show that more support is needed to help companies accelerate digital transformation.

For their part, those who are making good progress in their technology transformation believe that the workforce is the main factor for success in the process, according to the RCGT.

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Thus, 39% of respondents cited this factor, followed by strategic planning (30%) and company culture (12%).

Other success factors, such as access to information, outside expertise, funding and time, are less important. Business leaders gave them 12%, 8%, and 5%, respectively, in terms of importance.

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