Digital and IT

The Secret to Digital Transformation

  • Paul Vitic
  • June 30, 2021
digital transformation guide

There’s simply no way around it: we are fully immersed in a digital economy, and whether corporations like it or not, it’s here to stay. When looked at from an innovation perspective, this is far from a bad thing. Technology can be a lifeline. It also represents the difference between make it or break it for many organizations. Technology is what allows a company to best face a state of emergency—such as a pandemic. 

It’s no secret that organizations recognized as digital leaders were less affected by the economic difficulties of the recent global crisis. That wasn’t by accident or luck. There’s a direct, clear connection between success during an emergency and the maturity of a company’s digital status. It appears more and more clear that “the recovery will be digital.” 

This is why it’s so essential that in this day and age, all organizations work toward effective digital transformation. And companies that execute a forward-thinking digital transformation roadmap will not only survive but thrive. 

Who Are the Digital Transformation Winners? 

First and foremost, let’s figure out what a digital transformation leader is. 

A company that can call itself a digital leader is defined by a mature digital transformation plan. These organizations have shaped and molded their DNA so that new digital processes have become ingrained. They are embracing the digital age in order to create a more sustainable future—including better innovating, optimizing processes, and amping up ROI. 

It all starts with the mindset of those who guide the business. Digital leaders understand that it’s ultimately about two key factors: technology and people. They leverage the technologies that work as digital transformation enablers (such as cloud computing, AI, data and analytics, mobile internet technologies) and act from the inside to foster inclusion and diversity both at team and leadership levels. 

When a crisis arises, digital leaders are able to turn it into new growth opportunities by taking action and investing in disruptive digital solutions. Because this kind of transformation requires agility in terms of cultural and mindset shifts. 

A Customer-Focused Digital Transformation Roadmap

Whether an organization decides to invest in disruptive innovation or optimization of what is already at its disposal, a successful digital transformation vision must involve a customer-centric approach. In order to achieve and capitalize on digital transformation, organizations must keep the customer at the center of their strategy. A company’s end goal should be to improve customer experience and engagement. 

If an organization wants to achieve the most effective digital transformation, they need to construct a comprehensive, thorough, customer-driven plan that focuses on future capabilities. Remember: this is about people—an organization’s employees, their partners, and most importantly, their customers. 

A Guide to Successful Digital Transformation 

Working with clients across several industries, sectors, and geographies, I’ve seen digital transformation success — as well as challenges in adapting. The chances of digital transformation succeeding are greater if these factors are in place: 

  • Digital-savvy leaders are in place and on board with the direction
  • The business is building capabilities for the workforce of the future
  • People are empowered and encouraged to work in new ways
  • Day-to-day tools are upgraded and modernized
  • Frequent communication happens via both traditional and digital methods

Are these scenarios present in your organization? If so, then you’re ready to build out a digital transformation roadmap. This will take you from strategy development to a pragmatic framework, to execution. 

But first, you need a digital transformation manager to help your organization achieve the following: 

  1. Identify digital transformation objectives. To meet your goals, you need to understand exactly what you’re trying to achieve. Remember to keep the customer experience in mind across your goal creation. 
  2. Evaluate your current situation – honestly. Many companies have difficulties seeing the gaps present in their operations. Review your technology across each area of your organization, and document where things are slow, inefficient, or hinder productivity. 
  3. Envision future platforms across people, processes, and technology. Once you have thoroughly documented the areas where things need to be improved, you need to know what is at your disposal to close those gaps. What would the future of your company look like in your ideal world? What are the technology tools or platforms that will help you get there? What are the latest innovations across operations, HR, marketing, sales, supply chain, etc.? Determine your top 3 needs, based on the objectives you outlined, and then begin the process of choosing between and obtaining those technology partners. 
  4. Get business leaders as well as end-users on board. The C-suite plays a pivotal role in doling out funding for the latest and greatest technology. It’s imperative that you sell them on your digital transformation roadmap and have ways to prove the eventual ROI. Additionally, talk to staff before you implement any new technologies. These are the people that will use the tools every day—make sure you understand what will truly be used and helpful. 
  5. Create the right team. The proper team to implement a digital transformation will connect management, staff, project personnel, and third parties like independent consultants and digital transformation services experts. Ensure you create a diverse team that will interact with any new technology. Understandably, most organizations don’t have a digital transformation expert in-house. In these cases, it can ultimately save them time and resources to work with a consultant or outsourced digital transformation manager. 
  6. Develop – and then communicate – your project plans. A well-defined list of priorities, responsibilities, and benchmarks is critical to keeping your digital transformation moving forward. Ensure your project team meets regularly and communicates with any affected departments consistently. Make sure that your timelines are aggressive but adjustable (and realistic). Inevitably there will be some setbacks along the way, but having visible and measurable progress throughout the duration of your digital transformation is key. 

The Digital Future of Your Organization 

Remember, the acceleration of digital transformation played a vital role in the survival of many organizations during the new digital economy as well as during the most recent global crisis. But, as always in business, mere survival isn’t the goal—thriving is. And digital transformation is part of the most successful organizations’ formula. 

Companies need to become digital leaders that take bold action to capitalize on opportunities and capture market share. If your organization doesn’t have a digital transformation-driven DNA yet, it’s time to build it. It’s time to define the vision of your business’s digital future. 

Doing it alone may seem like a herculean task, but here’s the good news: you’re not on your own. Seeking out the guidance of a recommended digital transformation services consultant can be the key to your digital future.

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