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9-steps-digital-transformation


Digital transformation has become a buzzword across every sector in business. Leaders are feeling pressure on all sides to innovate and digitize. But successful digital transformation as a concept goes deeper than rolling out new tech and updating old systems; it requires a change in thinking, leadership, collaboration and decision-making, too.


Digital transformation involves using various technologies to transform the way a company does business; going beyond upgrading outdated systems to completely optimize and transform processes.


Here's more on how companies can achieve these aims and avoid some of the commonplace pitfalls associated with digital transformation.


Drive Tech Changes with Business Objectives

 

As Harvard Business Review reports, despite C-suite leaders denoting digital transformation (DT) risk as their absolute top concern in 2019, less than one-third of DT initiatives actually realize their goals. Another way to look at it is that approximately $900 billion out of every $1.3 trillion devoted to DT last year ended up going to waste.


These statistics underscore the serious challenges associated with DT, and how easy it is to end up "barking up the wrong tree" - and throwing hard-earned funds away - without a thorough understanding of the task at hand.


First of all, any and all attempts at digital transformation must be tied to larger business objectives. Otherwise, businesses will find themselves footing the bills for shiny new toys that do little to actually impact the bottom line.


Set business strategy first, complete with tangible objectives - like increasing product speed to market, improving workflow efficiency across departments, improving the customer service experience, etc. - before investing in tech. Then prioritize the innovations that will best support those specific goals in terms of return on investment.


Components of Digital Transformation Today

 

DT is a multi-faceted endeavor, one that requires buy in from the C-suite, IT teams and every department in between.

 

Here are just a few key components of digital transformation today:


Optimize Customer Experience

 

Forward-thinking companies are using digital advances to better understand customers in order to optimize their experiences, as MIT Sloan Management Review outlines.


The first stage here is harnessing advanced analytics to better comprehend client behaviors and preferences across a wide range of sources, including social media.


Next, is implementing tech to smooth out the customer journey. A good example of this is the way many financial services companies are facilitating in-app transactions that used to require a phone call or in-person appointment.


Lastly, organizations can improve the speed and personalization of their customer service experiences using tech like artificial intelligence chatbots, integration of services across channels and self-service options for users.


Empowering Workforces to Make Data-Driven Decisions

 

The way companies approach data analytics is central to their DT outcomes. More companies than ever before are aiming to empower their teams to make data-driven decisions with the aim of improving business outcomes across the board.


According to a recent Harvard Business Review study sponsored by ThoughtSpot, 86 percent of leaders surveyed believe their frontline workers "need better technology and more insight" to power transformative decision-making. This speaks to the crucial role of self-service AI data analytics platforms in overall digital transformation.


Folding Digitization & Tech into Culture

 

Taking a tech-focused approach to DT without considering culture is a recipe for failure. Leaders need to consider how they are communicating about the various elements of digital transformation, as well as how their actions are encouraging or discouraging employees to get on board.


Managers must proactively address worker fears of change, automation and "the unknown" - as these can contribute to resistance against the adoption and embracing of DT.


Companies can only achieve DT with the right mix of goal-driven strategy, tech and cultural changes.

 


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