The significant acceleration of digital transformation brought about by the health crisis in 2020 was unforeseen. More than a year later, the importance and relevance of digital transformation cannot be stressed enough. It has become the key to survival for many businesses across the globe. For others, it has become vital in order for them to thrive and not just survive. However, the reality is that there is no guarantee that one’s digital transformation strategy would yield the desired results.
Major shifts and several considerations are required in order for the digital transformation strategy to be optimized and effective. Some of these are crucial to the point where the journey may end up disastrous without them. Let’s look into some of the key ingredients for a successful digital transformation strategy.
5 ingredients to make your digital transformation strategy successful
1. Clear Goal-Setting
Goals set the direction of any course. Hence, having a clear goal or roadmap at hand is the first requirement for any successful digital transformation strategy. Knowing the direction of the digital transformation would help in making decisions regarding the needed upskilling, tools, technologies, and other resources.
Digital transformation may look different from industry to industry and business to business. However, there are some goals that businesses may share, such as:
- Boosting customer experience
- Optimizing operations and processes
- Increasing revenue
- Obtaining a competitive advantage
- Boost employee performance
Different goals have different requirements. Hence, in order to go through digital transformation strategically, efficiently, and successfully, it is important for companies to start with their objectives.
2. Strategic and Visionary Leadership
In times of change and transition, leadership is most crucial. It is important for those at the top to have the right mindset in order to influence and lead all succeeding levels. Hence, in implementing the digital transformation strategy, it is no question that the leadership and management team have a vital role to play. Having leadership that is strategic and visionary is key to the course of the digital transformation strategy.
Findings of one study showed that companies that had a chief digital officer during the transformation were reported to be 2.3x more successful in their digital transformation. Further results of such study also showed that companies that have senior leaders who were familiar with advanced analytics or digital analytics were also reported to be 2.3x more successful in their digital transformation. Results also further reported that companies that have clear roles and responsibilities for each team member involved in the digital transformation were 2.5x more successful in their digital transformation. Overall, such figures stress the importance of having strategic and visionary leadership in the digital transformation journey, as it parallels digital maturity.
Just as they are at the forefront of all business operations, leaders are at the forefront of the digital transformation strategy as well. The quality of their leadership would tremendously affect the course of the digital transformation strategy.
3. Focus on Data and Objectivity
The repeated stress on its importance has led to the statement that data is king. For any digital transformation strategy, data could fuel insights from machine learning or AI. Optimization of the technologies may end up falling flat without the presence of relevant data.
Each and every action and interaction in the digital space involves the generation of data. The challenge is to access the data and make the most out of it. This generated data would be key in benchmarking as well as monitoring the course of the digital transformation strategy.
Digital transformation is a process that takes time to transition. Decision-making is not a one-time occurence. Hence, data would come in especially relevant in the course of the implementation of the digital transformation strategy. With the help of relevant and sufficient data, better solutions could be devised and loopholes could be dealt with. Decisions can be made objectively and would resultantly affect the outcomes of the digital transformation strategy.
4. Organizational Culture and Team Empowerment
People make an organization, and dealing with change may serve as an obstacle for some teams. It is important for the team to be primed and prepared for the change to come. In order for the digital transformation strategy to take place smoothly and effectively, companies may need to channel resources into upskilling or training programs to prepare and empower the existing team for the change to come. The goal would be for the transitioning company to mirror the culture of other companies that have gone digital from the very start.
Digital transformation may inadvertently impact the existing company culture. In the course of implementing the digital transformation strategy, it is important for companies to keep open communication lines among team members in order to foster a good and open organizational culture. Having consistent training, regular communication, and a strong feedback loop implemented would also help the entire team go through the transition smoothly.
5. Implementation of Appropriate Tools and Technologies
Depending on the company’s need, direction, and budget, a number of tools and technologies can be incorporated into the digital transformation strategy. Data analytics, AI, cloud computing, distributed systems, web tools, and mobile apps are just some of the tools and technologies to choose from. Those at the forefront need to narrow down their options to tools and technologies that could help the company reach the goals of the digital transformation strategy.
The incorporation of digital tools would also help the team slowly transition to the digital direction. Making these tools an internal company norm may significantly impact the outcome of the digital transformation strategy. As a start, it would be important for such tools to facilitate information accessibility within the organization. Later on, new technologies can be integrated to the company’s existing standard procedures and operations. Overall, the adaptation of such technologies, from small to large scale, is crucial for digital transformation to take place effectively.
The digital transformation landscape and technology space has become the breeding ground for the world’s biggest and most successful companies to date. Those companies who have yet to undergo digital transformation are faced with the challenge not just to undergo it but to undergo it successfully. Failure may not be guaranteed, but so is success. Hence, companies have to exert intentional effort to mix and match the right ingredients in order to make the most out of their digital transformation strategy.
ICTS is a Vietnam-based software development boutique that focuses on cutting-edge technologies. We help SMEs (small and medium enterprises) digitize their business and handle the digital transformation in the most professional way, at a reasonable budget.
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