Digital transformation seems to be gaining ground in all industries, from retail to financial services to HR and consulting to healthcare and pharma. So, by this point, we might as well all agree on that the future is digital, and in order to navigate the seas of change, a clear vision of the destination and a well-defined route towards the business goal, are required: guideline for a Successful Digital Transformation
People keep saying that the future is digital, but what do they actually mean by it? When speaking about Digital Transformation, we must remember that the emphasis here is not on ‘digital’ but on ‘transformation’ in general. It is not about turning the traditional business into a digital one, but about working on a combination of technology, people and processes in order to become more efficient, offer better customer service, enter new markets and grow revenue.
In order to succeed in all fronts and deliver desired outcomes, the new digital capabilities have to be rolled out holistically. Knowing where to begin has proven to be the most difficult part for many companies. That’s why we dedicate today’s post to draft some guidelines for starting on the path of digital transformation.
1. Define your measures of success and ROI goals
When it comes to digital transformation, it isn’t one size fits it all. There must be a clear understanding of what is the main goal of your business before jumping in digital transformation head first. Having clear goals would allow to define the best strategy, evaluate the project’s progress and adjust when needed.
2. Plan ahead and create a joint strategy
When you have defined your goals, the next step is to analyze how digitization creates new ways of working, transforms skills and the culture of your organization. Any organization-wide change requires a lot of planning in all levels of the company, it is wrong to perceive it as purely an IT matter. Technology is the enabler and the driving force behind the change, but the change itself must be centered on your people.
3. Make sure you understand what cultural change means
Might sound surprising, but the barriers standing in the way of transformation are often more cultural than technical (cultural resistance to change being, for example, the primary barrier to digital transformation in European companies). Management must be prepared to explain the benefits of new solutions and make sure it helps their employees to augment their capabilities, rather than adding a piece of technology for its own sake. Technology is there to unleash the creativity and innovation, the real criteria driving the success of an organization are the employees.
4. Modernize your systems and legacy technology incrementally in small steps
Going for the ‘all or nothing’ approach in digital transformation comes with considerable risks and complications, which in turn makes many enterprises reluctant to change. That’s why it is important to keep in mind that modernization is a continuum, not a destination. Or in other words, digital transformation is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And aiming for gradual benefits while upgrading your legacy technology and systems will help to avoid risks.
5. Unify your company’s IT operations
Only by using right unified IT operations management (ITOM) tools can companies control their increasingly dynamic digital platforms. Otherwise, the hotchpotch of disparate and decentralized systems will become a roadblock on innovation and performance. Without visibility into the performance of these systems, problems can be missed that could, in turn, lead to more critical IT failures.
So if you’re interested in getting deeper into the guidelines for Digital Transformation, take a step further!