At its heart, digital transformation is the reaction of business to the digital age.
According to George Westerman, author of Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation, "digital transformation marks a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people and processes to fundamentally change business performance."
As stated in our previous blog, technology continues to revolutionize how we interact with the world, allowing businesses to become more agile and react and adapt quickly. As such our dependence on new digital technologies is growing and it can be argued that digital technology is no longer a beneficial addition to a business but instead is a key element to remaining viable.
Now more than ever, businesses need to harness the power of digital transformation to continue to evolve and, critically, remain competitive.
Beginning your Digital Transformation Journey
To gain competitive advantage, a digital transformation journey needs a staged approach with a clear strategy. It requires organizational changes that are customer-centric, backed by leadership, driven by radical challenges to corporate culture, and the leveraging of technologies that empower and enable employees.1
Create a road map
A digital transformation roadmap is essential. This framework should incorporate updating physical systems and address cultural shifts as traditional processes are reimagined.
A crucial element of this framework surrounds setting your digital transformation goals. Organizations must evaluate their current practices and technological capacity and examine technologies that are available to them. This first step will allow you to identify key milestones and align them with your business goals to create a cohesive digital transformation roadmap.
Make an investment
Investment is key to improving current business processes and keeping up-to-date with innovation in your relevant fields. According to McKinsey, companies with outdated systems might need to double their spending over five years in IT alone.2 While this may impact profits in the short term, the longer-term risk of not investing financially in digital transformation is much greater.
Get the right people
According to the Harvard Business Review, assembling the right team of people to conduct your journey is something that should be established early on. They note that this team should include people in four domains—technology, data, process people, and organizational change capacity.3 Each domain must function together and be understood by business leaders for digital transformation to reach its full potential.
Nurture your journey
How an organization will nurture its digital transformation journey should also be considered before implementation.
This ranges from how you will gain the buy-in from senior management to the initial "easy-win" projects that will kick off the transformation and build momentum. How the transformation strategy is launched and promoted among employees is also integral here.
Fundamentally, to implement a digital transformation strategy that will achieve long-term change, you need to be ready to embrace disruption and encourage risk.
Factors vital to success
McKinsey notes that there are 21 factors that improve the chances of a successful digital transformation strategy. However, when analyzing these 21 factors, three overarching themes become apparent.
Gain employee buy-in
When implementing new processes, gaining employee buy-in is a decisive component of success.
Providing employees with opportunities to generate ideas of where digitalization might support the business and redefining roles and responsibilities to align with transformation goals are two ways to achieve this.
Communication is also an essential component alongside implementing digital tools to improve standard ways of operating. In fact, "implement digital tools to make information more accessible across the organization" is ranked first.4
Of the 21 factors, almost half pertain to utilizing leaders or senior managers within an organization to encourage support for new technologies and the overall digital transformation initiative.
These factors vary from engaging leaders in transformation-specific roles to encouraging managers to challenge old ways of working and support employees as they experiment with new ideas.5
Evaluate and respond to your organization's skillset
To succeed at implementing new digital solutions, you must have the skills required to utilize these solutions.
Evaluating the digital-savviness of your workforce will reveal the areas in which they are currently proficient and those which require upskilling. Ultimately, identifying the skills needed to make digital transformation a reality is vital.
Across all sectors globally, digital platforms are creating new business models, enhancing customer experience, and increasing efficiency and profitability.
As more and more businesses adapt to the new digital age, digital transformation is quickly becoming a necessity for business success.
To adapt to new processes, keep up with evolving customer demand and, ultimately, not get left behind, organizations must harness the power of digital transformation.
As digital transformation evolves from being a nice to have to a must-have, Asite is on hand to provide organizations with the solutions they need to transform their processes and create digital collaboration solutions. To find out more, you can speak to a member of the team or Book a Demo.