If the prospect of digital transformation is an unknown and intimidating quantity, then you’re not alone. Here at Impact we’ve been helping businesses with their transitions for years, and have seen it all.
Technology is transforming our entire world, and with it, the way we do business. Preparing to make the shift or update your digital infrastructure is no simple task for business owners and requires more than upgrading company computers and installing new software.
Having a solid and sustainable strategy in place for digital transformation is a vital part of ensuring that long-term expectations of improving a company’s digital processes are met. It is all too common for those seeking a change in their digital structure to have an undeveloped strategy and see poor results from their DX endeavor.
A long-term, realistic, and well thought-out strategy does wonders for the success of digital transformation projects of all sizes. Here’s our top tips for creating a solid DX strategy that will carry your business’ digital ambitions forward into the future.
1. Assess Your Needs
Strategies Are Often Let Down by a Poor Digital Transformation Audit
Understanding the needs of your company and what you want your digital transformation to look like are the principle factors of any DX strategy. It may sound obvious, but executives often find that they need to catch-up with competitors and subsequently implement an ill-considered program that is a poor fit for their current needs.
70% of digital transformations fail to achieve their stated objectives and are considered failures by business executives. It is often the case that the strategy to achieve the transformation is rushed or planned without proper consultation from experts like Impact. This can unfortunately mean that a DX project can struggle to get off the ground before it’s even begun and can lead to unsatisfactory results.
While there is no doubt that the sense of urgency prevalent in today’s business world points companies toward digitizing as quickly as possible, delaying and taking the appropriate time to conduct a water-tight audit of your company’s digital transformation needs is essential before pulling the trigger on a program.
The current increasing trend of spending on DX worldwide is reminiscent of struggles faced by businesses in the run-up to Y2K. Don’t be pressured by the competition into a DX strategy that doesn’t fit with the necessary changes that your company should be focusing on.
2. Emphasize Improved Experiences
Assure Staff and Consumers That Their Best Interests are the Core of Your Plan
Digital transformation is all about leveraging digital technology to produce better experiences for both customers and end users. When a successful strategy for DX is executed, the end result will mean a more productive workforce, a better-serviced customer base, and an increasingly positive bottom line in the long run.
Emphasizing a better experience at all points of the digital transformation process is important for a good strategy, particularly when tasked with changing significant aspects of existing employee practices or customer experiences.
Getting the message of a more positive experience for a company’s workforce is often a challenging task at best, and at worst can lead to a complete scrapping of a digital transformation project. Having employees onboard for the entire process from start to finish and being confident in ensuring a better workflow experience is vital to its success.
Customers are similarly impacted by DX and can make or break the success of a program. Making sure that precautions are made to ensure that DX will be positively received by customers is an important consideration. Ultimately, digital transformation should deliver a better brand experience to consumers and prompt more engagement with the company’s brand. Emphasizing improved experiences on both sides is essential.
3. Streamline Communication
Inefficient Communication Can Cost You More Than Just Time
Dozens of communication apps and platforms exist. Using too many or the wrong approach can choke information flow for internal communications, no matter the size of the company. Employees are often found to have positive responses when using effective digital communication.
An estimated two-thirds of workers prefer to use a company app than traditional communications such as email, intranet, or printed materials. Improving the productivity and speed of internal communications within your business is something that should be strongly considered when building your digital transformation strategy.
Analyze the company’s existing digital communication methodology. If staff are consistently spending time communicating with antiquated methods such as paper printouts and even email, it could be costing you a significant amount in the long run. Think about how a digital solution could improve and streamline communication between employees, saving time, money, and boosting productivity.
4. Make Sure The Transition Is Smooth
Be With Those Who Will Be Affected by Your DX Strategy Every Step of the Way
When business owners and executives outline their DX strategy, it can be easy to be led astray by solutions which are inappropriate to the company’s primary goals. Don’t get carried away when implementing a new digital infrastructure. Doing so runs the risk of overloading employees, confusing users, and creating unnecessary hurdles in critical business processes.
To avoid this, implement a strategy of transformation that is understood by those who will use it; staff and customers. If drastic changes are being made to the digital organization of key aspects of the company, ensure that this is followed through with a comprehensive and understandable program to train new users.
Sometimes, big changes are needed for a company to keep up with the rapidly changing digital landscape, but that doesn’t mean that these changes can’t be achieved in a smooth and approachable way for end users and customers.
5. Make A Plan For Data
Increased Digital Presence Means More Data to Be Analyzed
Likewise, developing a larger digital infrastructure for a company means new ways of acquiring and handling data. Therefore, a good digital transformation strategy isn’t complete without a plan for handling current and expected data which will arise as a result of significantly increasing the digital footprint of a company.
In short, the more you digitize your processes, the more data you must deal with.
It’s important to consider the following:
- How the data will be transmitted to and from customers, and within the organization
- What storage, backup, and recovery procedures are necessary
- The type of security is needed to store data safely
- Whether existing or outdated data needs to be cleaned up to make it easier to manage
Pro Tip: Check your industry for data compliance regulations. There may be certain software or storage methods you are required to use.
6. Align Culture With Technology
An Organizational Culture Shift is Natural and Necessary
Digital transformation promotes new ways of thinking about traditional problems and encourages companies to embrace change. With DX comes rapid change for businesses, and relying on older methods is no longer an option if a company wishes to embrace digital transformation—often a challenge with updating legacy cycles.
Developing a company culture which embraces change is an important part of any DX strategy. Successful digital transformations are almost always precipitated by a concerted effort by the company to accommodate and align the culture with the new technology.
This can often relate to ensuring an understanding of the new technology among the workforce and defining—or re-defining—their skills and abilities to better fit with the objectives and vision of the company after the completion of the DX process.
There are many reasons that a digital transformation might fail; many of them are because the workplace culture hasn’t been adjusted in a way that allows it to adapt to changes in its practices. This can have devastating effects on the DX process; employees can be resistant to change, unfocused, and uninterested in the new technologies.
Don’t push changes on a workforce without preparing them or there may be dire consequences to face. Communicate and be direct about what your goals are with DX and how company culture can accommodate the change. Foster your success by ensuring a willing and able culture can adopt transformation with enthusiasm and rigor rather than skepticism and hesitancy.
Develop A Digital Transformation Strategy That Lasts
Every business’ digital transformation strategy is unique because no two businesses are exactly alike. To learn more about how you can uniquely modernize your organization for the future, visit our Managed Digital Transformation Services page