Emerging technologies and digital platforms put tremendous pressure on business organizations. The constant need to adapt, alter structures and change internal and external processes challenges the core foundations of a business. with COVID-19 demonstrating the importance of digital presence, business needs to get serious about pursuing transformation strategies. A digital transformation strategy needs to be aggressive, agile, and innovative.
While most business leaders are in consensus about the importance of digital transformation, they seem to lack a clear direction on the way forward. This limits the potential, creates confusion within internal teams and professionals, and impedes successful execution. The goal should be to move a business towards actual transformation rather than simply talking about the same.
In this resource article, we look to discuss the following important points on digital transformation-
- Meaning and Definition of digital transformation
- 10 Steps that can help businesses achieve digital transformation
- Major mistakes to avoid when leading your business towards digital transformation
- The Final Takeaway
If you are a business owner, CEO, or any other higher-ranking executive looking to explore digital transformation, this article will help you.
Digital Transformation: Meaning and Definition
First things first. Digital Transformation requires business organizations to challenge and change the status-quo in operations. It emphasizes a fundamental change in the way a business perceives technology and digital platforms. The end goal is to integrate technological and digital advancements across all business verticals.
A business that opts for digital transformation ensures that it is using tech, software, and digital tools to streamline internal workings. It also means that the end value that is being provided to its customers is happening based on technology and digital usage. This is an area that is essential for businesses of all shapes, sizes, and operating niches.
Everything from moving to the cloud to starting an Ecommerce store can be considered as part of digital transformation. It is not only the employees of a business that need to be on board when it comes to digital transformation. A business needs to ensure that its customers too can adapt and change to its new functioning.
The following are some of the Major Benefits of Digital Transformation
- Provides businesses with better data-driven customer buying insights
- Allows for improved sharing of resources between teams and professionals
- Boosts a culture of technological change within organizations
- Allows for better agility in business decision making and operations
- Prevents risks from cyberattacks and improves online security infrastructure
- Generates better sales, revenues, and profit margins for the business
- Increases work productivity, efficiency, and streamlining of processes
- Promotes greater transparency in operations and processes
- Delivers a heightened customer experience that builds loyalty
- Improves an organization’s supply chain management and logistics
Business leaders know that digital transformation can help reap rich dividends for their organizations. In the following section, we are going to list down ten steps to help businesses achieve digital transformation. To know more about digital transformation and how partners can help you, please visit site.
10 Steps to Help Businesses Achieve Digital Transformation
Step 1: Understand the Context and Value of your Business Landscape
Most businesses head to step two, three, and four before answering or understanding the context of their business landscape. Business leaders need to ask themselves some pertinent questions. What are they trying to achieve in customer value and experience through digital transformation? Or, is there a need to improve employee productivity by using digital tools and technology? Once you can place your business in a context, you can move ahead.
Step 2: Engaging in Competitor Analysis on their Digital Transformation
A good starting point for any business is to analyze what your competitors are doing when it comes to digital transformation. Have they started using social media aggressively? Or, are they investing in a new Ecommerce platform? You need to look at all areas. If you are a business of a similar size and operating in the same niche, this can inform you about what you need to do. This will also allow you to understand how far you are off from your competitors.
Step 3: Identify the Key Goals and Aims of your Digital Transformation
Every business might not be experiencing the same set of problems. While some might want to opt for digital transformation to help them increase sales touchpoints, others would want to do it to boost cross-team collaborations. This is why businesses need to identify the goals that they expect a digital transformation strategy to deliver on. This will help you form the roadmap and pursue strategies and make investments that will help achieve your aims.
Step 4: Paying attention to ‘Lifecycle’ Management in Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is a process, rather than a one-time engagement. This means that any time you opt for a new transformation, you have to be foresighted enough to pay attention to its entire lifecycle. Businesses need to be aware of all the effort and investments that will be required in terms of pursuing a single digital transformation strategy. If you are not able to see it through to its logical culmination, there is no point starting with it in the first place.
Step 5: Set Priorities on what Digital Transformation strategy you want to proceed with
When it comes to digital transformation, everything looks attractive. However, businesses need to make sure that even if they are pursuing just one strategy, they are on top of the same. This means that you need to dedicate effort, energy and money towards it. Set priorities on what should the business begin with according to the major pain points affecting it. Once you do this, you will be able to roll out your digital transformation with full effect and results.
Step 6: Ensure that the Leadership is on board with pursuing Digital Transformation
Any digital transformation process cannot be successful unless the top-most management and leadership leads from the front. CEOs, business founders and other higher management executives need to emphasize to the rest of the organization on why this is critical. Unless they show seriousness, lower-level employees will not be motivated or encouraged to fully commit to digital transformation. This is why such processes need to be cleared from topmost levels.
Step 7: Get the Investments and Budgets in place for formulation and execution
Successfully formulating and executing digital transformation strategies requires monetary investments. You might need to subscribe to expensive software, create digital platforms and invest in content creation. All this requires a lot of money if it is to be done in a manner that delivers good ROIs. Make sure that you have the complete picture as far as costs are concerned. This will ensure that you do not run out of budgets in the middle of any execution.
Infographic created by Clover, a POS system company
Step 8: Be prepared to face roadblocks and challenges in implementing Digital Transformation
Change is not something that most of us like. Your senior employees might not be to set in their ways of working. In other words, you are going to face stumbling blocks on your journey. It is important to constructively address these challenges and take everyone on board. Strategies might fail vendors might not turn up and timelines might be missed. The key is to have a committed mindset and see the digital transformation through.
Step 9: Focus on the Experience that Digital Transformation is bringing to the business
At the end of the day, you want to invest in digital transformation to improve customer experiences. The same goes for your internal employees as well. Are your customers engaging more with your brand? Or, are they facing lesser issues when it comes to buying from the brand? All these questions need to be considered to understand the positive experience that digital transformation is bringing. This is what you are aiming for after pursuing the strategy.
Step 10: Assess, Monitor and Learn from Data to improve the process
We have already mentioned how digital transformation helps generate valuable data. There is no guarantee that you will hit the bullseye the first time around. This is why you need to make sure that data is informing your decisions. Check for areas where you are going wrong and address them proactively. Look for bright signs in the execution and double down on that front. This will help you create a leaner and fitter business organization.
Common Digital Transformation Mistakes you need to Avoid Making
In this section, we are going to list down some mistakes that can impair your digital transformation strategies and journey.
- Setting unrealistic deadlines is a common mistake, businesses make. As a business, you need to understand that digital transformation can take a lot of time, energy, and effort. This means that things will not change overnight.
- Working with a poor IT team is the second major mistake. Experts suggest that investing in your IT teams will help drive change, leadership, and direction in digital transformation. You need to have the best possible IT teams.
- Neglecting the feedback of your customers can derail your digital transformation journey. You need to make sure that there are processes in place that are offering you credible insights from the customers.
- Investing in dated technology is another area businesses need to watch out for. This is important as technologies, software, and digital tools are constantly advancing. Make sure you are using the most recent and updated technologies.
- Hiring the wrong partners to help with your digital transformation journey needs to be avoided. You need to do research, review vendors, and engage in face-to-face meetings (if possible) before you hire or sign them on.
The Final Takeaway
Many traditional businesses have been able to execute successful digital transformation strategies. On the other hand, new-age start-ups have failed to get it right. When it comes to digital transformation, there is no secret sauce for success. There is no alternative to investing in the complete process and seeing results.
Digital transformation is the need of the hour for businesses in 2021. By following all the pointers in this resource article, you will be well on your way to executing the best possible strategy for your business. If you have any questions, you would like us to address on digital transformation, please let us know in the comments below.