Having an articulate vision of your company’s future is a vital part of your success.
Establishing milestones for your company’s development, charting business models and ways to achieve your goals are essential parts of such a vision. Digital transformation is the facilitator in building that vision.
The need for digital components to this business vision is no longer a “nice to have”. Nowadays, digital accelerators have become an expectation rather than novelty. But in order for them to add value to the business, they need to be part of a coherent digital transformation framework.
What is a digital transformation framework?
All the major development trends in 2019 are technology-based. These digital innovations will enter the enterprise world in time.
In order to remain competitive in the evolving digital landscape, businesses must develop a digital transformation framework. Simply put, it’s a master plan, a roadmap of how your company will become a digital-first organization.
How to create a digital transformation framework
Before starting to develop a digital transformation framework, it is important to understand that this kind of change is not a quick-to-do-and-then-it’s-done thing. It is a process that requires constant flexibility and adaptability from your enterprise.
Changes will occur bit by bit, and many enterprises will require an entire culture, values, and structure transformation in order to succeed.
1. Define the course of action
Every plan starts with an idea. You must have a clear vision of what is the ultimate goal of digital transformation for your company.
Simply following market trends is not a good motivation for change; decisions should be based on careful evaluation of customer needs and internal goals in relation to modern technology and its benefits.
2. Build the strategy
The first thing to do is select a transformation management team. Digital transformation is a complicated process that can’t be done efficiently by one person. You will have to choose people to share this journey with you.
Keep in mind that you will need people who are not just reliable, they also need to have the energy to kick off and champion the upcoming changes. Consider hiring an outside consultant if you don’t have the required skills internally.
The second step is drafting the plan.
- Determine and define the current state of affairs in your company. Then, identify the motivation and available resources to be used in the upcoming transformation.
- List the areas of the business that require digital transformation and prioritize what will come first to create a queue for the areas to be transformed. You will need to structure the process as if the whole transformation is a chain reaction. For instance, if your goal is to install a new CRM you will have to start with the capability of your network. Next, you will need to decide what to do with your old data (whether it be synchronized with the new system).
- Plan your budget and always leave some room for unexpected factors. The common problem of enterprises during digital transformation is that they misread financial requirements, so a huge gap forms between expenditure and impact.
- Create a roadmap that will define success at every stage of transformation. In addition, consider the less favorable scenarios and the course of action in case some elements of your digital transformation fail. Don’t hesitate to analyze your competitors, you might learn from their mistakes and victories.
- Always keep in mind your employees. You, as a leader, will be a compass in this journey of digital transformation. Take note that digital adoption can necessitate a change of mindset. Therefore, it will be your duty as a leader to explain the changes in work culture to your employees. You will have to present the benefits and detailed process to them; otherwise, obscure and spontaneous changes may result in resistance on their side.
- Keep in touch with your customers and partners about upcoming changes. Give them an outline of how the changes will unfold and what benefits it will bring to your relationship. Don’t lose a moment to teach your audience about new technologies. It’s crucial for them to adopt new digital accelerators to keep choosing you.
- When the changes are in action, it’s essential to assess them. Keep an eye on the process. Do surveys and collect feedback at every stage. You will also have to review your evaluation methods because new milestones might not align with old benchmarks.
3. Things to avoid
Don’t confine your changes to technology only. Remember that the ultimate goal of digital transformation is human and business optimization. Merely implementing a new digital accelerator won’t necessarily achieve this.
As an example, employee training is a crucial part of successful digital adoption. If your workers don’t know how to use the new tool properly, all your work will go down the drain.
Avoid silos during the process. While there may be specific requirements depending on the department or tool, transformation as a whole needs to be a shared goal of your company. Therefore, it’s essential that your departments share their experiences and problems. Communication is key to successful adoption.
Digital transformation is a hard but necessary step for success-oriented enterprises. Your digital transformation framework is the essential component of true modernization, allowing your organization to become digitally dextrous and profitable. The main thing to remember is that patience is a virtue; a steady, balanced strategy will yield the best results.