How to Develop a Digital Transformation Strategy

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What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the implementation of modern technology to initiate changes within an organization. Digital transformation requires business leaders to rethink their business strategies and operating models to transform their business for sustained growth. By introducing new technologies and strategies to a company, businesses will see growth in employee satisfaction, customer engagement, and business innovation.

Driver for Digital Transformation

A successful digital transformation starts with a well-defined strategy that prioritizes initiatives, sets goals, and identifies the success criteria. No matter what industry, most companies will focus on one or more of these key areas:

Customer Experience
The success of every business is heavily dependent on the customer experience. When customers are not satisfied with a product or service, they leave. By using modern technology, businesses can enhance the customer experience and improve customer loyalty and retention.

Employee Performance
Digital initiatives can address aspects of your business including employee satisfaction, skill advancement, employee performance, and work collaboration. Providing employees with the tools to communicate, collaborate, and connect will increase productivity for greater business success.

Data Analytics
Digital transformation can be driven by a desire to better understand your business. Data can provide businesses with valuable insights to inform future business objectives, products, and services.

Competitive Advantage
Businesses who rely on legacy systems and outdated technology risk losing their competitive advantage. To meet customer demands, businesses must constantly evolve. Digital transformation will enable you to operate more efficiently, grow your customer base, and find new business opportunities.

Technologies That Power Digital Transformation

Over the last three decades, advancements in hardware, software, and networking have made it possible for any business to implement digital solutions.

Cloud Applications
Companies are moving from legacy systems to cloud-based applications that offer flexibility and scalability to meet business demands.

Mobile Applications
In order to adapt to a customer’s active lifestyle, businesses must invest in mobile app development to build products and services that can be accessed easily through a mobile device.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a crucial part of business growth by providing companies with the ability to mimic human intelligence. Businesses who have properly gathered business data can utilize this data to create personalized experiences, predictive maintenance, process automation, and much more.

Internet of Things (IoT)
The internet of things (IoT) connects people, equipment, and data to enable process automation. It presents businesses with incredible opportunities to streamline workflows and improve existing products.

Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) offer more immersive opportunities to businesses and its customers. Businesses can use AR/VR to develop training simulations, 360 walkthrough, field service tools, customer engagement tools, and collaboration tools.

Roadmapping Your Digital Transformation Strategy

A digital transformation strategy is a high-level document outlining your business objectives and digital initiatives. When developing this document, it is important to keep these steps in mind.

Business Assessment
Your digital transformation strategy should begin with a detailed assessment of your current business, strategic goals, key performance indicators, and potential growth opportunities.

Research Your Industry and Competitors
After assessing your business, it is important to understand how you compare to your direct competitors and your industry. A competitive analysis will help you understand the market and identify opportunities to build a thriving business.

Prioritize Digital Initiatives
Each digital initiative will be different in scope, resources, and return-on-investment. Prioritize your initiatives based on their value, impact, and estimated effort.

Create a Delivery Plan
The delivery plan should include a roadmap for each digital initiative, resource requirements, and criteria for measuring results. Before beginning the development stage, identify all development and delivery processes to build standard practices for your entire organization.

Create a Budget Plan
Most digital transformation efforts fail because of insufficient budget. When you create your budget, anticipate delays and plan for when new technology makes current investments obsolete.

Create a Resource Plan
It is crucial to assemble a team with the right skills and mindset to put your strategy into action. Conduct an assessment of your current capabilities and who you need to achieve your digital initiative.

Leading Your Team Toward Digital Transformation

Your digital transformation will affect your employees, customers and partners. The success of your transformation is dependent on earning buy-in from your team.

Establish Digital Leadership
To oversee your digital transformation team, you will need to appoint a reliable leader. Sometimes you may need to introduce a new role such as the Chief Digital Officer who will oversee strategy and execution of your digital initiatives.

Getting Your Team On Board
For digital transformation to succeed, the team needs to understand the impact of digital adoption. Seek input from employees to define your digital initiatives and include them throughout the process. With the full support of your team behind you, you can focus on developing digital solutions that will benefit them and your customers.

Cultivate a Culture of Innovation
Companies that place too many restrictions on the process of innovation will only hamper creativity. Organizations should encourage their teams to experiment and test various technologies throughout the process.

Make Better Decisions with Data
Your digital transformation should begin with data. Data can be used to help make your decisions and validate experiments throughout the digital transformation process.

Invest in Employee Training
Sometimes employees may push back on digital transformation because of how the changes will affect their position. Their job to become obsolete or drastically change their responsibilities. Offer your employees training opportunities to improve consistency, business efficiency, and employee satisfaction.

Conclusion

Digital transformation is less about technology and more about your business strategy. Digital transformation is not an overnight change. You can slowly start transforming key areas of the business and eventually be successful in meeting all objectives. In the digital age, the only way to survive and grow is to embrace digital.

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