As business practices change at a breakneck pace, organizations are warming up to digital transformation as they need to stay on top of business trends and operations. Yet, many fail to consider how much change a digital transformation strategy requires.
There is more to digital transformation than simply acquiring the latest technology. It is a long-term transition where organizations have to reimagine operations, employee engagement, and more.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of incorporating digital technologies into the business processes of an organization. It entails the rethinking of company culture and business models to become more efficient and deliver phenomenal customer experience.
Digital transformation management comes with several bumps in the road as it demands a drastic change that must be acted upon within the organization. This involves optimizing business processes, assessing existing technologies or upgrading the technology stack, reinventing customer relations and experience, and embracing an entirely new company culture.
How to manage a successful digital transformation initiative?
The risks of digital transformation are inherent, but these should not hold back organizations from implementing a successful digital transformation initiative. Here is a step-by-step guide that organizations can follow to make the most of digital transformation:
Set the framework for your digital transformation strategy.
Digital transformation occurs in three phases:
- Digitization (digital formatting of company resources and data)
- Digitalization (automating processes)
- Digital transformation (integrating digitized information and digitalized workflows with reimagined business applications)
For each phase, organizations can define goals aligned with their business objectives. Goal-setting drives forward the digital transformation strategy, with performance metrics to keep track of progress.
Plot a technology roadmap.
Technology speeds up business processes with the power of automation. That being said, it is essential to make a thorough assessment of existing technologies in the organization. What is still working, and what must be replaced? What programs are outdated? Which technological solutions are ideal?
Keep an eye out for the latest innovations that can boost operational productivity. Process automation, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence are several technologies to invest in as you progress through your digital transformation journey.
Embrace and encourage modernization.
Expect resistance from employees who have grown comfortable with the familiar traditional business processes. While unavoidable, managers can curb this resistance to open-mindedness towards new and innovative solutions.
Take deliberate time to introduce new technologies or processes to employees. Seminars and team meetings can help employees warm up to these changes. From there, host employee training sessions to immerse employees before they begin officially working with the new business applications.
Plan an investment strategy.
You will want to keep ROI on top of your mind for your digital transformation strategy. As it is no cheap investment, you want to make sure you are making tactical decisions in dedicating a portion of your resources to digital transformation. Keep track of how digital initiatives are bringing value to the organization (ROI, performance, customer experience), and explore new solutions to scale digital initiatives.
Implement change management.
Change management is imperative to the success of digital transformation. With a change management strategy in place, transitioning to a digitally-driven business model is less disruptive. Appoint a team specializing in change management to help employees adjust to the changes and communicate their queries or concerns.
Set a budget – and stick to it.
It is no secret that digital transformation is a costly investment with risks to be cautious of. Smaller enterprises may want to launch their digital transformation initiative to a specific department or business process. Allocate a reasonable budget and scale the transformation according to your financial capacity. As for bigger and established enterprises, allocate a budget in line with the goals and ROI you wish to achieve.
Hire and onboard promising talents.
Digital transformation is not for the faint-hearted; it requires perseverance to innovate and adapt agile thinking. Employ chief information officers (CIOs) who are capable of supporting employees during disruptive periods. Citizen developers with a curiosity for tailoring business applications are a welcome addition.
Who is responsible for managing digital transformation initiatives?
Digital transformation encompasses all aspects of an organization, from operational to client-facing processes. So, who should lead the digital transformation in an organization? Every business user performs their role for successful digital transformation management, but it is the chief information officer (CIO) that takes the lead role in driving and initiating a digital transformation.
The significance of a Chief Information Officer (CIO)
The CIO is responsible for how an organization approaches digital transformation initiatives. They specialize in modernizing business processes and keep a close eye on the latest innovations worth adopting.
A CIO also faces the challenge of keeping up with business trends and technologies. As industries grow more saturated, it is a race of acquiring the best digital techniques to make the most of an organization’s digital presence and customer relations.
Tools to manage digital transformation in the workplace:
Managing digital transformation in the workplace takes a long time to provide immediate results. However, daily monitoring ensures that digital initiatives are active and continuously progressing.
A range of digital tools helps CIOs manage and optimize digital transformation initiatives. Below is a list of handy tools to make the most of digital transformation in the workplace.
Cloud-based collaborative workplaces allow for easy data management anytime, anywhere. This provides employees with the mobility and freedom to access resources whenever necessary. Collaborative suites also allow for faster communication among employees, bypassing organizational hierarchies of a physical office setup.
Project management systems
A project management system is an indispensable addition to your digital transformation toolkit. Increase the transparency of deadlines and workload with a project management system. Schedule and appoint tasks and monitor daily progress to boost productivity and conclude successful projects.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems
Digital transformation seeks to innovate the customer experience, and CRM systems help organizations keep up with customer behavior and expectations. A CRM system gathers data on the target audience, enabling business users to make informed business decisions in managing sales, customer feedback, and more.
App development platforms
Digital transformation entails business users becoming agile problem solvers. Empower employees with a low-code/no-code app development platform. This technology allows non-developers to create applications and fix issues in no time. Low-code development platforms enable business users to bring their ideas to life, boosting work satisfaction and confidence.
Software to manage internal operations:
Digital transformation disrupts organizational silos, encouraging collaborative efforts among business users regardless of job position. Manage workflows and employee communication with these handy tools.
Process automation systems
Business users can expect tasks to be more complex as the organization progresses further in its digital transformation process. Mundane tasks become the least priority in the daily agenda, but they must not be ignored. Process automation systems help relieve employees of menial tasks and automate routine processes, allowing employees to focus on more pressing tasks.
Communication is crucial to promote progress across any business process. Good communication also motivates employees to deliver their best efforts every day. Digital communication platforms encourage easy access to new and relevant information. Employees and stakeholders alike feel more involved with ongoing digital initiatives when information is circulated on communication apps.
Recruitment management software
Digital transformation encourages more recruitment waves to scale manpower. A digitally-driven organization will want nifty recruitment management software for efficient hiring and onboarding. With recruitment management software, HR representatives and hiring managers can review resumes, provide interview feedback, and onboard qualified candidates to the team.
Embrace the Power of Digital Transformation with Kissflow
Digital literacy and agile development are key factors in the race to rank at the top of the industry. With the right change management strategy, organizations can overcome the challenges of digital transformation and welcome a new and modernized business perspective.
Kissflow's digital transformation platform has been helping many enterprises to fast-track their journey. The platform lets you experience the Power of Simple to drive digital transformation and helps drive process improvements, operational efficiencies, and enterprise-grade governance all while enabling cross-functional collaboration.