How To Implement An Impactful Digital Transformation Strategy In Your Organization
For many years now, leaders have been watching the tide turn as technology slowly becomes part of our personal and work lives. Yet, the events of 2020 brought on rapid changes that made remote work and online business necessities. As a result, businesses quickly realized that digital transformation was no longer a plan for the future but rather a necessity that would define their success and even survival. Nonetheless, despite wanting to, many organizations don’t even know where to begin. If this situation sounds familiar, in this article you will find out what a digital transformation strategy is and how you can implement it to boost your business forward.
7 Steps To Implementing A Successful Digital Transformation
A digital transformation refers to a process businesses follow to detect how they can change their existing organizational strategy to adapt to technological advancements. It involves an analysis of your organization’s current state and needs for the future. Although implementing a digital transformation can be challenging, knowing which steps to follow will significantly increase the odds of success. So, let’s take a look at the key stages of this process.
1. Assess Your Current State
As with any major initiative, it’s crucial that you know your starting point. You might have already taken a few steps into your digital transformation journey, possibly without even realizing it. Therefore, you must note down your existing technology infrastructure, such as software, applications, and processes, as well as employee skillsets, current performance levels, and financial state. During this step, you can also use internal input or client feedback to perform a more thorough digital transformation assessment that will clarify the next steps of the process.
2. Identify Gaps And Goals For The Future
Once you figure out where you’re standing, it’s time to determine what you want to accomplish with this process. Getting from point A to point B is a matter of identifying existing gaps and addressing them using the right technology. For example, maybe your security and compliance strategy is lacking, or your employees are not skilled enough to achieve organizational goals or support the implementation of a digital transformation. Identify all issues in your organization and brainstorm solutions and a clear set of objectives that will get you there. This way, you will have a digital transformation roadmap to help you stay focused.
3. Plan Your Transformation Strategy
With all this information and products available on the market, it’s easy to lose focus and fall for a shiny gadget that doesn’t really fit your specific needs. Instead, it’s best to take the results of your assessment into account and carefully plan your choices around them. In other words, you must identify possible technology investments that align with your organizational goals. This doesn’t only refer to purchasing new products but also upgrading existing ones. Your available budget also affects the route of your digital transformation strategy, so it’s best to have a clear idea of available funds and resources.
4. Build A Team Of Specialists
Businesses often fail to successfully execute their digital transformation strategy because they lack the necessary talent. Technology can’t do all the work if you don’t have the right people to operate it. Although you might have to add a few professionals to your team, such as IT specialists and data analysts, you can also invest in training your existing workforce. With the right employee development programs, you can teach almost everyone how to support this major organizational change. Moreover, if there is a specific set of skills you can’t hire or train for, there is always the ability to outsource as needed.
5. Start Small
Transforming your organization’s processes to fit the technologically evolved business world is undoubtedly a large-scale venture. Therefore, if you don’t want your project to fail due to employee resistance or the loss of your final vision, then you must start small. It’s best to make minor changes now and let them evolve into something bigger over time rather than go all in from the get-go. Besides, digital transformation is a journey that never ends, constantly evolving and adjusting to keep pace with industry trends. Break your strategy into small goals so that you can easily monitor progress and adjust accordingly.
6. Foster A Digital Culture
Another way to avoid failure during or after carrying out a digital transformation strategy is to make sure your staff is properly prepared. You can’t expect your organization to go through this major transformation with success if you haven’t laid the groundwork properly. Specifically, apart from identifying your objectives and digital transformation roadmap, as explained in previous steps, and aligning them with your organization’s existing values, you must also involve employees and stakeholders in the process. This way, they will be able to handle this change more effectively and perform better in the future.
7. Evaluate Progress Regularly
The only way to know if this venture is successful and truly solving the problems you had starting out is to define measures of success. This involves setting measurable and non-measurable goals, milestones, and metrics such as customer satisfaction ratings, employee performance, and level of digital adoption, to name a few. Monitoring how these progress throughout the process of digital transformation will help you make the right adjustments to your plan and strategies in order to achieve optimal results.
For many, performing a digital transformation means updating the technology tools you use in your organization. But, in reality, it is about so much more than that. A digital transformation strategy that has a real impact on processes and productivity levels involves a significant amount of goal setting, needs analysis, possibly training, and progress monitoring. By following the right steps, you can identify the most important technological gaps in your company and discover the most effective improvements and investments to address them and take your business one step forward.