Digital transformation can be a success or a failure, depending on how strong your strategy is. A good strategy should connect the digital transformation to your vision, and lobby all stakeholders to help make the digital transformation success.
While it is evident that digital transformation can bring success to virtually all industries, it is important not to implement it in a rush. Read on to discover how you can come up with the best strategy of digital transformation.
You need to figure out all the positive things, which you think a digital transformation can do for your business. Next, help everyone else see those benefits. If you do that, you will have succeeded in taking the first step of digital transformation.
You also need to educate all stakeholders about the basics of the digital world. For instance, many people have heard about cloud computing, and use the term “cloud” freely. However, few people know what the “cloud” is, or even how it works.
You can educate your employees about such terms, and help them see how digital technology will transform how they work. Tell them a story to help them see what a typical day will be like when working in a digitally transformed business.
Next, let them know all the benefits and challenges of digital transformation, and how they are tied to the digital strategy you are about to share with them. Finally, give them goals they can identify with and can focus on.
Your digital transformation will not be a success if you do not align them with your business goals. The alignment needs to be supported by decision-makers from the top, to make it a success.
The boards and CEOs should lead in communicating that transitioning to digital is in inline with the business’s vision. They should also list the expected outcomes of the digital transformation, and alleviate any “substitution effect” fears, of digital products replacing current processes, products, or individuals.
Since the digital transformation is going to affect all business functions and budgets, all business teams need to be in on the strategy. Overall, you cannot limit digital transformation to the IT department.
Rather, you should align it with the business, organization, or company’s vision, mission, goals, paths, heritage, and future.
During and after the digital transformation is complete, many internal and external stakeholders may need to change how they do things. That means that at some point, stakeholders will need to change processes that have been working for them.
In turn, that will change how to interact with clients or even their positions and roles in the business.
The critical part of this phase is finding ways to help everyone navigate through this major disruption, which the digital transformation will bring. To do that, you have to figure out who are the stakeholders and including indirect stakeholders, such as suppliers.
Initially, it may seem that most of them may not have a role to play in your digital transformation. But, they will have a great impact when you start to push your digital transformation strategy.
You can help the stakeholders to buy-into your strategy, by executing proofs-of-concept and pilot projects, before implementing your digital transformation. It is harder to anticipate what exactly is going to happen when implementing new technology.
To mitigate those uncertainties, you should incorporate stakeholder checkpoints in the strategic plan, to increase visibility into the project’s progress. That will play a big role in making sure everyone is effectively and successfully playing their part.
Once you have a digital strategy in place, it is important to identify the teams that are going to implement the minute details of the transformation. You need to know what kind of people you need, and the type of skill sets they should have.
Moreover, you should consider both capabilities and competencies, in order to be sure the team can manage all challenges they may face.
In terms of capabilities, you may need full-stack developers, data scientists, user interface experts, among other IT experts. The IT department team should be equipped with forward-looking capabilities, instead of being limited to commodity skills.
That will mean building competencies that align with the transformation strategy, by having a technical team that also possess some level of business acumen. Otherwise, hiring a network admin who does not have any business skills, will not do much for your digital transformation.
Most companies do not execute their digital experiments properly. What they do is collect digital products and offers, which do not bring any business value to their business. That is equivalent to collecting fondue sets and having them gather dust on top of your kitchen counter.
To avoid such scenarios, businesses should set parameters they can use to test digital transformation hypotheses. In doing so, businesses will have created a digital sandbox.
They can then act on what they learn from testing hypotheses and then adapt or discard their experiments.
Your digital sandbox will allow you to link innovation to the overall vision, make it easy for your employees to experiment, and allow sharing of responsibilities among stakeholders.
During digital transformation, you can expect things to go against general IT concepts of risk controls and management. Digital transformation is all about achieving business goals through technological transformation.
That means challenging the status quo, acting fast where possible, coming up with new operational mindsets and strategies, and adopting new technologies.
In that regard, you cannot achieve success overnight through digital transformation. Instead, digital transformation success comes through a careful and persistent implementation of digital tools and strategies.
At the core of it all is culture. Where there are people, there is culture. You need to develop a culture that can tolerate a possibility or risk and failure, accept change, and be ready to move with speed where necessary.
Do you need help developing or executing your digital transformation? Contact us now; we can help your business during this important phase of business automation.