Businesses today must continuously drive digital transformation to maintain an edge and stay relevant in rapidly changing markets. But just like any large undertaking, there are several things you must have in order to ensure success. Consider this your checklist of digital transformation must-haves:
Any effort to rewire processes across an organization demands that management is prepared for the ramifications of large-scale organizational change. Successful change management requires a robust change strategy. That means not only setting goals but also defining processes, employee roles, and short and long-term expectations. Often organizational change runs into resistance from its very own employees. This can cause a host of problems and is best avoided from the beginning with systematic planning and careful execution.
To combat employee resistance to change, leaders must create an infrastructure that facilitates digital transformation. They must clearly communicate the company agenda, offer comprehensive employee training, and fostering a company culture that is agile and adaptive.
2. A strategy that is “future-proof”
Despite even the most strategic planning, digital transformation is time-consuming and will undoubtedly disrupt the workflow of many of your employees. Business leaders must make sure the cost of this transition is warranted by ensuring their goals will not be obsolete by the time they are attained. In other words, management must not only assess the organization’s current needs but predict where the market is heading in the future. Think about what your customers will want six months or even two years down the road? Digital transformation demands of you to look at the big picture in order to ensure the lasting benefits. Ask forward-thinking questions such as: Where is the company heading technologically? What future obstacles do you foresee? Are there systems that could be employed as a solution to these potential challenges?
Integrating new processes and technology effectively and into the work routine is often a challenge, usually one that continues to drag on long after the change has been made. This, in turn, will affect the success of future change initiatives. Why not anticipate the learning curve prior to the shift? A critical digital transformation must-have is an effective training plan — one that will cover everything from how changing roles will influence the organizational structure to onboarding employees to new digital tools. Your employee training model should ensure gradual learning as new changes go live. By showing your employees that you aren’t leaving them in the dark, you offer a comforting sense of structure within your digital transformation.
4. Digital skills and capabilities
Often the implementation of new technology or new roles in the company demands a new set of nuanced, operational skills. What skills do you need your employees to master in order to make your digital transformation successful? What type of new talent will you need to fulfill your business strategy today and in the future? IT directors and CIOs alike should anticipate that digital transformations are often accompanied by the need for a new way of thinking and perhaps a new breed of talent. Detail potential needs and sees where the company could benefit from bringing in new skills and capabilities. Maybe the new structure calls for a more analytical mindset. This can be solved by either bringing on additional BI specialists or implementing additional analytics-focused training.
5. Focus on the customer experience
Don’t let shiny new tools distract you from your #1 mission—providing the best value and experience to your customers. Perhaps one of the most important digital transformation must-have is a customer-obsessed mindset. Remember, the whole point of implementing new digital tools and processes during this transformation is so that you can better serve those very customers. If you can maintain the balance between driving internal and external innovation and continuing to offer your customers top-notch services and products, your digital transformation is sure to be a successful one.