Digital transformation strategy is vital for businesses of all sizes in today’s era of digitalization. What factors are driving this digital transformation? — The most popular reasons are the positive changes in the company’s culture, streamlined business operations, and improved performance.
Digital transformation (DT) is a topic on everyone’s mind. More and more business owners see the need to shift from the usual way of work to integrate digital transformation into the company’s processes. When thinking about DT for your company, it may be daunting to define the first steps and the overall business modernization framework. We understand that, and to help you start smoothly, we’ve created useful guidelines for choosing the right direction for DT and successfully scaling it in the future.
Why are businesses experiencing a digital transformation?
Digital transformation has already started to evolve. European companies use about 12 percent of the digital potential, while American businesses operate at 18 percent of the overall potential. These numbers aren’t big, but the number of companies that shift to digitalization is growing gradually.
CEOs of institutions that already implemented digitalization shared the list of main benefits of this decision:
- Enhancing customer experience with more personalized interactions;
- Making business processes flexible and quick;
- Accelerating business growth;
- Opening ample opportunities for partnership with other companies and globalization;
- Nurturing digital culture and empowering employees through continuous learning;
- Improving data gathering and analysis;
- Keeping pace with fierce competition;
- Opening new markets and achieving higher profitability.
So, it’s easy to understand why digital transformation is worth considering for your business. But where to start if you’re new to such big changes and afraid of making wrong steps? Below, we share the detailed roadmap consisting of five main steps on how to start the DT and not to fail.
Five elements of a digital transformation strategy
#1 Assess your current business situation
You can hardly create the right roadmap of future transformations if you don’t know where to start. Conducting a business audit at the very beginning of your DT journey will help you with the following:
- Get a deeper understanding of your company’s culture and values;
- Outline a clear structure of the internal operations, processes, and roles;
- Assess the skillset of your workforce;
- Find your business weaknesses and pain points.
#2 Set your business goals
The key success factor of any Digital Transformation Strategy is its alignment with the business goals and mission. When you’ve conducted your corporate evaluation and approved the idea with all stakeholders, you’re ready to establish your business goals and desired results.
To set the right objectives for your business digitalization, we recommend our clients to follow the ‘Why, What, and How’ rule. Ask yourself three fundamental questions:
- Why do you need to transform?
- What do you need to transform?
- How can you transform?
Let’s do it together.
- Why do you need to transform your customer experience, for example?
Because you have a high bounce rate and can’t interpret customer feedback properly.
- What do you need to transform?
Feedback collection and analysis to understand why customers leave.
- How can you achieve it? You can implement a survey bot to get feedback and analytics tools to automatically study customer responses.
By working every goal through the ‘what, where, why’ rule, you’ll define smart objectives to meet and address your business needs.
#3 Conduct pilot tests
DT isn’t easy as it may require some minor changes or complete changes to processes and structures that seemingly worked well before. Your employees will need to work in a completely new environment, with new technologies and responsibilities. Moreover, DT will affect the customer experience as well.
To make it painless for your team and clients, run pilot tests before deploying new principles and tools. Consequently, you’ll gauge your test users’ reaction to the software, detect bugs and bottlenecks, and check if you’re ready for full-scale system implementation. But how to get it right? What are the main steps of a successful pilot test? We’ve run hundreds of them so far and now share our roadmap with you.
- Define clear outcomes for a pilot test and ensure you can measure them at the end;
- Create a testing group consisting of your employees and customers;
- Conduct the testing.
- Collect user’s feedback during the process and conduct a survey or group discussion after testing;
- Fix bugs and any issues that your users report.
#4 Create a DT roadmap
Now, when you’ve already decided on your business goals and discover the gaps that need to be filled, you can develop a detailed strategy to achieve your goals. Below, we outline the most important steps to consider when creating a strategic DT roadmap:
- Think about reframing your corporate infrastructure;
- Find out what skills and knowledge your employees are lacking and develop a plan to upskill them;
- Update your technology stack;
- Outline the key goals with milestones and priorities;
- Identify the key roles and players for each stage of the digital transformation strategy.
#5 Be ready for cultural changes
Last but not least element of successful modernization is your company’s culture. Digital transformation is more than just integrating new technologies’, it also changes your employees’ mindset. Based on our vast experience with DT for industry leaders, we’ve identified two proven approaches that empower your employees to work differently.
The first approach is about showcasing the significance of the upcoming changes. Organizations with top executives who have a clear digital transformation strategy and are involved in the process are more likely to succeed. Motivate your workers to experiment with fresh ideas, encourage them to learn new technologies, and listen to their feedback.
Another approach to make cultural changes painless is constant communication. Share with your team the main idea of the DT, why you’ve decided to do it, what they should expect, and what benefits from these changes everyone will get. You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of cultural change as it can hinder your transformation or result in losing key employees.
So, we’ve shared five main steps of a successful digital transformation strategy. We have to say that it’s a long process requiring thorough preparation and, most importantly, your belief in this mission. Nevertheless, it’s worth it in the long run. And remember, failures and mistakes precede all great changes, but coping with difficulties and getting the desired result is the biggest reward.
Build your strategy relying on TEAM International’s broad experience in digital transformation consulting; and get in touch with us to learn more about our proven capabilities.