Digital Transformation Strategy: Practical Tips

  • June 21, 2020
  • 11 min
digital transformation srtategy

Merits offered by digital technologies emerge as a central theme in the business environment. Communications, entertainment, shopping, and traveling have already reshaped. With an increasing awareness of what is Digital Transformation, enterprises are rapidly changing. Would it surprise you to know that35% of businesses have already started their digital transformation, and almost as many are planning it this year?

Large or small, new or mature, many businesses tend to focus on their digital improvement, which means a faster time to market, improved customer satisfaction, and product innovation. If you are looking to encompass digital transformation while it is gaining momentum, it's an excellent time to be ambitious!

The success of the digital transformation is all about its strategy: 

“Without a strategic approach that considers the impact of change on the organization and all of its people, any transformation can be worse than what has been replaced." reads the “Strategic Digital Transformation: A Results-Driven Approach” by Alex Fenton.

Establishing a sound digital transformation strategy will help your company find new opportunities, streamline business processes, open up powerful sales channels, and, as a result, increase revenue.

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Building a digital transformation strategy is a long road to walk. So, to start by checking on the key milestones makes a perfect sense. Now let’s have a closer look at how to develop a digital strategy.

Employees buy-in

Without a unified team, your digital strategy is sunk before it has started. As the digital transformations concern all the team members, it requires a transition in their mindset. To make it seamless, all need to be on the same wavelength.

People are not always positive about changes at work. Sweeping changes need alignment with employees. Kathy McElligott, a CIO of an American healthcare company, states that the challenge is "how do we bring our employee population along with the speed of the tech change".

Company leadership is responsible for sharing the company vision with the rest of the organization. The first thing you need to do is to gather all the employees and announce that the company will change, tell about your plans and ideas, and explain that digital transformation will benefit all

Firstly, it will help to overcome misunderstandings. Secondly, everyone will realize that they are involved in the company's future.

Wrap complex change in a motivating mission and start bridge-building between people: execs, managers, subordinates, and employees of different functions. These people can sometimes get each other wrong. So, leadership commitment will contribute to partnership enhancement and a digital transformation success as a result.

Business and market analysis

You can't map out where you'll go if you don't know where you start. To get a clear vision, analyze your company's needs and culture, decide what affects employees' efficiency. It's important to stay critical at this stage of developing your digital strategy and accurately analyze current business tools and digital infrastructure against the up-to-date innovations and trends of the future. 

Business and technology goals are different. The biggest mistake businesses make when undergoing digital transformations is when they assume that they can simply migrate their current technology to a new platform or system. Make sure that the workflow is firmly tied to the needs of the business and customers, not to the digital trends themselves. 

To craft your digital transformation strategy to perfection, look at current market trends of your industry. Learning from the experience of companies with successful corporate digital innovation can also be of help. However, instead of taking on digital technologies adopted by the competitors without having a final goal in mind, prioritize the efforts and investments to cover the gaps of the current structure.  

Action plan

Now you can start looking to the future and set business objectives for digital transformation. As soon as you have assessed the available solutions, you need to:

  • Choose the ones to meet your objectives and cover the shortcomings of the technologies you’re currently using. 
  • Select the things that need to be achieved first so that the results of digital business transformation could be immediately visible. 
  • Since you are on a crucial stage, summarize the expenses to tell the digital transformation strategy pros and cons. 

Once again, clearly understand what you are introducing to ensure your business is on the correct course. Promoting technology for the sake of promoting technology has nothing to do with digital transformation.

Pilots and tests

The digital transformation process generates not only new opportunities, but it also creates new risks.

For example, more and more of business assets become digital, the threat of cybercrime and risks around data privacy are growing when a company undergoes digital disruption.

Rolling out new implementations to every segment of your business, and every employee is not a good idea. It's better to weigh the principal risks and determine the pilot phase from where it will be most natural to start. 

Small investments, disruption monitoring, and training for employees will be the foundation of the transformation strategy. Do not forget to document all the innovations to compare expectations and reality at each stage. 

Feedback evaluation

After you make the pilot changes, you can collect feedback. Discover the challenges, errors, and crashes users have faced together with all the positive outcomes.

It is also necessary to check that those people who participated in the first tests got a smooth and joyful experience while using an updated product version. Feedback through change helps organizations understand their employees' actual views on what is happening during digital transformation. 

There's no point in waiting when "dust settles". Measuring employees' feelings and concerns will ease the change itself, resulting in a smoother transition and adoption.

Adopt the findings

Based on the analysis you've done and the pilots you've conducted, it's time to embrace the technology. There's no need for partial rollouts anymore.

This stage of the digital transformation strategy builds according to the principle called "brunch" in code development when modifications can occur in parallel along multiple branches. 

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This principle allows gradual changes instead of rethinking everything fundamentally and saves up time and resources. These changes are similar to branches that grow from the main tree trunk. For example, take several functions that you test on small work areas. After that, you can more confidently transform the main "tree trunk" of the company. Thus, the digital transformation of your business will go seamlessly.

Stay in the loop

In the digital technology age, change is not a one-time campaign because business demands are constantly evolving. So you always need to monitor the market and test your company for strength to remain competitive. 

Today, some technical processes replace others. New technologies appear based on artificial intelligence and robotics. All these processes are still in their infancy, so there is time to get into the stream.

Digital transformation is a massive initiative, not a one-person job. To prevent growing pains and rookie mistakes, look for partners who have the knowledge and expertise you need to execute on your plans - innovate with Zfort Group Digital Transformation Service.

We have the insight to help your enterprise get the most of what today's technology offers. Let's discuss your challenges, goals, and objectives and take the right steps towards digital transformation.

Author

Julia Kuklenko
Tech Journalist

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