However, there can also be some big challenges when you begin your digital transformation, as discussed in part one of this series. The right approach will enable you to overcome these challenges and make the most of technology across all your business activities.
Key Take Aways to Make Your Digital Transformation a Success
Digital transformations can look very different as every business has different technological needs. However, there are some general rules that it can help to follow when you are developing your new digital strategy.
1. Digital Transformation Must Be Planned
Digital transformation is a dramatic process that can change everything from the way you talk to your customers to the overall structure of your organisation. In order to get these changes right, you need to plan your digital transformation carefully.
- Start with a review of your business including your strengths, brand identity, and assets such as intellectual property and skilled workers
- Make sure that you understand your market and the current customer journey, including any issues such as delays or missed opportunities to connect with people
- Put the customer first – no customers = no business
- Learn more about the technology that is available and consider how it can help the customer, as well as your team
- Create objectives about what you’re trying to achieve and by when as you’ll need to measure if you’ve achieved these at a later stage
- Based on the objectives, devise a digital strategy that incorporates technology at every level of your business and throughout the customer journey
- Plan regular reviews of your digital strategy and keep up to date with the latest technology
And don’t add technology for the sake of it, there must be clear tangible benefits that align with the company strategy.
2. Change Your Culture, Not Just Your Tech
Digital transformation isn’t just about making better use of technology in your business. It is also about changing the way you think about technology. A business that is undergoing this transformation will often have to let go of old ideas and ways of doing things. You will also need to create a digital strategy that bridges traditional divides between different areas of the business such as sales, production and marketing. You could simply call this a marketing strategy – adding digital sharpens its focus.
Everyone needs to be on board with these changes. You will also need to create a culture that is less resistant to change so that you can continue adapting alongside the technology in the future.
3. Stay Focused on Your Customers
The customer should be the priority for everything that you do in your business. It is vital to consider your customers’ needs and how the technology you’re introducing will improve their experience at every stage of their journey.
It can be tempting to jump onto the latest technology and digital trends, but this won’t necessarily give your customers what they need.
It is important to keep the customer experience in mind when you’re making decisions about technology. How will the technology improve your customer’s experience? If it doesn’t make things faster, easier, cheaper, more appealing, or better for your customers then it might not be the right choice for your business.
Although the customer experience should be your main priority, it can also help to consider your employees’ experiences. Technology that improves their working experiences can boost productivity or employee satisfaction even if there is no obvious or direct benefit to your customers.
4. Don’t Leave Anyone Behind
Change isn’t always welcome, especially when it comes from the top down. If you want your employees to welcome the technology that you’re introducing then they need to be part of the process.
You should ensure that your employees know what is happening and why you are making these changes. Listen to them to ensure that the changes will really make their work easier and more efficient. It is also vital to provide proper training for every employee so that they can enjoy the benefits of the digital transformation.
It is also essential to communicate with your customers when you’re making changes that will affect them. Make sure that you understand how your customers interact with technology and take steps to ensure that the new features you’re providing will be accessible to everyone. If you have older or less technologically minded customers then you should also ensure that you’re still providing more traditional options for them.
5. Digital Transformation is an Ongoing Journey
One of the most important things to remember when you start your digital transformation is that this is not a one-off change. You are starting a process that will keep your business up to date with the latest technology in the future. Your digital strategy should include regular reviews to ensure that the tech you’re using is always the best available.
The culture shift you’re going through means that your business should become more flexible and less tied to the usual ways of doing things. The technology you adopt now shouldn’t be allowed to become outdated. It should change as your business and the market continue to evolve in the future.