We are currently experiencing a world-wide disruption in the way we work. Coronavirus has undoubtedly thrust numerous businesses into the digital landscape, and while some are struggling with the recent need for digital transformation, others are adapting — and at a much greater pace than ever seen before.
While digital transformation certainly doesn’t happen overnight, businesses must act fast and adopt the new changes, or risk falling behind. But how do you ensure success? The answer lies in our top 7 digital transformation tips.
7 Essential Digital Transformation Tips
1. Create a transformation story
Digital transformation is much more than just implementing new software. It involves:
- Cultural shifts
- New business practices
- Adopting new technologies
- Transitioning to business models that are more agile, customer-centric and data driven.
For this reason, you need to have a clear transformation story mapped out — it’s perhaps one of the most important digital transformation tips.
From the very beginning, your employees, stakeholders and each member of the leadership team must understand the changes being made, why they’re being made and how they’ll be implemented. It’s critical that you can also demonstrate the benefits of going digital, as well as the many challenges that may arise during the process.
Without all of this, and without everybody on board, your organization is going to lack the momentum it needs to keep up.
2. Engage a digital-savvy leadership team
When it comes to digital transformation, change must start at the top. And most importantly, this change must be led by digital-savvy people, not technophobes. By adding one or more people who are very familiar with digital technology to the top team, you’re far more likely to have a successful transformation.
A study by McKinsey & Company actually found that organizations that engaged a chief digital officer (CDO) to support their transformation were 1.6 times more likely to report a successful digital transformation.
In addition to a digital-savvy team, it’s important that every person in a senior or key role in the organization is committed to the transformation.
3. Take stock of your current technology
Before you start writing your digital transformation strategy, you need to take stock of all of the technology, platforms and software that your organization is currently utilizing. Make sure to note down the technology used for project or portfolio management, internal communication, marketing, reporting and so on.
By doing this, you’ll be able to identify technological gaps that you can fill with better, more robust systems. At this point, it is also a good idea to speak to your employees. They might have ideas of how to streamline processes using technology or be able to inform you of current inefficiencies.
4. Create a culture that welcomes change
With digital transformation, constant change is a given. Because of this, everybody from employees to the CEO and CIO needs to be willing to embrace technology. Senior managers (tying back into the digital transformation tip #2), should also encourage employees to challenge old ways of working and reinforce the new ones.
As obvious as it may seem, clear communication is key during a digital transformation. Throughout the entire process, you need to ensure that the benefits of and the reasons for going digital are consistently communicated.
In addition to this, teams must be able to communicate with each other effectively and efficiently — this is how you’ll be able to identify issues and find solutions to them as they arise.
Another key digital transformation tip (which also relates to point #6), is to adopt digital tools that make communication easier — this includes tools that make information more accessible across the organization too.
6. Use technology to work smarter, not harder
While it can be tempting to upgrade to lots of shiny, new technologies during a digital transformation, you need to ensure that any new software your organization adopts is going to enable you to work smarter, not harder.
This means looking for technology that is going to optimize your processes or operations. It also means looking into how you can implement machine learning platforms or use AI insights to drive future growth strategies.
With the adoption of new technologies, however, a new issue arises — training everybody. This is where a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) comes in.
The DAP works by sending contextual, automated navigational prompts to guide users through any task on any software platform. It eliminates the need to pull employees away from their work for training, increases productivity and reduces employee frustration.
7. Evaluate your strategy regularly
Digital transformation is an ongoing process, and it’s no surprise considering how fast technology and customer needs change.
To ensure your organization remains competitive, your digital transformation strategy needs to be adaptable and flexible. How? Through consistent and frequent evaluations. With these, you’ll be able to determine where you’re currently at and where you need to be, which in turn, means you can easily and quickly respond to changing customer behaviour.
Make sure you’re also aware of how to effectively measure digital transformation too.
Technology is growing and evolving rapidly, and businesses that don’t keep up will be left behind. The answer? Embracing digital transformation and all the changes that come with it.
By equipping your organization with the right tools, people, and information (including our top digital transformation tips), going digital will be a much smoother process and you’ll reap the benefits in the long-run.