By now, most companies have realised that developing a Digital Transformation Strategy is no longer optional. However, it can be difficult to understand what implementing such a process truly means and what tangible benefits it can provide to an organization. Transformation can only take place if key objectives and the path to achieve them are crystal clear.
What is Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation is a fancy phrase for implementing digital tools and technologies in order to carry out the daily tasks of a company. Digital transformation implies renewal aimed at streamlining select processes that will optimise the organisation and its workflow in a relevant way. For example, improving customer relationships to develop products and/or services that are more in line with target needs.
Implementing a successful Digital Transformation Strategy requires several types of technologies. Depending on the company’s sector and industry, these could include “traditional” web technologies such as mobile internet and cloud storage or cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things or augmented reality.
Useful tips for an effective Digital Transformation
In order to organise a change of this magnitude, it is advisable to contact a Digital Transformation consultant. Digital Transformation consultants are professional advisors who maintain a holistic approach and are capable of guiding companies step by step. If Digital Transformation consultant sounds like an interesting career, Talent Garden Digital Innovation School offers a ten-week Digital Transformation master course that will teach you the skills necessary to improve products, services and corporate organisational processes using digital technologies.
Digital Transformation consultants are able to develop strategies in line with the needs of a company by identifying clear and achievable business objectives. These usually include:
- optimising processes to achieve more efficiency and productivity
- developing innovative products and services to best meet user demand
- maintaining a competitive edge over competitors
- improving customer experience
It is important to note, Digital Transformation strategies are not one size fits all. Because they are not equally effective for everyone it’s important to ask yourself:
- How is my sector changing?
- Where do we want to go?
- What will it take to get there?
- What impact will a transformation have on the business?
- Who is our typical customer?
- What are the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) to keep an eye on?
Why you should start a Digital Transformation process
An effective digital transformation process generates an immense amount of value. Value in terms of innovation, product and service improvements as well as an overall increase in efficiency are just some of the results that can be achieved.
Companies that successfully implement Digital Transformation Strategies usually experience the following results:
- Adaptability: rapid change and continuous innovation.
- Speed: automation resulting in renewed operating models helping to streamline processes
- Focus on data: the process for identifying useful information to develop and implement new business practices becomes more clear and efficient.
- Preliminary analysis: using data analysis techniques can optimise and automate business decisions making it easier to successfully develop new products and/or services.
- Sharing: empowering employees with digital platforms makes it easy to share data resulting in increased productivity and job satisfaction.
- Greater security: digitalization makes it easier to adequately protect a company’s proprietary data while ensuring regulatory compliance in areas like privacy.
- Economic return: establishing a continuous optimisation strategy will help facilitate a proper return on investment in a projected timeframe.
Two examples: Cloud computing and smart working
The Cloud is one of the most successful digital innovation tools to date, as well as a pillar of any Digital Transformation Strategy. It is a digital storage tool that makes data accessible anywhere at any time. To access it, all you need is an internet connection. Downloading, updating, and deleting files in the cloud is possible without the need to carry a physical storage device. The Cloud also gives users the option to backup and share files with anyone, anywhere. All this makes Cloud computing a fundamental tool for digital companies, even more so for companies using smart working models.
Smart working is an important part of any Digital Transformation strategy because it enables employees to constantly exchange information. This technology and the accompanying organizational transformation necessary for implementation demonstrates how pervasive digital systems are in today’s world. The understanding that it is possible to work efficiently while remaining goal-oriented, without being physically present, opens a whole new world of possibilities.
How to make a digital transformation process successful
Digital transformation processes require open and effective communication across all departments of a company. The ability to share knowledge about new tools and strategies is a vital component and should not be taken for granted. Focusing on employees who will have to use new technologies is fundamental: first and foremost, a Digital Transformation must improve the experience of those with the responsibility to increase productivity and develop creativity by helping them acquire new skills and apply them effectively.
Finally, an effective Digital Transformation Strategy should initially focus on organisational elements that can create the most impact in the shortest amount of time. Once initial objectives are achieved, a digital transformation strategy can be extended to other areas of the organisation. Attempting to create radical change across various areas of the organization simultaneously would be extremely difficult to manage and potentially counterproductive. In a Digital Transformation there is no final destination, but rather continuous change that nurtures an innovative culture, oriented towards agility, flexibility, dynamism and adaptation.