We truly live in some extremely uncertain times. We not only have a great deal of civil unrest in this country, but we also have the COVID pandemic to contend with. This has not only taken a toll on the health of literally millions of people, but it also has completely roughed up our economy as well.
As a business leader, you probably realize that now is the time to fully digitize your business, and you know that it should have been done a long time ago.
Digital Transformation – the use of technology to radically improve performance or reach of enterprises also small businesses. Using digital advances such as analytics, mobility, social media and smart embedded devices as well as improving their use of traditional technologies such as ERP to change customer relationships, internal processes and value propositions.
According to a 2017 survey on digital transformation by Constellation Research, 64% of respondents said a digital transformation strategy was essential to driving profits, 70% said they had an IoT (Internet of Things) strategy, and a whopping 75% said they have a Big Data strategy.
However, even though this digital transformation needs to done immediately, without a strategic preparation for introducing change in the organization, even the best technologies might fail to bring the expected benefits.
There are definitely some steps you can take to fully accomplish it. What makes for an effective digital transformation strategy? Here are 6 elements you need for success:
#1. Turn your focus on the customer
First things first. Before you can begin to digitally transform your business, you have to transform your mindset from being focused on your product to being focused on your customer.
Effective digital transformations use fact-based methods to identify customer pain points, then work backwards into a value proposition, features, and ultimately, the customer experience.
This means that you are going to let your customers be in the driver’s seat regarding your product decisions and your main goal should always be to make their lives easier instead of making things easier for your company. Indeed, focusing on the customers is good for all of your digital transforming decisions.
#2. Emphasize organizational structure and transformational leadership
Companies need to make sure that their organization is as cohesive as possible, and it starts from the top down. They need to educate executives and other leaders on the new methods and make sure that the whole mechanism fully embraces change.
According to the Harvard Business Review, digital transformations that don’t have strong leadership from the top tend to be ad hoc and chaotic:
“While it is important to encourage local ownership of ideas and projects, turning them into game-changers requires clear, sometimes ruthless direction from the center around which projects to scale and in what order. Only the CEO has the power to provide this kind of direction across the entire enterprise. To do that effectively, CEOs need a holistic view of the digital threats and opportunities facing key parts of the business, and a way to link them to an overall vision for how digital is reshaping the competitive landscape.”
Your company will also need to focus on driving regular employees to this vision, simply because these are the individuals that your clients will see the great majority of the time. It also goes without saying that digitally transforming your business must also be aligned with your company’s long-term goals.
#3. Ensure that your data is integrated
All of the data systems at your company must be fully integrated with each other, or it will end up being a very costly disaster.
Your data strategy must be streamlined, or your digital transformation process won’t be as seamless as it should be.
#4. Keep the logistics and supply chain clear
Digitally transforming your company is one of the best ways to speed up your supply chain and make it as reliable as possible.
Products can be manufactured much faster and orders can be fulfilled and delivered in a more efficient manner.
#5. Make sure you have proper data security, ethics, and privacy
Once you adopt a new set of digital solutions, you will no doubt have a new set of questions regarding data security. When you consider that most customers believe that their personal data is potentially at risk, you should make sure that you have company-wide standards for security.
Hackers are very diligent in their efforts to disrupt our security, so why shouldn’t we be every bit as diligent in protecting it? This was especially brought home with the fact that many people now have the ability to “zoom bomb” a user’s personal zoom meetings.
#6. Allow for the evolution of your processes, products, and services
If you are going to engage in the proper digitization of your business, you will need to go through a change in thinking. IN a nutshell, you will need to have a new mindset regarding not just the delivery of your products and services, but the products and services themselves.
The landscape in which business operates is continuously evolving, so organisations today should be prepared to evolve their strategies along with it.
Successful companies are not afraid of change and realize that there are times where it is necessary in order to improve.
The Take Away
As long as you keep these steps in mind, you are sure to see your business totally transformed for all time. Also it’s important to remember one crucial detail when it comes to digital transformation: the most successful transformations are preemptive, rather than reactive.
Continually evolving and responding to outside pressures from competition can produce some success, but the best transformations occur when organizations embrace change and take big steps to move their business into new territory.