Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technologies across all operational areas of a business. It involves shifting to virtual technology and replacing manual processes with digital automated processes. Businesses transform their company culture and reimagine their business digitally to meet the changing market requirements.
Digital transformation has become a mainstream concept in 2020, with companies trying to reach out to their potential customers online. Teams are still hesitant about generating and implementing a digital transformation strategy as the digital sphere is uncertain and keeps on evolving. There are many benefits of digital transformation in terms of conversions, lead generation, and sales, however, not all digital transformation efforts turn out to be successful.
Here are 8 tips for successful digital transformation:
Be Specific About your Digital Transformation Goals
- There is no single solution or a fixed path to follow for digital transformation. You cannot simply implement a procedure and be done with your digital initiative. Instead, you need to be specific about your requirements, goals, and long-term vision. Are you looking to cut costs? Do you want to make profits or explore new markets? What new digital products do you need to design? What is the ROI you are expecting? You need to have a clear strategy and must convey the same to your team members. You can also look at the current technology trends and other companies who have moved to the digital space successfully within your industry to determine your needs. Companies usually aim to reduce time to market and improve client relationships through digital transformation.
Include Employees at all Levels
- Digital transformation, ideally, affects all departments and levels within an organization. Therefore, all employees need to be included and must play a role in the digital transformation process. From decision makers to tech-savvy staff members all should be involved in the planning and execution of the digital strategy. The company culture itself needs to shift and evolve for digital transformation to occur. Make sure all your employees are on board, listen to their suggestions, and ensure that all departments contribute to your overall strategy. This step will also help you assign well-defined roles to employees based on their skill set from the start.
Utilize and Update your Tech Stack
- Once everyone is on board, take an inventory of your company’s tech stack and resources before you begin planning. This step will let you identify your strengths and weaknesses, the technical competencies of your organization, and gaps in the system. By tracking down all the tools you have invested in, you will gain an understanding of how you can make your strategy more effective. In most cases, companies may have to replace their ongoing systems with better technologies. Digital transformation is not just about reaching more customers, it also requires organizations to invest in technologies that will support their employees in the long run.
Communication is Key
- During digital transformation, clear communication is needed. You need to ensure that your entire digital strategy is being consistently communicated to all the employees to reap its benefits. You must be able to explain why certain processes are being implemented and what is the end goal for those involved. Teams must communicate with each other to figure out the issues and work towards resolving them as they arise. Use communication tools to make communication between teams easier and keep vital information accessible.
Invest in the Right Tools
- Now that you have prepared your digital transformation plan, you will need to invest in these types of tools:
- Cloud Computing: Cloud computing tools allow businesses to maintain, manage, process, analyze, secure, and store their data on internet-based servers. These tools will upgrade your outdated IT infrastructure and will allow you to integrate technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Automation: Automation will allow your employees to focus on essential tasks, while the manual and tedious tasks are managed by computer systems.
- Data Analytics: From consumer behavior, finance, sales, and marketing processes, advanced analytics help businesses gain all the necessary insights. They also encourage businesses to break up silos, allowing teams to respond to changes and challenges in real-time.
- When mapping out your digital transformation strategy you need to think about streamlining operations and it is always a good idea to consider outsourcing your digital initiatives. Assess your team’s abilities and define the methods and procedures to be used beforehand to improve workflows. Outsourcing digital transformation will help you mitigate risk and is cost-effective especially for start-ups. You will have access to scalability, industry experts, and good quality resources when you outsource. In addition to these benefits, your team will have more time to focus on core business activities, while the development company takes care of your digital transformation.
Take a Data-Driven Approach
- Your organization should be receptive to change and must dedicate time and resources to collect and analyze data. Monitoring and evaluating data and metrics regularly is important as it will drive your decision making in terms of your future digital initiatives. Data will allow you to understand customers better and provide them with a personalized experience in the future. If you are identifying certain issues with your digital strategy, the best practice will be to collect data on that specific area and take the required action based on the findings.
Evaluate and Make Regular Adjustments
- The digital space is dynamic thus you need to modify and improve your digital transformation efforts over time. You need to check your performance, the customer feedback, and if your business processes have become more efficient. These things will help you assess what is working for you and what the problematic areas are in your strategy. To stay ahead in the market your digital transformation strategy needs to be flexible, customer-centric, and adaptable. Evaluating your plan and modifying it will allow you to understand and respond to changing customer behaviors.
Many companies struggle with digital transformation and it’s completely normal as there are several factors involved in the process. By following the above tips, you can modify your digital transformation efforts and set your business up for success in the coming years. Keep implementing new and improved strategies even if you fail at first. Reading up on best practices, new technologies, and digital transformation techniques will help you identify and correct the gaps in your current strategy. Be receptive to change to take your business to a next level through digitization.