7 Steps To Start Your Business Digitalization Process
As technology expands and new innovations continue to rise, digitalization is becoming a matter of survival. And rightfully so.
Regardless of your industry focus, you need to innovate and digitally transform to keep up with the ever-evolving needs of the modern-day customer.
For instance, automating manual processes by implementing new technologies with the help of third-party vendors like Vendasta that build software and business solutions for companies. If you’re interested, you can learn more about Vendasta pricing here.
Without continuous innovation, you’ll be left behind, and your business won’t be able to stay and thrive in the increasingly competitive world.
So, act now and consider these steps to start your business’s digitalization process.
1. Define Your Goals
The first step to every major overhaul activity is to plan by defining solid goals and painting a picture of what you want the final results to look like. It’s essential to start by identifying your business goals and needs, and build a strategy from there.
You’re looking to create a certain functionality for your business. And these should be planned for and drawn out right from the start. Don’t transform just for the sake of transformation. You need to make sure that your digitalization has a specific purpose.
Digitalization isn’t a one-off initiative or project; it’s something that strategically positions your business for the future. For starters, you want to consider your business’s strategic goals for the future—at least a 5- to 10-year plan. So, create a foundation for business digitization out that aligns with your organization’s priorities and defined business values.
2. Assess Your Current Digitalization State
Part of planning is to assess the current digital state across your organization. You need to understand your current business processes. Are you meeting the current demands? Is there a problem area that needs to be improved? How can digital technologies solve these problems?
Most modern businesses will already have some sort of legacy technology in use—whether it’s traditional email or an inventory system. That said, it’s important to understand how these technologies work and whether they can be integrated with or built upon new products.
3. Choose The Right Technology
The highlight of digital transformation is the implementation of technology to accommodate and support your business processes. The only problem is that most businesses don’t commit enough time to what they actually need before implementing technologies. This can result in wasted time, useless or ineffective solutions, and digital burnout.
There are several platforms, vendors, and solutions that can help you meet your digitalization goals. To help you choose the right technology, you can ask yourself these questions:
- Does technology align with the business’s digitalization strategy?
- Can it fill the gaps or inadequacies in the business?
When you can answer both questions affirmatively, you can find the right technology to help with the successful digitization of your business.
4. Set A Realistic Budget
It’s impossible to digitally transform your business without a reasonable budget to support it. And you don’t just take a share of your total IT budget either. You need to set aside dedicated strategic funding for a successful digital transformation.
Your budget will depend mostly on your goals. However, the workforce structure of the company also plays a significant part. For instance, outsourcing developers are generally more cost-efficient than hiring permanent talent.
5. Be Ready For Cultural Change
Talent is at the heart of digital transformation. Even if you have the right technology, if your employees refuse to accept and adapt to the change, then expect your digital transformation to fail. This is why it’s important to make sure that your corporate culture can keep up with the transformation.
There will be resistance to change. It’s natural. But, be prepared to address that skepticism. Having a core team of leadership that supports and understands your visions for digital transformation will be beneficial in the long term.
You want to build a team mindset and find the right person for each of the value chains, from your sales and marketing team to the HR and IT departments. This person will serve as strong governance that makes sure the digitalization strategy is carried out.
If you’re struggling to source the necessary leadership talent on-site, you can simply hire a reliable technology provider. Or you can also use a ‘CIO as a Service’ model, instead of hiring a new leader internally.
Make sure to choose a transformation partner that supports and understands your business goals and objectives and can deliver upon your business expectations. In addition, you want to educate and empower your staff to make the most of the new technologies and tools and work efficiently within their new ecosystem.
6. Outline Your Digitalization Roadmap
Digitalization is a journey. It’s called ‘transformation’ for a reason. Digital transformation takes time, and your business won’t need to change everything today. You must take an incremental or modular approach to your transformation. You need to prioritize the areas for improvement.
Then, move step by step towards your transformation goals. This should help keep the transformation process on track and reduce the chance of failure.
7. Set Your KPIs And Feedback Gathering
Before moving ahead at full throttle, you also need to clearly define key performance indicators (KPIs) for every digitalization phase or project. You need to make sure that all parties are accountable and aware of what needs to be delivered to call it a success.
In addition, you also need to create a strong feedback loop with stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is learning from the experience as your digitalization strategy unfolds. After all, one of the hallmarks of a business transforming digitally is agility.
Implementing your digital transformation strategy is essential, but being able to track and adjust accordingly to results is the key to long-term success.
And there you have it!
Digital transformation is all about leveraging technology to solve traditional business problems. When done properly, digitalization allows your business to provide exceptional value and services to customers and future-proof your business so it stays competitive and thriving throughout the years.