With the increasing popularity of cloud-based technology, many businesses are shifting their operations to the digital world or extending digital versions of their services.
But, this is not a simple process, so we thought we’d offer some tips on implementing digital transformation for your business successfully.
What is digital transformation?
There are numerous definitions of digital transformation, but they all boil down to adopting digital technologies and solutions within your business to keep up with evolving business and market needs.
Digital transformation may signify different things for different companies. For some, it might imply developing a website to promote their presence in the online market. For others, it might mean shifting their services and products to cloud-based storage for the comfort of use or shifting their operations online to reduce physical interactions.
In this transformation, you might also notice that you could give customers a digital way of performing transactions or offer technology-driven solutions rather than manual service. For example, Netflix offering video streaming services instead of renting out DVDs.
As with any business transformation, it’s not merely about deciding to follow the herd and adopting digital solutions. There are factors to take into account before you can implement digital transformation successfully.
While you may want to ‘go digital’ just because everyone else is, the first thing you need to consider is how this transformation will profit your business. It’s essential to know if it will give customers a better service or experience. And, does it make working with you more comfortable for them?
Rather than taking a jump in at the deep end and trying to move your entire operation to a digital format, try to identify which areas would benefit from digital transformation and focus your efforts there.
You have a wide array of technologies available to you in a business. Still, not all are equal, and you will need to determine which ones would help solve your business’s problems most effectively and efficiently.
For instance, do you require a website, or will designing a mobile app provide a better solution? Does an investment in an off-the-shelf software product a better option, or do you need bespoke development?
Input from Different Departments
Due to businesses’ fragmentation into departments and hierarchies, it’s not always feasible for decision-makers to know the customers’ requirements. While you may think a particular technology or solution is the best solution, employees in relevant departments might be well aware of different problems and opportunities.
Instead of deciding to implement digital transformation
for your business at the top level, get feedback from all departments. It will give you a more lucid idea of what your business needs and how technology can solve that requirement.
Needs of the Customer
Digital transformation may be fascinating for you, but it is essential to recognize your customer’s needs. Trying to figure out what they want could prove to be of great help for you not only in designing a better product for them but also in saving you from spending too much on a transition plan that’s over-engineered and needlessly expensive.
The novelty of shifting to a digital future might make you carry away with big ideas. However, before tackling more extensive, business-wide changes, the key to a successful digital transformation implementation might be to start with more specific problems with less complicated solutions.
The two main benefits of doing this are:
- You can lay a more firm foundation for your digital transformation by optimizing your business’s everyday aspects.
- After fixing these, you may find that you’ve improved most of your procedural roadblocks, making your digital transformation more straightforward.
Agile working is a better option where a project has multiple milestones instead of becoming a large chunk of work. This methodology is also an excellent way to implement digital transformation for your business successfully.
Instead of making a notable change in one go, it might be beneficial to break it down into phases. It will help you plan which projects need to be prioritized, which ones to implement simultaneously, and which to bring in later.
You might wonder implementing digital transformation for your business is the best way forward. However, you need to have a system to measure success. Do the new processes bring down costs or make systems more efficient? Do they result in more conversions?
Instead of charging ahead, define your KPIs so you can measure how the transformation has affected your business.
Why is digital transformation necessary?
A business may consider including a digital transformation for numerous reasons. So far, the most obvious reason seems to be a survival issue. Amidst the pandemic, an organization’s ability to quickly adapt to supply chain disruptions, time to market restraints, and fast-evolving customer expectations has become significant.
Spending priorities reflect this fact. According to the May 2020 Worldwide Digital Transformation Spending Guide by International Data Corporation (IDC), spending on the digital transformation (DX) of business practices, services, and organizations continues “at a solid pace despite the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.” According to IDC, in 2020, global spending on DX technologies and services will rise by 10.4 percent to become $1.3 trillion.
Recently, at an MIT Sloan CIO Symposium series event, IT leaders admitted that consumer behavior has quickly shifted in numerous ways since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Sandy Pentland, who works as a professor at the MIT Media Lab, described how optimized, automated systems in areas like supply chain management broke down when faced with rapid shifts in both demand and supply – a reality that just about everyone has met on a personal level amidst the pandemic.
It may be early to speculate which long-term consumer behavior changes will last. According to Rodney Zemmel, global leader, McKinsey Digital of McKinsey & Company, says that “digital has been accelerating in just about all categories on the consumer side.” An essential determinant to look for will be the degree to which forced change – three out of four Americans tried a new shopping behavior, for example – will revert when possible, post today’s emphasis on stay-in-place.
Implementing digital transformation can be an invaluable way of making your business more efficient and productive. However, it is essential to plan and choose the right technologies that complement your processes.