Digital transformation has been a single yet powerful response to all the technological disruptions brought to businesses globally. The COVID-19 pandemic has made companies realize that digital transformation is no more a strategy but a mandatory survival mechanism. 70% of companies have expanded their investments in digital transformation initiatives to foster resilience. On-time adoption of emerging technologies and leveraging their benefits is paramount for the success of your digital transformation goals.
But digital transformation doesn’t need to sound intimidating or overwhelming. Any business upgrade that involves the latest digital tools to streamline workflows can be called a digital transformation initiative. Simply put it is all about using digital technology to enhance a particular business process. There are numerous ways to implement a digital transformation, like
- Using automation in place of manual processes
- Introducing a new collaboration tool
- Using data analytics and AI to accelerate smart decision-making
- Building digitally empowering products and services
As we saw above, digital transformation can mean different things to different companies, based on their objectives. But everyone needs to be aware of the opportunities that they can leverage from the current tech tools, and how to scale and get a competitive advantage.
1. What digital transformation means for your organization
If you start researching digital capabilities, you might stumble across plenty of options. But the question here is which one is suitable for your business and will take you to success. You need to sit and analyze those areas in which you can implement digital transformation and see the results immediately.
Take a strategic approach. Pull out the current challenges that your business faces, and see if you can integrate a new digital tool that will solve this. For example, if you are running short of employees in the customer success team, and you need a tool that can answer common customer queries. A chatbot could be a great immediate solution to this problem.
Another example could be, if you are having trouble managing your leave requests through emails, try initiating a robust workflow management tool that can automate and simplify your leave request process.
2. Prepare a checklist
What is a digital transformation checklist by the way?
To help businesses accelerate in the right direction and embrace the full benefits of digital transformation, a checklist that contains the dos’ must be crafted. It can also be called a digital road map that will help you navigate throughout the process.
A digital transformation initiative goes a long way and is more modernizing your software assets and adopting the cloud. It requires real changes that start with people involved. So you need to prepare a checklist that includes the stakeholders.
Start getting suggestions from your CIOs
A company’s digital transformation initiatives can’t occur without the support of top leadership. So, before coming up with an implementation plan, your CIO should approve the innovation plan, know the requirement behind the implementation, and also set specific goals. You will also need to come up with a governance framework that has all the rules and regulations.
As companies have started investing heavily in digital transformation, CIOs can use advanced tools and technologies as a defense mechanism against any digital disruptions. Make the business agile, and powerful in the vulnerable changing environment.3.
3. Understand your existing digital state and come up with ideas
You need to discover your current state and identify the gaps and opportunities before implementing any kind of digital transformation initiatives at your organization. Some of the key arrears that can be assessed are
- Operational model and its efficiency
- Talent gaps
- Security and Compliance
- How your employees collaborate
- Are your employees productive enough to reach your goal
- Data Analytics and Intelligence
Equip yourself with enough resources to manage the transformation
70% of organizations aren’t able to achieve their digital transformation goals. This is mostly due to a talent shortage. Ensure you have a team with a clear vision of the digital transformation plan and where you are heading to. They need to support you in times of havoc.
Review and measure your success
For any digital transformation project, it is important to measure its success periodically. You need to allot relevant KPIs based on your project objectives. Based on the metrics, you can start your next plan of action. If you find any bottlenecks, fix them before moving ahead.
Ask these questions
- Do I have the right people?
- What human talent/skills do my business require to achieve my vision?
- Have I chosen a simple technology infrastructure?
- Do I have clear goals?
- Is my organization ready for transformation?
- What are the manual processes that can be automated?
- What processes are creating more obstacles, and how can I overcome them?
- Currently what digital tools are available to my team?
- How can the technology I am choosing deliver value to my team and customers?
- What data could we collect for making informed strategic decisions? How could we use technology to collect this data?4
4. Create a strategic plan
Every business has got it own unique vision, with an operational model and challenges that come along the way. Craft your own digital strategy with your objectives and focus on those areas to achieve your goals faster.
Having a well-planned vision right from the start will help you assess the success of your transition and meet your targets. Just because there is too much about digital transformation throughout the internet, don’t get overwhelmed! There is nothing called the “right approach”. Whichever path you choose to take during your digital transformation journey, do it with a clear strategy and realistic goals. This will help you identify problems in the earlier stages and dodge them like a pro.
