Digital transformation is a good thing and it's been talked about the last several years as CIOs, CEOs, and other execs look to make a move. However, lately it's just become a "buzzword," generating a lot of hype. How can you ensure you have a solid digital transformation strategy? Many businesses, large and small, are attempting to transform their processes using digital tools. Many cases of transformation have been successful, creating solutions that enhance problem solving while driving efficiency and bottom line gains, says Forbes. Digital transformations are even tougher than traditional change efforts to make work. However, the most effective transformations usually rely on certain factors for success. Here are some things you should be doing.
1. Secure Strong Leaders
Digital transformations demand change at all levels of your organization, particularly from key decision makers and tech-savvy leaders. Research has shown that companies that engage a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to be a supportive force behind their transformations are nearly two times more likely to have a successful digital transformation than those that do not. When people in leadership roles are heavily involved and invested in the planning and execution, the transformation is far more likely to succeed.
2. Take Inventory
Once your key decision-makers have committed to making a digital transformation strategy work, it's time to take stock of your company's tech stack, including competencies and gaps, as part of your email marketing, CRM and internal collaboration systems so you can better streamline your processes. Often times, digital transformations stem from a desperate need to re-platform. Maybe your current system is obsolete or maybe your existing system just isn't working for your employees and users any longer. Whatever the case, changing your technologies can reawaken your whole business.
3. Craft a Digital Roadmap
Creating a vision to strive for is important because digital transformation isn't just about implementing new technologies and stopping there. Rather, it's a systemic grassroots effort that needs to be fueled by a well-thought-out vision. Know how you will leverage your digital tools as part of a detailed plan for execution across your whole company.
4. Reiterate Your Goals
Take another look at your goals, going over your digital transformation agenda over and over, making sure you have included:
- Operational costs
- Market research
- Brand strategy
- Projected ROI
- Baseline metrics
- IT budget
- Resource and technology requirements
- Performance expectations
- Expected outcomes
- Organizational impact
5. Come up With a Timeline
Know where your company stands on a digital maturity timeline. Will your DT strategy be fully realized over the short term, say, one year? Or are you looking further out over the long term, say 10 to 20 years? Making the digital strategy transformation won't happen unless you can be realistic about the time it will take to get there.
Despite the best channel for your company, communication is key and should be ever-evolving. Constantly be sharing your vision, goals, bench marking process, industry compliance, regulatory best practices, challenges and milestones with every level of your organization.
7. Streamline Your Operations
Streamlining operations is vital when crafting a digital transformation strategy. It's absolutely essential that you understand and assess your team’s abilities and strengths, providing them with any support they may need. Establish clear planning methods and procedures to reduce workflow barriers. This way you can be more efficient and creative, as the time spent on innovations should far outpace the time wasted on roadblocks.
Now that you're on your way toward digital transformation success, it's important to keep asking the important questions to make sure your DT strategy is for real -- and stays that way.
Making Adjustments As Needed?
Once you have a digital transformation strategy in place, and even if it seems to be going along as planned, recognize the need for growth. This is where constant analysis comes in so you can make any necessary adjustments going forward. Recognize that you should never stay still in a place of complacency. There is always room for growth, expansion and improvements. In fact, it's essential for continued success in your digital transformation.
Are You Staying Transparent?
Collecting data is important, but sharing metrics and using them in the right way will be your catalyst for growth. Companies that stay transparent about their goals and results through the collection and analysis of data will enjoy positive outcomes.
Are You Even Ready for Digital Transformation?
As you prep your company for a DT strategy implementation, make a renewed pledge to ensure that you are prepared to make the process successful.
Ensuring a successful transformation starts with a dedication and willingness to make it work, across all levels of your organization.
So...is YOUR digital transformation strategy for real?