Be clear with the leaders in your organisation, that digital transformation is not just about technology; it requires business restructure and support both during the transformation and after. If this is not clear the full potential of digital will not be released, instead there is a danger that it will be developed in isolation and there will be little uptake by the organization.
Digital transformation is more than just about technology, the strategy is the key component that will make it work.
- How do you want your company to be perceived in the future?
- What is your business vision?
- How will your products or services become more user-centric?
- What do you see as the role your employees play in achieving this vision?
Social media, mobile enablement, cloud computing and big data are all keys to gaining more coverage. Understanding your customers, innovating your products, breaking out into different market areas, streamlining your processes as well as creating a happier, more collaborative environment for your employees to work in will help you attract the best talent.
The worst thing that can happen when implementing your digital strategy is for it to happen in silos. I guarantee you that when only one or two areas of the business try to make a change with partial or no support from leadership, the project will fail. There has to be an agreed strategy from the top to look at the organisation and based on customer and employee feedback this strategy should concentrate on what the blockers are to achieve innovation and customer satisfaction. Using this data, as well as looking at the business objectives as a whole, you can then formulate a successful strategy.
It should cover many areas, not just the technology that binds them, such as:
- Customer support
- Employee support
- Product awareness
- Product lifecycle
One of the main issues from a company and customer perspective may be that the amount of time it takes new products to get to market is too long. From this statement alone you could be considering to implement:
- Streamlining levels of management
- Creating cross-functional teams and splitting your silos
- Iterative delivery, fewer features delivered more often
- Continuous integration
- Customer analytics and metrics
- Innovation driven by bottom-up decisions
- Automation of processes
- The technology required to support all the above
Another point to get across to any leadership or stakeholders is that it is normal that there will be an element of failure as you navigate through the process. But failure itself is a success if you learn from it and continue to reassess and make changes until you find what works.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
For a digital transformation to work, it requires a strategy and leadership buy-in, no matter how big or small your company is. From here you can start the steps of implementation with people who have the knowledge and ability to champion the transformation and work with your employees and customers to support them through it, while they are being supported by the leadership.