Digital transformation has turned into a ubiquitous concept that businesses can no longer afford to look away. The world is going digital at a lightning speed, making it imperative for business establishments to upgrade their skills, processes and technological know-how to this changing model. The fact that digital transformation emerged as a top concern for CIO Agenda in 2017, according to Wall Street Journal report underlines the imminence of the situation.
Leveraging digital technologies to improve business operations and organizational setups is the focus of businesses right now. If you too are considering a digital transformation initiative for your business, here are five questions to consider for making desired progress in a prioritized and strategic way:
1. Why do you need digital transformation?
‘Just because everyone is doing it’ is not the best reason to undertake a digital transformation process. It is important for an organization to understand why, if at all, they need to go through it. The best approach here is to identify the end goals you want to achieve by going digital – whether it is improving product quality, customer experiences or internal processes – and then work backward. This is particularly important for businesses, where digital processes do not directly tune in with core KPIs. Having your end goals in sight right from the onset will help you determine the outcomes of your digital transformation initiative.
2. How will you substantiate the value of your digital transformation initiative?
Well, this is one of the basic questions that must govern almost every business decision you take but is especially crucial in the case of digital transformation. You must have a clear idea as to how you plan to measure the success of your digitization plan, and for that, knowing how the concept fits into your business strategy is of paramount importance. Once these parameters have been established, the process of monitoring and gauging value of other relevant indicators, not just during the process of digital transformation but also beyond, becomes simpler. This will also save you time, effort and money in layering on technology in areas that don’t really require it.
3. Are your key stakeholders on board?
Digital transformation isn’t a small project but an extensive overhaul that will impact every single department and person associated with your business. As with every other big project, unexpected difficulties may crop up along the way. The project may get delayed or the budget may overshoot. If all your stakeholders aren’t onboard or fully convinced about the need to go digital, they may decide to pull the plug on the project. Working on your buy-in is essential to make sure all leaders and stakeholders – business partners, financiers, and shareholders – fully understand the importance of such an initiative and are committed to taking it to its logical end.
4. Have you found the right people to execute your digital transformation?
Whether you are simply revamping a website, building a new one, working on automated marketing, digitizing customer experiences, or doing it all in one go, you need the right kind of experts to get the job done and done well. Which brings up another poignant question – whether you want to hire people to do this job for you or outsource? The answer to this depends entirely on the kind of digitization you have in mind and the resources available at your disposal. If you are an established business with a long-term digital map in mind, building a core team of digital professionals is better suited. On the other hand, if you are a startup with limited resources, outsourcing may be a more practical option. Whatever your choice, you need to focus on striking that intricate balance between experience, skill and in-demand roles. There are a lot of talented professionals in the marketplace, you just need to pick the ones whose wavelength resonates with your end goals and larger KPIs.
5. Are your employees prepared for the change?
When a business undergoes a digital transformation, a lot of operational aspects are bound to change. This may mean that your employees will need to upgrade their skills and learn new processes. You cannot expect them to throw their existing work habits right out of the window and embrace the change instantaneously. A digital transformation will kick-in in the true sense only when you evolve a strategy to inform, educate and help your employees cope with the change.
Just the way every business has its own distinct identity, each digital transformation initiative is unique too. Be that as it may, these five key questions can prove vital in helping you define and execute a digital transformation that works best for your organization.