Building a digital transformation framework doesn’t mean altering your technology stacks, automating reports, or switching technologies for the sake of it. The framework is simply an avenue to get to your destination. You have to avoid assumptions that changing the way you do things will automatically make you digitally transformed.
To experience successful digital transformation, you need to first understand your digital maturity. The digital maturity scale essentially elucidates where a company is in terms of technological or digital integration. And while digital transformation is an unachievable final frontier, the scale clarifies how close a company is to it.
The digital maturity scale has three stages:
Digitization: Going from non-digital or outdated tools to using digital solutions
Digitalization: Using modern technology to improve process efficiency
Digital transformation: Leveraging bleeding-edge technology to stay at the forefront of innovation
What is a Digital Transformation Framework?
What does the digital transformation framework mean for an organization? A digital transformation framework is a strategic plan that guides organizations to reimagine work in order to drive large-scale cultural and technological change. This plan focuses on driving organizational and technological development for improved productivity, value delivery, and operational efficiency.
Digital transformation framework in general means a well-planned long-term strategy on how a business will address the complex challenges posed during the transition to the digital world.
Once you understand where you are on this journey, the next step is to reimagine work. Let’s say you’re deploying an email automation system to strengthen customer relationships and build brand loyalty. But you’re measuring the success of your new change based on your old KPIs. This does not necessarily mean you’re achieving better results, but rather measuring the same results using a new system.
Deloitte explains the idea—to achieve success with digital transformation efforts, an organization needs to speak a common language that is understood by all stakeholders. This language must surpass any individual technology. It must go straight to the heart of the processes and culture, and how people work and interact. All this is only possible with a proper digital transformation framework.
How To Create a Digital Transformation Framework?
Digital transformation strategies guide an organization to transform itself via a sequence of clearly defined goals and objectives (business size, customers, and current digital maturity). Only then can the organization stay ahead of the curve and thrive in a highly competitive marketplace.
Elements to Consider to Build a Framework
Employees who have digital literacy will have a deep understanding of the platforms, applications, and collaborative tools utilized by the organization. More importantly, they’ll know how to deliver business objectives by using these technologies.
An ongoing education and training plan should be part of the company culture to help current employees become proficient and productive, and understand the value of these new processes. Ensure your talent feels informed and included to motivate and align them with your vision.
Enterprise technology can seem complex and intimidating for companies adapting to it. This is one of the biggest challenges for organizations undergoing digital transformation. Choosing the right tech is critical from the perspectives of implementation, scalability, data integration, and end-user experience. So, you must consider these aspects from the beginning of your transformation project and look out for the most intuitive solutions.
Most solutions in the market are cloud-based. And while there are some applications for on-premise solutions, it is advisable to shift to cloud technology simply because of the advantages it brings.
Why are you replacing legacy systems and other manual processes with a new digital system? Do you need or have a plan to implement advanced and complex systems? Are you ready to properly migrate your existing systems to a new one?
These are some of the important questions you must answer before creating a digital transformation framework. A digital transformation project will not be successful without a predetermined strategy. Only if you have a clear strategy can you identify which areas can be improved and upgraded.
Customer-centricity is achieved by combining customer focus and business purpose (strategy, capabilities, and culture).
Viewing a business from a customer’s vantage will stop internal divisions and cultural differences from getting in the way of customer experience. Such an alignment will lead to the following benefits:
- Reduced friction from the buyer’s journey
- Personalized customer experience
- True, authentic value delivery
- Improved data integrity and security
Steps to build your digital transformation framework
For these reasons, a digital transformation framework cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. An adaptable goal-based framework is always best for aligning your strategy for digital execution.
Here are the essentials for building a successful digital transformation framework.
1. Evaluating the Current Stage
First and foremost, you need to evaluate your company’s standing at the base.
- What’s driving the need for digital transformation?
- What isn’t working at your organization?
- What objectives need to be met? And across which areas of the business?
- What changes can be expected with the newly implemented technology, and how its success will be measured?
- How will the changes affect customer behavior?
- How enforcing changes will likely affect your short- and long-term goals?
All of this will help you identify inconsistencies that need to be filled in. In turn, you’ll be able to identify the specific technologies that could be most effective in benefiting the organization.
The next stage is to develop strategies.
2. Develop strategies
Companies make the mistake of giving too much attention to specific technologies to enhance operations instead of creating a holistic strategy that can transform a business across all systems and processes.
Digital transformation will be a disappointment if shiny technologies are layered onto broken processes and teams that are resistant to change. A successful integrated strategy should:
- Define the purpose of digital transformation
- Build a digital mindset into the foundation
- Enable leaders to manage change
- Create a realistic map of timelines and deliverables
- Outline a custom tech and data synergy plan
3. Organization Alignment
Organizational alignment is another fundamental prerequisite of digital transformation as it’s impossible to implement digital strategy without proper alignment.
Establishing a cooperative culture will prepare employees for change and will keep them aligned and motivated. Otherwise, introducing technology into a workforce too quickly or with too many moving pieces at once could lead to information overload for your team.
This is a general process followed to achieve organizational alignment:
- Vision declaration
- Goal setting
- Collaborative ideation
- KPI development
- Culture/change management planning
- Role definition
4. Hire Talents
The right employees have the power to accelerate digital transformation. When you maximize technology investment, you need to find the talent that understands it. To achieve success in your digital transformation efforts, you must have skilled employees in your organization that know how to navigate change.
And so, to hire the right talent, the recruitment process needs to be optimized for digital transition. This will be applicable to pretty much every job in the organization from C-level executives, to developers, project managers, and digital marketers.
5. Proper Investment
Digital transformation includes a considerable amount of investment. If you have a substandard investment strategy, it will take considerably more to close the gap at a later point. Apart from this, any other added consultation work, shifts in your customer requirements, and other IT errors will compound the problem. This is why it is crucial to have a clear understanding of your short-term and long-term goals. When you understand this, you’ll be able to figure out the areas where spending is high and the areas where your budget needs to be increased.
Have a clear understanding of your budget spending and identity opportunities for consolidation. Invest in learning about the tools that have evolved, and understanding the potential intersection between current and future IT spending for digital transformation initiatives. This will allow you to remain flexible and agile while also delivering enhanced speed for digital maturity.
How Kissflow can help?
For a true transformation, business changes should reflect in the outcomes and must be aligned to what you’re transforming into. To deliver value continuously, a custom digital transformation strategy along with a proper framework is required.
There’s quite a lot of work and challenges involved in this process. So it’s a good idea to get help from digital transformation catalysts like Kissflow.
Kissflow’s digital transformation platform helps you take the next step in your digital transformation journey. Not only does it address multiple use cases such as application development and process automation but it does so in a simple, smart, and efficient manner.