The emergence of new technologies and the renewal of existing ones means digital transformation projects constantly evolve.
Digital transformation efforts often entail a multi-pronged approach with various altercations to modular IT processes occurring simultaneously. As such, transformation goalposts are perpetually moving, and it can be challenging for leaders to prioritize digital initiatives and discern which projects deserve the most attention.
A digital transformation roadmap can help bridge this gap by establishing a timeline of achievable goals, outlining each project’s objectives and the key considerations for its success. Such a roadmap should also include the necessary resources and technology investments to realize the desired outcomes and metrics for measuring progress.
Digital transformation encompasses numerous components, and business and IT leaders are tasked with facilitating the digital adoption of new technologies to drive business value in the digital age. However, McKinsey says when organizations attempt to improve performance through transformation, they fail 70 percent of the time.
In this article, we’ll share five solutions businesses and digital leaders can leverage when prioritizing digital initiatives and provide actionable advice to guide those at the helm of DX initiatives to spearhead digital business transformation.
Prioritizing Digital Enterprise Transformation
Getting a big company’s digital change initiative off the ground takes time.
Digital enterprise transformation is about adopting digital tools, processes, and mindsets that drive business growth. It requires continuous optimization, development, and innovation on numerous levels.
Economic uncertainties caused by COVID-19 and, more recently, the Russian war with Ukraine have led organizations to accelerate digitalization efforts to stay agile during an era of unpredictability. With many digital unknowns, it is crucial to have a process that builds clear and defined priority efforts to handle these transformation projects.
A Statista survey measuring the global impact of COVID-19 on digital transformation reported that 97% of respondents stated the pandemic sped up digital transformation processes in their organization.
As such, IT leaders spearheading digital initiatives must prioritize projects based on their potential to drive short- and long-term business value. For most companies, this could mean upgrading your aging file server and file system, migrating to the cloud, or investing in automation technologies to create more efficient and agile processes.
Prioritization is vital for digital initiatives, as it enables organizations to make significant cost savings and prioritize which projects should be allocated the most attention.
Driving Digital Business Transformation
Companies need to prioritize their digital initiatives to stay competitive in today’s digital age. It is easier to decide and allocate resources to suitable projects with clear strategies and goals. When it comes to driving business transformation, having a clear plan for digital initiatives is essential.
Here are the top approaches businesses and IT leaders need to be aware of:
Understanding Your Business Strategy
The first step in any digital transformation project is understanding the business strategy and objectives that need to be accomplished. IT leaders must understand the strategies and objectives of digital initiatives and prioritize projects that directly support business objectives.
Creating a Roadmap
IT leaders should develop a roadmap for the entire digital transformation process once objectives are clear. This roadmap should prioritize digital transformation goals and which projects require the most resources.
IT leaders should prioritize projects with the highest potential impact on the business. When measuring impact, prioritize digital projects that put customer experience and employee engagement at the forefront and those with the potential to generate revenue.
Testing Ideas Quickly and Automating Processes
To prioritize digital initiatives, it’s essential to prioritize ideas quickly and automate processes as much as possible. This will help maximize impact and help identify projects that provide the most business value.
An automated business analysis tool can help to analyze the data and assess potential projects in terms of cost, impact, and risk. By leveraging this technology, businesses can get a clear picture of the most valuable projects and prioritize them accordingly.
IT leaders should prioritize initiatives with the highest potential return on investment (ROI) and prioritize projects that can improve operational efficiency, drive customer engagement, and increase revenue generation. Additionally, organizations must prioritize projects that help boost customer loyalty and satisfaction.
By prioritizing digital initiatives with the help of these strategies, business and IT leaders can ensure success in their digital transformation journey. Prioritization is critical for organizations to prioritize resources, prioritize ideas quickly, and prioritize projects that provide the most business value.
Building A Digital Transformation Framework
Achieving optimal business outcomes means organizations must deploy methods for measuring progress, setting objectives, and deploying new business models at speed.
This means launching a digital transformation framework that prioritizes the implementation of digital-driven initiatives should be in the preview of business and IT leaders. Without a comprehensive DX framework, the organizational ability to extract business value from digital disruptors becomes a complex challenge.
A digital transformation framework lays the groundwork for a successful digital transformation.
Gartner provisions a two-part framework for accelerating digital. The first part strategizes how to set up organizational preparedness for accelerating business speed, and the latter encourages organizations to pinpoint areas that could best benefit from accelerated efforts.
