This article will provide an overview of the ways to implement digital transformation strategy successfully, with different challenges and barriers faced by organizations.
There are many areas of transformation that digital technology can affect. This transformation may range from the needs of an organization to how it engages with its audience to the way it manages its workforce.
We give you a few digital transformation examples in case the concept is not clear:
- Implementation of an eCommerce on a brick & mortar retail.
- Change in the primary source of revenue by introducing a platform to charge clients by SaaS (Software as a Service) model.
- Drastic change on sources of traffic audience, such as email marketing or SMS instead of traditional advertisement.
- Implement a digital presence that includes a website, social media, and PPC advertisement.
- Automatize manufacturing process.
- Implement a WMS system that automatizes the shipping process.
- Among others.
You could produce a digital transformation strategy by assessing a business’s current situation, identifying what this looks like, and addressing any opportunities for improvement.
For a successful digital transformation strategy to be implemented successfully, it is vital that people across different business units clearly understand their roles and their effect on supporting the whole process.
The leadership will strategically guide the process and team to take action on each step of the project.
This helps teams to keep the organization driven by the vision and objectives they are striving for. A key aspect of digital transformation is understanding how they want to reach their goals and what these goals are.
This process can be achieved by gathering all the relevant stakeholders into sessions that explain both the problems faced by the organization and what must be done to address them.
The answer to “how to implement a digital transformation strategy successfully” will be different according to the size and complexity of the transformation, and it depends on many factors such as:
– The objectives
– The resources available to accomplish those objectives
– Management competence and leadership skills required, etc.
With that said, you can follow some fundamental principles to implement a successful digital transformation strategy.
1) Define Your Objectives
It is not enough to talk about digital transformation, and you have to define it! The definition of these goals must be clear and part of a broader strategic plan. The decision-making chain will have a clearer vision of the future and a better understanding of what the company wants to achieve, helping them identify the right actions to take.
2) Allocate The Right Resources To That Task
One of the biggest challenges in any organization when implementing a digital strategy is how to allocate the necessary resources to that process. After identifying the objectives, it is essential to develop a resource plan considering all departments involved in the project.
Usually, this process has budget limitations, so not all areas will receive the investment they need for their digital transformation. So, it is vital to identify those areas and to analyze the resources required for each one carefully.
3) Create A Roadmap
Creating a roadmap that outlines the critical milestones of that journey will help you focus on what needs to be done and when to have a good view of the process.
The resources you have identified to carry out the project must be allocated to those phases and respect these milestones. With this approach, you will anticipate problems and failures and solve them early, avoiding delays in delivery or additional costs.
4) Take Isolated Actions
Each department has its own specific digital transformation needs. It is essential not to interrupt any of them but to identify what functions need immediate attention and provide resources first. The same thing applies to digital transformation: it is essential not to interrupt any tasks and be improved and optimized first.
5) Integrate Everything
Following the digital strategy requires a significant change in all work areas, creating an integration model that can incorporate one’s specific needs. This is key, not only in terms of technology but also in terms of people. Integrated teams will be better prepared to tackle unexpected problems and failure modes, increasing agility and reducing duplication efforts.
6) Involve Everyone
The strategy is to make changes in the organization, so all employees must be involved in it. The digital strategy includes both technological and non-technological changes, both of which are essential for success. So, if this change requires employees to work differently, it will not succeed if they are not involved in the process.
Furthermore, these changes will produce effects that need to be controlled and monitored by the entire organization. If this is not done, then the process will most likely be unsuccessful.
7) Measure And Benchmark Yourself
This step can help you keep track of progress and make adjustments along the way. This information will help you know if you are on track or need to make changes or adjustments. It is also a way to share it with others (employees, investors, and regulators) and show your commitment to improving this area.
After implementing the digital strategy, it is necessary to benchmark its process, results, and progress, evaluating if all that work has been helpful or if adjustments need to be made.
The evaluation will allow leaders to check for possible problems and failures, but most importantly, it will help you identify areas for improvement. That said, remember that there must be an evaluation phase before starting the implementation of the strategy too.
9) Deploy Automation Tools
The main goal of digital transformation is to automate processes and to use technology as an enabler. So, it is imperative to automate as many tasks as possible using the right tools and applications. The cloud will help you since you can deploy all those applications on-demand and distribute them among your workforce.
10) Ensure Policies Are Updated
It keeps up with the times and adapts to changes in your market, customers, and competitors. This will require continuous adjustments to the policies that manage how your business operates. It is essential to continue changing these policies, constantly adapting them to the new digital world.
11) Create A Culture Of Trust
An organization will most likely adopt a digital transformation strategy with a new culture and one with different values, which means it is necessary to adapt to a new culture.
The leader will strategically present steps to assimilate the transformation the right way and build a culture of trust.
12) Identify The Obstacles
For any strategy to succeed, it is necessary to identify, analyze and prioritize the obstacles that may prevent you from achieving your goals. It would be best if you did this before you start because overcoming them will allow you to define what actions should be taken for each one of them.
13) Understand What The Benefits Are For His Change
To ensure that employees support your strategy, they must understand why this change will positively affect the entire organization’s results. This is a challenge because of the changes’ complexity, but it is also essential to believe that you will achieve these benefits.
14) Have An Exit Strategy
In this case, your new strategy should have some clear objectives and some closure so you can define what steps you need to take as a company after some time has passed. In this case, you must specify some key projects and some key results that can be measured.
15) Make The Transition
Management should be very clear about the change process, step by step. It is essential to follow this carefully because it will affect how employees act and engage with the new digital transformation process. The process should be clear, fast, and clear to managers who choose to implement it.
All employees must be involved in this change, considering that without them, it will not succeed.
The bottom line is that implementing a digital transformation strategy requires a lot of time. It will be essential that all human resources (HR) and strategic management take part in it.
A digital environment enables leaders to innovate more and, for that reason, be more customer-oriented by attending to their needs more efficiently.
HR and leaders must get involved because the changes produced by the Digital Transformation Strategy will affect them too.
The changes are not only technological but also include changes in business processes and structuring. It is essential that HR and management follow the entire change process step by step, learn about it, and integrate their workforce with the new digital transformation process.