Business executives agree that digital transformation is pivotal to running a successful business in today’s digital era. Some of the many technologies, helping to foster digital transformation include:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Cloud Computing
- Internet of Things
- Big Data
According to the IDC Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Spending Guide, global spending on digital transformation will reach $1.97 trillion by 2022 as more companies are committed to this process. This same report finds that many business executives have acknowledged that digital transformation is a long-term investment. Craig Simpson, research manager with IDC's Customer Insights and Analysis Group, states "The unprecedented speed at which technologies are coming to market supporting DX strategies can only be described as frantic."
So, how can your organisation facilitate a successful digital transformation?
1. Accept the Need for Change
Transformation cannot be achieved without accepting change. The business world has certainly gotten more competitive and disruptive. Companies cannot run the same way they did before the digital era. Digital natives demand fast and immediate access to goods and services. Given the evolution of cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, many companies are now devising new ways to meet consumer demands.
In fact, around 90 percent of companies are currently undergoing some form of digital transformation - this isn't just reserved for IT teams, it is happening across the board. As a result, business executives must be willing to adapt and adopt these types of changes to remain relevant in today’s advancing technological landscape through digital transformation. Varying technologies are increasingly utilized to achieve business objectives.
2. Implement a Targeted Digital Transformation Model
First, understand that digital transformation does not equate to a mere collection of digital products. Rather, it should be targeted at getting ahead of your competitors through rapid and efficient service delivery using technology as an enabler.
It could be a seamless customer experience through a digitally-connected customer experience. For instance, an organisation might introduce a customer self-service option to ensure customers have instance access to answers and solutions and create a better user experience.
Moreover, a company’s digital transformation needs should determine the digital products purchased. CIO’s must resist the temptation to buy digital products and services simply because of their popularity at the moment. Instead, the path to digital transformation should be guided by the company's needs and overall business goals.
A targeted digital transformation model gives a clear direction to teams and employees to follow. Companies that adopt this model can easily:
- Measure the success of its digital transformation
- Build employee capacity as team members start to gain experience and specialise in the use of the products
- Experiment and find out means to achieve better results
Now that a brilliant plan has been drawn, it needs to be executed. As a team lead, appoint a digital expert who is passionate about the company’s digital transformation goal. According to this survey by Mckinsey and Company, nearly 70 percent of respondents stated they had implemented leaders familiar with digital technologies to help ensure a successful digital transformation process.
3. Practise Good Communication
Communication is one of the most important elements to building any successful relationship. A company must communicate its plans and goals to the relevant team members - and shareholders - so that they can work in sync to achieve the organisation's desired results.
Give your employees an explanation of the digital transformation framework you want to execute for the quarter, or the year. Depending on your company’s niche, and need, highlight any specific transformation elements you are considering. It could be a better customer experience, generation of new revenue models, or even operational agility. With this effective approach, you give a sense of direction to your team. In other words, don't work in silos. Everyone should have an understanding of the digital changes taking place in the company. And, offer training opportunities to employees who are supportive of the transformation.
Then, encourage team members to give feedback through digital channels. This would be a fast and efficient method for monitoring progress throughout the process.
4. Select a Preferred Digital Transformation Partner
To successfully drive digital transformation, it is vital to partner with a specialist. This is especially true if your company does not have the resources to build in-house technical capabilities and IT staff.
To illustrate, say your company wants to facilitate robotic process automation (RPA) but, you are having a difficult time determining where and when to implement this type of solution. A certified digital transformation partner can create a personalised process where RPA can work collaboratively to enhance - and extend - your human workflow process.
Choosing an experienced digital transformation partner is one of the most effective cost optimisation strategies that companies can employ because it provides:
- The expertise of trained IT teams to advise on disruptive technologies and provide tailored digital transformation for companies without the hassle of paying the high price of maintaining such professionals.
- Select the right strategic partner. Successful digital transformation involves more than just the right technologies, it also requires the right processes, people, and engagement. In addition, your company needs to develop the needed expertise to help drive digital transformation. It goes without saying that hiring, and keeping experts in-house, can become cost-prohibitive for many companies. Instead, the right partner can offer the necessary expertise while incorporating best practices and guidance on best-of-breed solutions.
As you can see, targeted execution and good communication are important factors in a successful digital transformation process. Furthermore, an experienced IT partner can ensure your new digital solutions facilitate your business objectives and top-line revenue growth.