How to Ensure Your Digital Transformation Succeeds

Digital transformation starts with strong leadership, but the process never ends. Involving all your team members, telling a story, and continuing to evaluate progress are critical.
May 19, 2022
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Today, nearly every business is adopting new means of conducting operations, and technology is playing a foundational role. In fact, some organizations are even performing a comprehensive and holistic overhaul of their processes and adopting tools to improve and prepare for the future.

This is called digital transformation, and it’s not just a passing fad. In order to stay competitive in an evolving world, it’s important for businesses to adopt cutting-edge solutions to fuel their operations. But not all digital transformation strategies succeed. Here’s how to ensure yours does.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation means infusing technology in every part of your business to improve productivity, efficiency, and other aspects of the organization. It involves shifting mindsets, too, so that everyone is tapping into the power of these tools at all levels. In addition, it means inventorying your current technologies to determine what needs replacing or upgrading.

9 Tips for Success

1. Start with Strong Leadership

Transformation begins with a solid leadership team in place. They set the tone for the rest of the organization. It’s important to have leaders who are technologically competent spearheading this movement. They will be able to champion the efforts and explain how the tools will contribute to your success, making people work more efficiently and effectively. Leaders need to buy into digital transformation to help ensure that others support the efforts, too.

2. Have a Focus

Yes, digital transformation is a comprehensive process, affecting every corner of your organization. But it’s still important to establish a focus. This means considering and taking stock of central features that you are looking to gain or improve. It also means being selective, thinking about which tools, technologies, and processes will aid your progress as a business. 

3. Create goals.

Your focus depends on your goals — they can’t exist in isolation from one another. Work with your team members to learn what their priorities are, and establish key objectives that make sense to everyone. In addition to creating goals, set benchmarks to help you assess your progress toward achieving those goals. 

Think long-term. You want to create a direction, something toward which your entire organization is working.

4. Establish Roles

Clearly-defined roles are central to ensuring the success of your digital transformation strategy. Each team member should know what they are supposed to be doing at any given time. They should also know how they fit into the bigger picture — why are they doing what they’re doing? How are they contributing to your overall mission in terms of digital transformation? Why are they so valuable to your strategy?

Keep in mind that this isn’t limited to technical roles. Project managers, for example, also have a central role.

5. Involve Everyone

Because digital transformation encompasses all departments, employees, and levels, everyone should be involved in the strategy. True, different individuals may have larger or smaller roles, but at the same time, each one of them should know what is taking place. They should all be made to feel included and informed. It’s about community as much as it is about providing information. 

6. Tell a Story

Change is hard for anyone. But you do need your team to support your digital transformation initiative. 

In order to attain buy-in from all of your employees, you should present a compelling vision of what it is you’re trying to achieve. Paint a picture, making it appealing, so your employees aren’t only accepting of your venture but excited to participate in it. Explore how this will impact the people and the wider organization in positive ways. Essentially, this is your pitch.

7. Offer the Best Tools

A digital transformation plan demands the best tools. If you expect your team to be responsible for such an enormous undertaking, every member must be equipped with the technologies to make it happen. There should be AI-backed tools to allow you to automate key components, cloud computing platforms to manage, store, and secure your information and data, and more, depending on the precise needs of your organization.

You should also make use of your data analytics to identify problems or gaps and find opportunities to improve your strategy and overall organization.

8. Always Think About the End User

The end user should always be on your mind as you undertake a digital transformation. That’s because ultimately, it’s all about your users — how they will respond to your products or services. So, every measure you take should be to appeal to your consumer base.

For each initiative you enact, consider how you are in some way improving the user experience. There probably won’t be direct links for every component of your strategy, but there should be a reason behind each piece that contributes to your consumer’s journey.

9. Keep Assessing Progress

This is an ongoing process with no finite endpoint. You and your customers’ needs will evolve, and the technologies themselves will change. In order to keep developing and growing as a business, you must continue to evaluate and re-evaluate your strategy and progress. This means adopting a flexible mindset and working with your team to ensure that they do the same.

Conduct periodic evaluations on a regular schedule to assess your current tools and practices and consider what you can do to improve. Track your progress, using data to measure the results of your efforts. Remember, too, that there is always room to improve in the future.

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