Change Management WalkMe TeamUpdated November 1, 2021

Digital Change Management Stats and Trends for 2019

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Digital Change Management Stats and Trends for 2019

Digital change management stats for 2019 reflect some of today’s most dominant trends.

These include:

  • Digital disruption
  • Digital transformation
  • Digital adoption
  • Upskilling

All of these trends directly impact change management, which is being driven by digital technology.

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Let’s explore some stats that show where today’s trends will lead us in 2019 and the coming years.

Digital Change Management Stats and Trends for 2019

Below, we’ll look at three major trends relevant to today’s change efforts.

When we examine them, an interesting point emerges – all three trends revolve around people.

Though all of the trends relate to technology, the speed of change clearly has more to do with how quickly people can change.

1. Culture is a big barrier to transformation.

A recent report by tech analyst firm Horses for Sources affirmed the importance of change management in today’s world:

Success in digital initiatives is also less about technology adoption and more about people and culture (or change management).

However, culture is one of the biggest obstacles to change management.

According to a recent survey by the firm:

  • 65% of their respondents noted that digital is about driving new revenue and the customer experience, as well as harmonizing business silos
  • 51% of high-performing respondents viewed culture as holding them back on the digital transformation journey
  • 36% of the lowest-performance enterprises felt the same

In a report by Altimeter, 26% of survey respondents identified culture issues as barriers, such as entrenched viewpoints and resistance to change.

Altimeter’s Charlene Li also came out and said that culture is the biggest barrier to digital transformation.

2. The Customer Experience continues to drive change initiatives.

As we saw above, the customer experience plays an important role in pushing change initiatives forward.

  • In Adobe’s 2018 Digital Trends report, they found that customer experience optimization was the most exciting opportunity for respondents in the coming year
  • Almost half of respondents placed “content and experience management” as their top strategic priority
  • In a research report on the fintech space, enhancing the customer experience is a major cause of change, “with 72 percent of participants having evaluated and changed their customer journeys in the past two years”

These are just a few statistics that reflect a massive shift in focus towards the customer experience.

Amazon, Google, Apple, and many others invest extensively in the customer experience.

3. Skills are becoming a primary focus of change efforts.

Training, onboarding, and re-skilling are becoming increasingly important.

Every new digital tool has a learning curve, making education an integral part of every change program.

Digital transformation and change management stats have also demonstrated the growing need for digital skills.

For instance:

  • PwC’s 22nd annual CEO survey ranked the availability of key skills third on a list of threats to organizational progress
  • Respondents in that survey favored retraining and re-skilling as a way to maintain employees’ skills
  • In a McKinsey survey of executives, 66% of respondents rated potential skills gaps as a top-ten priority

Skills shortages are becoming a concern for many of today’s organizations.

Due to digitally-driven changes – digital disruption, digital transformation, and automation – upskilling will take center stage in the years to come.

Some have claimed that 50% of jobs are at risk from automation and will require upskilling or reskilling in the coming years.

What These Trends Mean for Change Management Professionals

So far, we’ve identified three major trends that will impact change management in 2019:

  • Cultural barriers slow down change efforts
  • Customers are taking center stage
  • Skills are a major focus in today’s transforming workplace

As we can see, all of these trends revolve around people.

It’s true that digital technology drives many of today’s business changes. However, people all the ones who drive – or hold back – those changes.

In this case, change managers clearly have their work cut out for them.


  • An increased need for cultural changes – The digital workplace is evolving. But as we saw above, cultures must also evolve. Employee resistance and entrenched viewpoints will need to be broken down in order to make progress.
  • More human-centric products and services – Despite the shift towards digital, humans are becoming more important than ever. Expect more change initiatives that place humans at the center of their strategies, whether they are product-based changes or internal changes.
  • A greater emphasis on employee training – Given the importance of reskilling and upskilling, expect a greater emphasis on training. Software training, online learning, and user onboarding will become more important during digital adoption.

Regardless of your role in the change process, it is important to recognize how these trends will shape change management in the years to come.

The emphasis on users, skills, and digital innovation will continue to drive change.

And, as a result, it will directly impact the change management industry.


The digital revolution is far from over.

Beyond 2019, we should expect these trends to accelerate.

That means a greater focus on users, skills, and culture.

Successful change managers will be able to think outside traditional models, incorporate digital into their business, and build a digital-first business.

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