Guest blog: How to overcome digital engineering challenges

From: techUK
Published: Tue Aug 29 2023

Simon Pickersgill, UK Managing Director at Qualitest, shares his thoughts on digital engineering.

He explains what the most common challenges of digital engineering solutions are for organisations, and focuses on best practices for companies to consider to smoothly adopt new systems and solutions in light of these.


Digital engineering solutions have become a critical enabler for organisations to improve efficiency, quality, productivity, and end user experience (UX). However, developing and implementing these solutions also comes with its fair share of challenges. Outdated systems, data management, cybersecurity, compliance, and the growing skills gap are among the hurdles that organisations have to navigate before successfully adopting these solutions.

Overcome the bottleneck of outdated systems

Legacy systems pose significant challenges when implementing digital engineering solutions. It's common that organisations rely on outdated technology and infrastructure, which are often not compatible with modern digital methodologies and tooling. Integrating new technologies with old systems can be complex, leading to disruptions in BAU operations. Companies must carefully plan their transition, addressing factors such as infrastructure, performance, security, data migration, system interoperability and user experience.

Manage data effectively and securely

Managing and integrating the massive amounts of data that digital engineering generates is also a significant challenge. Organisations will thrive when they develop robust data management strategies that include data storage, rapid retrieval and analysis, and ensure data quality, accessibility, and interoperability across different systems. Additionally, as digital solutions become more interconnected, interfaces become a critical component and the risk of cybersecurity threats increases. Companies must prioritize cybersecurity measures and invest in secure systems, encryption techniques, comprehensive cyber assurance, and continuous monitoring to protect sensitive data.

Adhere to data privacy laws in an ever changing landscape

The implementation of digital engineering solutions must navigate various regulatory and legal requirements that shift and change continually. Companies need to ensure that their digital engineering initiatives comply with relevant standards and regulations to avoid legal issues. Data privacy laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the Data Protection Act (DPA) in the UK, impose stringent guidelines on data collection, processing, and storage, requiring organisations to implement strong data protection measures to avoid non-compliance penalties.

Work with the digital capability gap

Lastly, in terms of challenges, digital engineering requires a diverse workforce with expertise in software development, data analytics, system integration, and quality engineering. Companies often face a skills gap, struggling to find (and retain) talent with the necessary technical skills and the right collaborative mindset. Companies must invest in development programs, offer training and education opportunities, and foster a positive and interactive working environment to attract and retain skilled professionals.

Strategically approach digital engineering implementation

To overcome all of these challenges, companies must have all their ducks in a row before implementing digital engineering. Essentially, organisations must carefully plan the transition, considering factors such as performance, compatibility, data migration, system interoperability, and UX. This includes conducting a comprehensive needs assessment, setting clear objectives, and prioritizing projects based on their alignment with the company's overall strategy. Collaborative decision-making involving stakeholders from various departments ensures buy-in and support for these initiatives.

Furthermore, companies need to embrace emerging trends and technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, AR/VR cloud computing, etc. These technologies facilitate enhanced decision-making, optimized design and simulation, and process automation, leading to increased productivity and improved user experience.

Foster a culture of collaboration with your team

Embracing digital engineering solutions while effectively addressing the challenges they present can lead to significant return on investment. By streamlining processes, enhancing productivity and delivering superior customer experiences, organizations can position themselves for success in today's dynamic and competitive digital landscape. At the end of the day, it is crucial to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration while investing in the right skills and technologies to leverage the full potential of digital engineering in achieving business objectives.

About Simon Pickersgill

Simon is an accomplished IT Industry leader, with over 30 years of experience in Quality Assurance/Quality Engineering practices. He has successfully led delivery, sales, and business management in both the private and public sectors. Simon established and grew his own IT QA/QE and testing consultancy, with his business partners, which was acquired by Qualitest in 2016 to form the hub of their UK operation

Prior to his current role as Qualitest UK Managing Director, Simon held various senior leadership positions. His most recent role was as Senior Vice President, responsible for leading the banking, financial services & insurance (BFSI), the public sector, and the UK/Europe sales team. Simon is an honours graduate in History from the University of Nottingham.

Company: techUK

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