Wikipedia defines digital transformation as “the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society.”
This broad definition covers both social as well business aspects. Consider the five tips below to promote a successful digital transformation.
- First and foremost, understand your digital transformation objectives and create a strategy, marrying business and technology in the final deliverable. As you build out a strategy, research industry and non-industry trends as well as the key technologies to bake into the final plan. Also, consider what risks leadership is willing to take before, during, and after executing the plan.
- As you build out a strategy, consider the current customer experience and how transforming will improve it. What are current pain points? What do you want the reputation to be? How can you turn your customers into promoters?
- Define your digital road-map, including expectations, roles and responsibilities, and timing. Ensure the plan includes getting off legacy systems and onto new platforms as soon as possible.
- Include organization change management at the beginning. A plan could be bulletproof, but without leadership buy-in and an OCM and communication plan to support it, it will struggle to thrive once rolled out.
- Consider the plan’s and the company’s strengths and opportunities. When needed, bring in subject matter experts to offload areas your company doesn’t specialize in. Examples include cloud infrastructure providers, call center solution experts, etc.
And, to expand upon tip #4, while digital transformation is about technology, it is more about change. Consider conducting pulse surveys or asking younger employees – both in age and in tenure – if they see your company as change resistant or not, as they are often not yet ingrained in the culture. To increase chances of adoption, leadership must create a plan to:
- Create awareness about the why and foster a desire for the change
- Support employees’ knowledge and ability for their new roles in a digitally transformed organization
- And, reinforce the digital transformation change with employees
Lastly, remember, digital transformation is not a golden ticket to success. It is a learning process, sometimes requiring organizations to learn from mistakes and fail fast and forward, if necessary. All in all, it is not a matter of if your company needs to transform digitally; it is a matter of when.