5. Modernizing legacy apps
How long your legacy apps have been serving you and contributing to your success, you need to know when it’s time to give up on them. These legacy apps start displaying errors, bugs, and constant issues over time, which will directly affect your revenue and productivity. You need to get rid of these ASAP and switch to newer systems that use cutting-edge technology. This will help you stay ahead of your competitors and keep your business up and running. Legacy modernization is similar to what we call software updates today. You tend to utilize the strength of old business apps by integrating with the latest technologies, which will help you build a powerful product.
You can follow these steps:
- Assess the current state of your systems in detail and understand every other aspect of your technology
- Choosing the modern approach matters here. You also need to choose the “one size fits all” to deliver faster results
- You need to begin working from the most needed features and then expand exponentially
- Choose a technology stack that is easy to use and has been recognized as a market leader for its performance
- Adopt no-code or low-code platforms
- Don't scrap everything at once, create a support and retirement plan for all your outdated systems
6. Identify the technological gap which slows down the journey and fix it
With technology evolving faster, you have the pressure to keep yours updated and stay ahead of emerging digital tools. You also need to make sure that the tools you have opted for follow the regulatory standards and compliance requirements to protect your data. You need to do a technology gap analysis where you compare the current tools and technologies and their desired state, and then come up with a plan to bridge the gap.
A gap analysis goes a long way from just identifying the what and when of the IT system and infrastructure. You also need to ask why and how for updating and upgrading the technology. Since IT teams already have a lot on their plate, it might be difficult to deeply review every other tool and system capability and assess the future needs of your business.
But this is a crucial step if you are serious about your digital transformation initiative and want to move the business forward.
6. Take small digital initiatives and expand them
The technological changes that you make today will become something else in the future. None of them will remain untouched, and unaltered. It will be traveling all along enhancing your business operations, reputation and revenue. Digital transformation is always a journey and never a destination. So, even the incremental changes you make will add to it. It includes getting maximum value from your existing technology and identifying the technology gaps.
7. Establish a sustainable change management
Even though you have taken huge tech decisions during the pandemic like remote work, adapting to new tools for collaboration, etc, you need to understand that this is an evolving journey. More than two-thirds of company transformations fail. And 20% of loss occurs not during, but after, the actual transformation. This is because companies wouldn’t be prepared for the changes that need to be made after transformation. For a digital transformation plan to succeed, it requires a strong change management strategy.
Change management means planning, implementing, and monitoring the changes made in an organization. It is mainly to help you achieve your goals without compromising during disruptions.
- A well-planned change management strategy helps:
- Define the scope of your digital transformation initiatives
- Identify the business process that needs to be changed or tweaked
- Establish a roadmap for the implementation of the changes
- Engage employees and stakeholders in the change management process
- Monitor the progress and make changes if necessary
8. Prepare a roadmap
When you’re transitioning from the current digital state, you would require a roadmap that would guide you throughout your digital transformation journey. A road map should have - Use cases to improve the current tech deficits - A step-by-step approach to your digital transformation initiative - State the benchmarks and KPIs that you need to follow to identify success and failures at each step
You need to understand which tech solution is ideal for each department, which solution can enhance your peripheral capabilities, and which of these solutions would be dormant. You need to draw this roadmap that can help you achieve long-term business goals.
Kissflow- One platform, unlimited digital possibilities for all!
Digital transformation requires determined leadership, strategic planning a crystal clear vision. You can explore Kissflow's digital transformation platform to craft a streamlined digital transformation process. Kissflow has been helping companies with their digital capabilities, becoming agile, and emerging as a successful player in the market.
Kissflow’s work platform plays an important role in helping you fast-track your journey. Experience the power of simplicity while accelerating digital transformation projects. Drive process improvements, operational efficiencies, and governance while enabling robust cross-functional collaboration.
Read More on Digital Transformation:
1. What is Digital Transformation? Definition & Types
2. Why does Digital Transformation Fail?
3. Enabling Digital Transformation with Cloud Technology
4. 9 Digital Transformation trends to follow in 2023
5. Gartner's insights on Digital Transformation market growth