Enterprises across all sectors struggle to leverage digital transformation efforts. Here are a few things to consider when you work on a digital strategy.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” — Winston Churchill
To keep pace with modern business, companies must continually position themselves in the best possible stance to embrace new growth and adapt quickly to evolving market pressures. Technology, more than ever, has become integral to accelerating advancement and efficiency, and so companies have been looking to digital transformation, also known as DX, to meet future challenges.
Though, according to Accenture, only 5% of organizations feel that they have mastered their digital stance to a point of differentiation from competitors—which means the majority of businesses have ground yet to cover.
There are a few truths to consider before beginning the process of digital transformation, as well as a common lie that your organization must debunk:
Truth #1: Digital impacts a company’s efficiency, productivity and employee engagement
Digital transformation is about recognizing new areas of potential growth and executing on those opportunities. Customers now expect 24×7 availability, which means that if you aren’t already exploring new ways to serve customers, then your competitors probably are. But this doesn’t mean that the goal of digital transformation is to improve customer experience alone. In fact, many of the improvements businesses tend to see are within internal operations and overall employee productivity. Indeed, these improvements occur as natural byproducts of dedicated attention to digital.
Truth #2: Business and IT alignment is foundational to the success of digital transformation
Some business leaders may attempt to usher in digital transformation without their IT department, but this isn’t an effective approach. As it is for any business success, alignment is a prerequisite for digital transformation. Long-term goals are key to achieving short-term success, which means every business unit must agree upon the ultimate direction of the business. This is no easy feat, as everyone will always have opinions. The answer is to open a dialogue and welcome suggestions along the way—from all stakeholders. While executives have the best perspective of business outcomes, IT teams have the best view of technical solutions. The greater the alignment, the more powerful the transformation.
Truth #3: A holistic strategy is crucial to digital transformation and driving overall performance
Many people think that digitizing a few areas of the business will eventually transform the whole. However, taking a 360-degree view of digital transformation is key to success. Whether the goal is to increase agility, accelerate growth, or empower employees, having an expert opinion can be critical to recognizing areas of vulnerability and opportunities for advancement.
A third-party expert can help craft a roadmap for the entire transformation process and offer a learned perspective of what peers are doing to evolve. It is often more effective to have an unbiased perspective when planning for the future of your digital solutions. Leveraging a third- party consultant allows everyone to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, outside of individual team agendas or charters. As with any holistic business change it is best to start with the end in mind and work back from there.
Truth #4: Opportunities exist in all industries for digital transformation
There’s a common perception that digital transformation is most impactful for technology, start-up or B2C companies, but in actuality, every sector stands to benefit. Since digital is now the backbone of every industry, success for the future means embracing innovation. Digital transformation helps organizations evolve holistically since it provides a structure for recognizing solutions best suited for each company’s unique growth and a process for execution.
The first taxicab hit the streets of New York in the early 1900s. Would anyone today question the impact digital has had on our modes of transportation and the “Car-as-a-Service” market?
And The Lie: Change within digital transformation is best done from the bottom up
It’s so easy to step into the revolving door of technology, believing it can solve all problems if we just had the right hardware. But having a faster server or more storage by itself cannot “muscle” through digital challenges.
It’s true that IT departments have a unique view of what technologies are emerging in the marketplace that could benefit your business. But executives must be the drivers of change, especially with digital transformation. The partnership between the business and IT must be one of mutual respect and shared goals. Executive leadership must set realistic expectations and clearly measurable goals up front to assure that everyone contributing to transformation understands and believes in your digital vision.
A Future-State Roadmap
When implemented correctly, digital transformation can empower organizational excellence with new innovative solutions, reduce operating costs, and streamline service delivery. It also repositions IT away from being a cost center to a key business enabler. A tailored digital transformation solution, such as InterVision’s new offering, can demystify perceptions and create a future-state roadmap that centers strategy, process, people and technology around core business objectives.