If your business is looking at implementing a Digital Transformation Strategy in the next 12 months, then you are not alone. Companies all around the world are focusing on implementing new digital technologies to help improve all areas of business operations. According to the latest research stats by ; 70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one now.
However, despite the increased focus on Digital Transformation initiatives, there are still several issues and pitfalls. Although most companies are now planning or implementing a digital transformation strategy, the majority are not finding it to be fully successful. According to a recent survey by , only 16% of employees believe their digital transformations have actually improved performance.
This is the difficulty with Digital Transformation. When it works it can help drastically improve business operations, employee satisfaction and customer retention etc. However, when it doesn’t work, it can end up costing a lot of time and money.
At 3Gi, we specialise in helping businesses digitally transform and have seen where the issues often arise. That’s why we’ve outlined our 5 key steps for successfully implementing a Digital Transformation strategy.
Whilst this might concept sounds obvious, the main objectives are often the key elements that are overlooked when implementing digital technologies. It is very easy to make assumptions about the business issues and start implementing technology solutions from day 1 without having direction.
Before any new technology is adopted, the first step should be to fully scope out the main objectives. It is key to identify the main issues within all areas of the business that you want to address, then set out clear goals to measure success against them.
A simple question to ask yourself at the start of this process is “what does success look like?”. Success might be a time saving across the business, an increase in production or a happier workforce etc. By identifying what success will look like and how you will measure it, you’ll be in a better position to lay out a plan of how to achieve it.
This is possibly the most crucial step for seeing success when implementing new digital technologies. According to , the reason that 70% of digital transformations fail is due to resistance from employees.
Business transformation is not something that should be owned by one department and dictated to the rest of the organisation. In fact, by getting all areas of the company involved in the planning stages you’ll get more first-hand information on where improvements can be made. If employees feel part of the process, they are much more likely to adopt change. With this, it’s key to have them buy into the main objectives discussed above. If they can see what is trying to be achieved and agree with it, you’ll have a team more willing to accept change.
If you want to see true success from Digital Transformation, you need to have a company culture that supports innovation. This needs to come top-down within the business, with full buy-in from leadership. It’s important that everyone understands the need for innovation, supports it and champions it across the business.
A good way to help with this is to have a laid-out vision or mission statement that can be shared with the entire company. It may be that you include innovation focused “ways of working” that can be adopted and championed at all levels. If the company promotes an innovative way of working top-down, it will be easier for all areas to work in this way as everyone is invested in change, rather than resistant to it.
In our recent article; we discussed the important role data analysis plays in successful transformation. Data is the gold dust of your business and can help you understand exactly what’s going on at all levels of operation and lead you to the key focus areas for your strategy.
Before embarking on a transformative digital strategy, it is key to garter as much data from around the business as possible, and digest what impact and effect this data has within your operation. By getting to grips with your data you can save a lot of wasted time and cost as it'll help you focus on the areas that will have the biggest overall impact.
When it comes to digital innovations, success can be measured in a number of ways. Let’s say you’ve implemented a new project management system to improve internal workflows - the obvious measurement will be to see if there has been a reduction in time spent on the related work.
However, this could also show negative results, not due to the solution being poor but because user adoption is low, or feature use is minimal. When adopting new digital technologies, it’s important to measure as many areas as possible to understand any issues as well as improvements.
Having a digital transformation strategy is key to business success. However, it can easily end up costing a lot of time and money if not implemented properly. If you're starting your transformation journey, remember that planning is key. Consider our 5 steps for success and make sure you have your ultimate goal in mind throughout.