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What Is Digital Transformation Strategy?

What is digital transformation strategy?

Also, why is digital transformation important?

Some insight can be provided by a Forbes report on digital transformation:

  • Digital transformation is already a top strategic priority for 50% of its survey respondents, who included top executives and decision-makers
  • Top drivers for digital transformation included new business models (41%) and new technologies (40%)
  • Innovation and revenue growth topped the KPIs used to measure successful transformations – 46% and 43% respectively

This report demonstrates that companies are taking digital transformation seriously.

But when it comes to designing an actual strategy, what’s the proper approach?

Companies who are still just beginning their journey may wonder where to start.

What Is Digital Transformation Strategy?

A digital transformation strategy focuses a company’s digital transformation efforts.

It helps maximize digital transformation ROI. At the same time, it aligns digital transformation efforts with corporate strategy and operational strategies within the company.

Given that digital transformation is such a recent development, different organizations have different approaches to strategic development.

Here are a few approaches that successful companies take:

Adopt a Digital-First Business Strategy

According to research from IDG, aimed at understanding where organizations are in their digital-first business approach:

  • 91% of its survey respondents have adopted, or have plans to adopt, a “digital-first” business strategy
  • Top objectives included creating better customer experiences (53%), using automation to improve efficiency (53%), and driving new revenue (48%)
  • Spending on technology and people is split roughly 60-40, respectively

Another key point is the adoption of workforce transformation agendas – strategies to change processes, structures, skills, and so forth.

The points mentioned in the above research can help companies design their own digital transformation agendas.

That is, they can focus on:

  • Creating better customer experiences
  • Using automation to become more efficient
  • Driving new revenue with digital adoption 
  • Transforming the workforce 

Naturally, any digital transformation program will be complex and multi-faceted.

These approaches offer good starting points.

Put the Customer Experience at the Core 

The customer experience, mentioned above, has become the number one priority for many organizations.

On the one hand, it should become a priority for the organization as a whole.

How exactly should companies approach the customer experience?

According to research by Adobe:

  • Design – 73% of brands invest in design to differentiate themselves
  • Customer Journey Maps – Companies with “well-designed user journeys that facilitate clear communication and a seamless transaction” are 57% more likely to have achieved their business goals during the survey period
  • Content and Experience – Content and experience management ranked among the top three priorities for nearly half (45%) of respondents

The report highlighted the fact that experience-centric organizations outperformed their peers. 

The three focal points mentioned above can serve as a good launchpad for any company that needs a focus for their digital transformation strategy.

Create Cross-Functional Teams

According to the Forbes report, less than half of organizations use cross-functional teams to develop or implement digital transformation agendas.

Most department, excluding IT, are unprepared for digital transformation efforts.

There are a few ways to get around this obstacle:

  • Have the CEO take control of digital transformation efforts
  • Create independent digital transformation and change management departments
  • Introduce a proposal to develop cross-functional teams
  • Undertake organizational changes that restructure and reprioritize digital transformation

To succeed, digital transformation requires a balanced effort on the part of several departments.

Creating cross-functional teams may be the best way to gain input from every direction.

Marry Human Resources and Technology

The Forbes report said that 56% of its respondents feel technology itself was the top contributor to successful transformation.

People, however, needed more attention.

This is a major weakness, claims the report. 

After all, technology is only useful if humans have the skills to operate it.

That is why the definition of digital adoption focuses on utilizing technology to its fullest extent.

Software ROI directly depends on employee productivity.

Here are a few ways to ensure that technology adoption and digital skills stay in sync:

  • Hire a digital adoption manager
  • Create cross-functional teams that include members from HR, IT, and the digital transformation team
  • Prioritize digital literacy in the culture and the organization
  • Develop a strategic, systematic approach to digital adoption
  • Develop digital skills training programs

Don’t prioritize technology over people, in other words.

Instead, “partner” them.

That will keep employees happy, while helping you earn the most from your technology.

Final Thoughts

What is digital transformation strategy?

In some ways, the answer depends on the company.

Every company will have a unique marketplace, product, and perspective.

However, the same underlying processes define every digital transformation:

  • Digital adoption
  • Workplace transformation
  • Digital skills training
  • Digital customer experience management
  • Digital-first business strategies

The best digital transformation strategies will be well-rounded and balanced.

The most successful strategies will pave a path forward with technology, while staying focused on the human experience.

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