With a digital transformation roadmap, implementing new technologies via digital transformation can often seem overly complex and full of buzzwords and acronyms. But, when boiling it down, it really isn’t that complicated. In its most basic form, digital transformation is the process of updating and modernizing your business and preparing for the future using digital technology.
Businesses often view DX with a mixture of enthusiasm and caution. You’re excited because of the immense possibilities that can be achieved with a successful transformation. But anxious because of the high percentage of transformations that are deemed unsuccessful, often after heavy investment into their implementation.
Coupled with a common (sometime organization-wide) reluctance to change—or an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mindset—digital transformation can be a difficult endeavor to plan for. But at the heart of every successful DX is a comprehensive strategy for achieving it which can be clearly visualized using a handy 6-step roadmap.
See what it takes to quickly and effectively implement a digital transformation project. Download the eBook, Fast-Tracking Your Digital Transformation, to learn more.
What is a Roadmap in Business?
A roadmap in business is a visualization of long-term strategic planning. Oftentimes, a roadmap accompanies a complex plan or strategy that, when on paper, might seem complicated. Visualizing that same process in a roadmap helps people wrap their brains around each step, identifying key goals and stepping stones that will allow an organization to move forward.
For Digital Transformation, a roadmap breaks down a complex transformation process into just a few key goals that, when accomplished, will show tangible improvements in your business.
Why Do You Need a Digital Transformation Plan?
Businesses need a plan for digital transformation because to have a successful transformation, you need everything to go right and that can’t be done without planning carefully.
Modern-day employees expect positive experiences from technology changes. Without a plan, you risk overloading them by introducing too much too quickly and you risk setting your entire transformation back by rushing implementation.
Additionally, security is a vital part of business technology and your network and business are at risk during states of change. Everything must be done with security in mind, being careful not to open up new vulnerabilities.
High-level Goals of a Digital Transformation Roadmap
There are typically four goals to a digital transformation roadmap at the end of a long-term digital transformation:
- Improving Operational Efficiency: Use automation and other DX tools to streamline processes, removing any snags or roadblocks, and allowing operations to run smoother with less necessary human intervention.
- Enhancing Customer Engagement: Create smoother, easier experiences for customers using custom applications and more optimized transaction processes.
- Implementing New Business Models: Set the technology foundation that will allow you to easily implement exciting new ideas going forward.
- Modernizing Core Systems: Stay at the forefront of technology by updating the core systems of your business, allowing you to keep up with competitors and continuously offer the best possible experiences for your customers and employees.
Digital Transformation Roadmap
At Impact, we have a 6-step roadmap that has helped many businesses achieve a successful transformation, improving many aspects of their organization. With a basis in security and a focus on improving the most key areas of business, this roadmap will help you understand how a digital transformation process works.
1. Secure Your Network
The first step is to secure the network. With nearly half of all cyberattacks falling on smaller businesses, ensuring your network is stable is essential before moving forward with a digital transformation. If you’re constantly reacting to cyber threats, it is very difficult to implement a DX strategy.
This also means making sure the workplace environment is prepared and capable of handling a DX plan. Is your office adequately equipped with the right hardware and software to use the technology needed for a digital transformation? This IT infrastructure is the foundation of your technology future in cybersecurity and digital transformation. If it’s not up to par, then this is the stage where those requirements need to be met to continue to the next step.
2. Manage Connected Devices
Next, we need to take note of and decide on a plan to manage your network devices. This comes in many forms from using analytics and tracking tools to reduce costly print usage to monitoring usage and security of phones and computers on your network. It’s important to manage tech assets like collaboration tools, laptops, and phones. This can be achieved by implementing mobile device management software to control and support end-user devices.
This step helps unify the workplace and devices into a more connected system—a vital component of digital transformation that benefits collaboration and communication within a business.
3. Optimize Processes
Optimizing the processes of an organization’s workplace is important to ensure the long-term efficiency of the business. This will typically involve implementing the following technologies:
- BPA: Business process automation helps to reduce the manual work of inputting data into line-of-business (LOB) applications using tools like RPA
- RPA: Robotic process automation can include converting paper-based processes, extracting data from various sources, or taking data from one source and transferring it to another source without the need for human intervention
- ECM: Enterprise content management includes integrating all business-critical documents into one database to support operations
- ERP: Enterprise resource planning unifies all business processes and databases into one system for easy access for all departments. Modernizing the ERP system of an organization can have huge payoffs
Optimizing processes is a fundamental step for digital transformation. It improves efficiencies in the workplace and allows employees to focus their energies away from menial and repetitive tasks and work on projects which benefit from human application.
4. Business Intelligence & Analytics
It’s important to have actionable data. Business intelligence uses AI and other tools to help structure your analytics to create more visibility with your business data. This gives you the chance to pull true, actionable insights from your data to assess the performance of your company.
This leads to discovering more pain points in workflows; having a better understanding of operations; and being able to analyze big data sets. In turn, this leads to quicker and more informed decision-making, providing opportunities for businesses to pinpoint and improve their processes.
5. Increase Productivity
The next goal is increasing productivity in the workplace. This can be done in a number of ways, including:
- Creating an intranet to improve communication within a company
- Create custom applications for employees’ needs
- Building out a learning management system (LMS) for organizations to streamline training
These are important for a digital transformation roadmap as they provide a network for workers to communicate and learn—helping to establish a strong culture of improvement.
6. Improve Customer Experiences
The final step is to improve the customer experience. How can this be achieved? Businesses can use the improved capabilities from their digital transformation through:
- Analytics: Create personalized and relevant communications through data-driven marketing
- Transactions: Self-service portals make the buying journey easier for customers
- Mobile apps: Platforms like Mendix can help companies digitize customer-related processes
Improving the customer’s digital interactions with the business is often cited as the number one goal of many decision-makers thinking about digital transformation.
With a good DX strategy, a business will be better placed to understand customer data, which can be used to provide better service for clients.
Maintaining Your Transformation Roadmap
The implementation process is just the beginning of a digital transformation. A good roadmap strategy should mean a long-term goal. Think five years, not one. Correctly monitoring and maintaining newly installed systems as part of your DX plan should be a top priority as you look to make the most of your business’ transformation and achieve one of (or all of!) the main goals of a digital transformation strategy.
Related Blog: 4 Reasons a Long-Term Contract is Beneficial
If you’re partnering with an MSP, be sure that they will be with you for the long haul. Your business needs a reliable and reputable partner to ensure the success of this endeavor past the implementation period and into the future.
Plan Your Roadmap for Digital Transformation Today
A solid digital transformation roadmap helps companies achieve and maintain a competitive advantage in their industry. With increased staff productivity and decreased costs—companies can enjoy higher operating capacity while delivering a superior customer experience.
Learn more about the steps in a digital transformation strategy and how you can set your business up for a fast, effective implementation. Download our eBook, Fast-Tracking Your Digital Transformation, and get started.