A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Transformation

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Bringing about digital transformation to any company or a business is difficult. However, it is doable considering the fact that it has become inevitable. While a few companies have successfully taken to the transformation, quite a few others have just managed to complete the metamorphosis. That being said, there is no step-by-step process for digitally transforming a company. No rulebook or even a checklist to follow.

A wiser step would be to learn from the competition or learn from the surroundings. It might be from inside the industry or outside the industry. Nonetheless, the goal remains the same – to contemplate and take on the challenges posed by digital transformation, come up with answers by evaluation and devise methods or tools to digitise the company and its operations.

Before stepping in to go about the process, there are a few pertinent questions that need to be cleared. How do you balance the investment for today’s opportunities with the future investment? How do you think your company can adjust to digital transformation? Would your company be successful in finding suitable talent for digitising the operations? How do you drive digital initiatives in the company and its daily operations?

Put some serious thought into this and you are bound to come to a conclusion – all the above questions revolve around four fundamentals of digital transformation:

  1. The direction your company is headed towards – digital strategy.
  2. How well your plans fit the working model of your company/business – business model.
  3. The prerequisites required to attain the goal – the enablers.
  4. The managing criteria that help your company reach its destination – orchestration.

Once these rudiments have been identified, you can take the next step of tending to the problem all the while exploring and learning from the same.

Digital Strategy:

To begin with, assessing and setting digital strategies for your company/business will require addressing three basic questions: Where is the industry/sector of your company headed? What will be your company’s role for it in the future? How best can you create a path that can direct the company to move forward with the ability to adapt to changes and incorporate the same along the way?

Some people easily identify the answers and use them to their benefit but if you did not, you do not need to worry. You just need to remember an important fact – every digital transformation must always include criteria and ideas to pursue the business opportunities that come along the way as well as pursue those that define a new path for the organisation to help its growth in the long run.

Always incorporate dual approaches in your work mode – to work on the existing work and to work on projects that are path breaking and seem extremely difficult. This dual approach is guaranteed to lead you to a clear and a balanced vision for your company/business and helps increase the business engagement with the next generation customers. Furthermore, it keeps the employees motivated thus helping in the success of the transformation.

Business Model:

Always remember, digital transformations are still business transformations and help make the company adapt to new technologies and changes. This aids the company to better face the future prospects. These transformations must be made in such a way that they furnish improved outcomes for the business and also drive real value to the clients or the customers.

Do not opt for digitisation just because everybody is doing it. Installing new technologies for the sake of it and forcing the employees and your business model to adapt to it might put your company/business in jeopardy. Know your business model and check if the digitisation is adaptable to it. If it fits in right, these transformations typically result in better customer experience, faster digital services, and emergence of new economic models with better advancement in operations.

Enablers:

Every digital journey begins with things that serve the purpose and make things happen called enablers. For any company/business transformation, we need key enablers like data and analytics, IT systems, operating model, man power, work ethics and culture. Since digital transformations are all about the incorporation of new technologies and techniques, they are pretty easy to come by and get it right.

If you are of the opinion that accessing new technology is difficult, then you would be pleasantly surprised to find out that you are wrong. You would be amazed at how much success really depends on the organisation, its employees and its work culture instead of the technology. Really, it’s all about the adaptability. The greatest of challenges do not lie in incorporating new technology but in hiring new talent, enhancing the skills of the existing employees and metamorphosing the work culture to be more innovative and adaptable.

Orchestration:

As easy as digital transformation might seem, the journey truly might be complicated and often daunting to the management. Like many products and services, you could try digital transformation with closed experimentation – a test with dedicated funding, talented working individuals and strong support from the top brass. Without a doubt, most of the times such experiments turn out to be a success.

However, the true challenge lies in taking the same experiment and scaling it and applying it to the entire company/business. Problems arise when it comes to funding, modifying the behaviour of thousands of people and integrating the IT systems among a few. For the same to taste success, good leadership is critical for communicating priorities, securing the funds and overcoming other obstacles.

Final Thoughts:

Highly performing leaders can take over the mantle and act as digital ambassadors, endorsing the change and motivating the employees to adapt to the new changes. They champion the digital efforts within teams, across teams and the entire company to help change the mind-set of thousands of people.

Once the articulation for the required elements for the digital transformation is done, you can comfortably discuss and chalk the areas that are challenging and need attention and monitor those that are under control. To summarise it all, it is very important for you to evaluate the needs and implications of digital transformation for your company before jumping the gun, no matter how inevitable it might seem. After all, it concerns an enterprise and the careers of innumerable employees.

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