“Digital Transformation” has emerged as somewhat of a buzz phrase in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Research by IDC claims that “The global spending on digital transformation technologies and services will grow 10.4 percent in 2020 to $1.3 trillion.”
That said, the reality is different. On the field, businesses are struggling to adopt a ‘Digital-first’ mindset, let alone migrate into an all-virtual setup equipped with the latest technology.
So the real questions then become:
- “What is digital transformation?”
- “Why do you need it?”
- “How can you achieve it?”
This blog will look at each aspect and offer actionable tips and strategies to apply based on your requirements. Let’s get going.
“Digital transformation marks a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people, and processes to change business performance fundamentally.” – George Westerman, author.
According to research by the SAP Center for Business Insights and Oxford Economics, a holistic approach towards digital transformation can increase productivity and profitability in terms of the benefits. Here’s what the data tells us:
- Increased profits reported by 80% of organizations that have completed the digital transformation.
- Increased market share by 85% of organizations.
- Expected revenue growth of 23% other than competitors.
- The transformational value is seen in customer satisfaction and engagement by 70% of leaders.
- More comfortable to attract and retain talent claimed by 71% of leaders.
If executed properly, digital transformation efforts can offer a multitude of business as well as customer-centric advantages.
How to Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy in 5 Easy Steps
1. Focus Your Efforts on Getting Buy-In from the Top-Down
Let’s face it. Knowingly or unknowingly, digital transformation will affect every part of your business. Hence, you must involve all the key stakeholders and the senior leadership as early as possible in this process and encourage them to share the company’s vision with the rest of the organization to be on the same page. The idea is to collaborate and make the transition as seamless as possible.
Not doing so can lead to informational gaps and a disjointed team, working in silos and scrambling to get their work done. The more involved and invested your team is, the faster and better your outcome will be.
2. Take Stock of Your Current State
Once you have the go-ahead in place and everyone is on-board, you can redirect your efforts towards understanding your current state of IT infrastructure and operations. Additionally, a quick analysis can help throw light on your:
- Opportunities and roadblocks that need attention
- Team’s skill-set and capabilities
- Existing processes and organizational structure
- Organization’s culture
Depending on the situation, you can either take any survey tools to process the data or do the hard work. Still, it will all help you identify your business priorities, allocate relevant assets and resources, chalk out your financial budget, and determine the overall project scope.
Handy tip: At any point, if you feel that you don’t have the required expertise and on-hand skill set available, make sure to partner with seasoned and cross-functional experts who have the requisite knowledge and can guide you on how to execute your plan best. This will prevent the occurrence of rookie mistakes and avoid unnecessary delays.
3. Align Your Digital Goals with Business Outcomes
One common mistake that most organizations make when migrating to a digital setup is not aligning their business goals with their digital strategy. This leads to cost shoot-ups, unnecessary wastage of resources, and your time, among other things. All in all, the importance of aligning your objectives with your strategic business goals cannot be overemphasized. To do so, start by asking yourself these questions:
- What business goals do I want to achieve for my customers?
- What do my digital goals look like?
- What specific problem/pain-point is my digital strategy trying to solve, and how can I align my digital strategy with my business goals?
Handy tip: If you’re confused about where to begin, simply look towards your customer journey map for helpful information. Also, when drafting your digital strategy, it helps to think ‘long-term’ and be ambitious.
4. Choose the Right Technology
Next, you’ll need to understand the kind of technology or suite of solutions that’ll best cater to your digital and business needs. First, start by auditing which tools need to stay and which seem outdated and hence, need to be eliminated. The next logical step involves doing your research to identify the kind of technology available.
Then, once you’ve done your homework, team up with an expert or team of experts and see demonstrations of the tools you intend to invest in. Luckily, today, there’s a wide plethora of intuitive tools available such as live chat, chatbots, project management solutions, etc. for you to choose from.
That said, remember that, like most companies, you will not be starting from ground zero. So, consider your existing infrastructure and opt for tools that can augment and add to your current capabilities. Long story short, investing in too many tools can lead to chaos, whereas investing in only a few can lead to an incomplete experience and deliver far from optimal results.
5. Design a Digital Transformation Roadmap that Works
The final leg of your digital strategy journey involves creating a roadmap that factors in critical elements such as:
- Infrastructural requirements
- Understanding the need to upgrade your existing technology stack
- Up-skilling employees or recruiting fresh talent
- Digital goals and business priorities
- A proposed timeline and budgetary requirements
- Roles for each resource as well as the area of the plan
At every juncture or milestone, take stock of your next steps and make alterations as needed.
Undergoing a digital transformation is not about mindlessly investing in heavy-duty gadgets and tools that are neither cost-effective nor sustainable. A digital sound strategy – true-to-its form – is one which preempts futuristic needs, nurtures – and reinforces – your organization’s digital culture and values, and of course, drives innovation. So before you even jump into the expansive world of tools and technologies, start your digital-first journey by staying aware of your current needs, driving informed decision-making, and executing with precision and agility. Are you pumped yet?
Savan Kharod is a Digital Marketing Professional at Acquire. He loves to share his knowledge and experience in digital marketing, social media marketing, customer service, and growth marketing. In his free time, Savan likes to backpack and explore new places. You can reach out to him on LinkedIn or Twitter.