Gartner says a successful DX framework should prioritize digital initiatives at the strategy, technology, operations, and organization level. This ensures digital projects have the necessary structure in place to accelerate transformation. Building a strong DX framework like those mentioned above will ensure digital initiatives drive customer engagement, increase profitability, and successfully navigate disruption.
5 Ways Business and IT Leaders Can Prioritize Digital Initiatives
Business and IT leaders today are under pressure to identify and prioritize digital initiatives that can help their organizations become more competitive, efficient, and profitable.
Here are five key ways they can do this:
- Dedicate Focus On One Primary Digital Initiative
When organizations split their time trying to complete multiple goals at once, it dilutes productivity and wastes time that could otherwise be spent honing efforts on a single objective. Business and IT leaders should identify which digital initiatives will best enable digital transformation and deliver value—increase revenue, decrease total cost of ownership (TCO), access new markets, or modernize legacy processes.
The primary development of one single initiative will undoubtedly interfere with competing for mid-sized projects that take up a large chunk of time to maintain. As such, organizations must be willing to sacrifice certain mid-sized projects to prioritize the prime goal.
- Complete Mid-Sized and Dependency Projects
Organizations must complete a mid-sized project that supports primary digital initiatives and operations processes to prioritize digital initiatives. These mid-sized projects may include digital marketing initiatives, launching digital products and services, or expanding digital customer experiences.
When it comes to choosing which mid-sized projects to table or work on can be challenging. If you want to ensure that the smaller projects you undertake will substantially impact your main goal. Organizations must ask themselves, will the primary objective be compromised if the mid-sized initiative is unsuccessful?
- Kill Initiatives That Don’t Align With Strategic Goals
Not all digital projects that look good on paper prove successful. That’s why business and IT leaders must be willing to kill digital initiatives that have a poor ROI or don’t align with strategic objectives. Identifying these digital initiatives is crucial for digital transformation success and should be monitored and reviewed throughout the customer lifecycle.
Additionally, digital initiatives should be killed when changes in customer needs or digital disruptors may make prior initiatives obsolete. By killing digital initiatives that no longer have a place in digital transformation, organizations can free up resources for digital initiatives that have the potential to drive business value.
- Measure The Value Of Each Initiative
Organizations must measure digital initiatives to ensure they are delivering the desired ROI. This requires a sound digital transformation strategy and framework that identifies how digital strategy is measured and tracked.
Business and IT leaders should measure digital initiatives against the total digital transformation framework, including digital business processes, models, and customer experiences. This ensures digital initiatives are continually evaluated and measured to identify areas of improvement.
- Continuously Improve Digital Strategies
Every day the digital arena brings a revolving door of disruptive technologies that require businesses to adapt quickly. To leverage and effectively adopt these best-in-class technologies as they emerge, IT leaders need to utilize strategic alignment methods of forecasting both the immediate and long-term impacts digital adoption has on business outcomes.
Organizations must continuously improve and update their digital strategies to ensure digital initiatives are successful. This could include identifying digital best practices, driving digital process transformation, and creating digital governance models to ensure digital initiatives remain aligned with strategic objectives.
This requires an agile digital transformation process that allows businesses to quickly adopt new digital technologies and processes as they emerge in the digital world.
Defining Digital Priorities
Determining which DX goal to prioritize requires a holistic approach on behalf of business and IT leaders. This means building a consensus from a diverse range of sources with competing perspectives that answer questions such as:
- How can organizations make actionable improvements for retaining the talent needed to initiate and accelerate digital-driven priorities?
- Does measuring competitor success better enable businesses to define their position in the digital economy?
- Are employees enabled to operate efficiently and make decisions in the interest of business goals?
- Do digital strategies provide the means of measuring success and failure alongside the tools for delivering improvements?
- Can companies grab low-hanging fruit and take advantage of immediate opportunities?
The Importance of Accelerating Digital Initiatives
Digital transformation is accelerating rapidly as organizations prioritize digital initiatives and optimize processes that put customer experience and employee engagement first and foremost.
Accelerating digital is about digital transformation and digitalization, which involves deploying digital initiatives ranging from digital marketing, operations, and customer service to digital finance, analytics, and AI.
Organizations must prioritize digital initiatives by understanding their business strategy and objectives, creating a roadmap for the digital transformation process, measuring the impact of digital projects on their business, testing ideas quickly, automated processes whenever
It’s important for IT leaders to prioritize projects with the highest potential impact on the business, streamline ideas quickly, automate processes as much as possible, measure performance, and fastrack those with the highest ROI.