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Discover How to Transform Your Brand Digitally to Enter a New Age of Prosperity
Successful businesses evolve over time; that is the nature of business in general. And in the recent years, one of the biggest change that we have had to witness here, is the digital transformation of different brands with the advent of new and exciting technologies, including eCommerce.
However, undertaking such a massive change does not come easily, or without a plan. Before doing it, brands need to come up with a digital transformation strategy. That strategy defines the areas that will be affected by the transformation, as well as the stages of implementation of new technologies. Moreover, it will also detail the changes in process that the business will have to implement in order to have a successful change.
If you are looking to transform your business, but have no idea how to create and implement a strategy for it, don’t worry, we have got you covered. Let’s take an in-depth look at the digital transformation process, and discuss the key elements that make such a strategy so successful, especially when implemented with the help of a professional and full service software outsourcing company.
What is a Digital Transformation Strategy?
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the topic of digital transformation. People do not know what the term actually entails. Well, to put it simply, digital transformation means putting your digital initiatives at the center of your overall business strategy.
However, before you start to implement a digital transformation strategy, whether you are a small or a large company, you need to be aware of the areas it will affect and develop quite distinctly.
Experts often say that digital transformation means to integrate innovative technological solutions across the different functional units of a company. The aim is to bring the consumer closer in order to strengthen the connection and understand their needs better. Moreover, it is a great way to move forward as a business and grow in a way that is sustainable in the future. Some of the top reasons why businesses decide to go digital include:
- Improving the engagement with consumers for a better brand experience
- Boosting efficiency of internal processes
- Better decision-making at the business level
- Boosting innovation and brand satisfaction
- Transforming the business for the new, digital age
So, now that we know what a digital transformation strategy is, let’s take a look at its impact on various business processes before discussing the key elements that a successful strategy for digital transformation must have in it.
What is the Impact of Digital Transformation on a Business?
As the purpose of such a transformative strategy is to improve the business functions, both internal and external, your digital transformation plan should be able to fill or bridge any gaps for a smoother data flow. Moreover, it should simplify and improve the interaction between the human element, the business technologies, and the work processes for an overall more efficient business.
Let’s take a look at how digital transformation impacts various business functions.
We often see that in the industry, there is a noticeable gap between the IT and business aspect of many companies. That is because while these companies are striving towards a digital tomorrow, the fact of the matter is that their IT experts are not able to speak the same language as the business side of the company, so to speak.
They fail to convince the business-minded people of the need for different technologies and strategies. This can be a problem, as those same business executives decide on the budgetary distribution and greenlighting.
That is why nowadays some businesses are looking to hire digital transformation specialists and agencies who have experience in marketing and business too, especially when they are looking at staff augmentation as a part of their strategy. In order to transform, there needs to be a robust change management system in place, which is only possible if stakeholders are able to understand and communicate with each other properly.
Business Information & Processes
Similar to the scenario above, there are many marketing professionals who are not aware of essential technological advancements, business management, brand optimization, and more. So, they may find it hard to justify and implement a strategy for digital transformation.
That is because in a business, there are more functions and elements involved than just clear communication between the IT and business ends. You need to build a connection between other aspects too.
For instance, there needs to be a process of communication between production and customer support, front operations with the back offices, and much more. Similarly, you need to have operational processes to guide the interaction between your people and the business processes. For instance, businesses are incorporating CRM systems into their processes to make the process of sales and customer tracking easier and more robust.
In short, your digital transformation strategy aims to address and upgrade all of these factors, in order to smooth out issues with your previous manual mode of work.
Insights and Information
Businesses today generate massive amounts of data, from user statistics to marketing data and much more. In fact, there is now so much data that even a small business is finding it hard to wade through it all manually, in order to get the necessary insights they need to improve their business.
This requires a proper information management system, as well as a comprehensive strategy on how it will manage and process that data. Through digital transformation, you could develop a data pipeline that would improve your overall information management needs.
This would mean that trends from the consumer side and business performance would be present for use by the business earlier, allowing them to use this data to make the required changes as soon as necessary. This is where companies are using ERP software systems to make the process of data storage and analysis easier and quicker, for better business decisions.
Five Key Elements for a Great Digital Transformation Strategy
Now that we have covered what a digital transformation strategy is, and the avenues it entails, you might be asking – why is it important to create a digital transformation strategy for a business?
We all know that digital transformation is the key to success in the current market. However, according to a study conducted by Wipro Digital, over a third of business executives’ claim that a lack of clear strategy is what stops their brand from achieving its full digital potential.
So, to answer the original question, it is important to create a digital strategy so that we can measure the progress of the transformation efforts with respect to the business’s overarching goals. So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the key elements that can help you design the right strategy for your digital transformation.
One: Organizational Alignment on the Reasons for Digital Transformation
The first thing whenever we are designing a strategy for something is to look at the reasons for it in the first place. In this case, if we say that a company has decided to create a strategy for its digital transformation initiative, the first question we should be asking is why. Why is the company trying to transform digitally?
That is because the term digital transformation is a very loose term, which could have different reasons behind it for different organizations. And one of the biggest mistakes that many businesses make when implementing such a strategy, is to think that the technology in your digital transformation is the important part.
However, the technology being used is just a means to an end, with the aim being to transform the business, or a pivot in business for better results. And the only way to achieve a goal successfully, is to understand why you are attempting it in the first place.
Therefore, you need to start by identifying and understanding your business goals and requirements, and start from there. That will help you understand the thought process behind your need for a digital transformation initiative, and guide you in creating the right strategy for you to follow.
Two: Be Ready for a Culture Shift or Change
In order for organizational alignment of your business goals with the strategy, there needs to be support and commitment towards the upcoming change from the C-suite. Only by getting that will you be able to achieve the cultural and organizational change you are hoping for through your digital transformation strategy.
Nowadays, in order for a successful digital transformation, direct overview and supervision from the c-suite, including the CEO, CTO, CFO, CIO, and more is a must-have for businesses big or small. That is because from budgeting to organizational alignment, a successful transformational strategy requires constant input from those who are in the position to make the required decisions.
Moreover, while buy-in from the decision makers is necessary, allowing teams to implement certain levels of decisions at their level can also be helpful in fostering a culture of team alignment and common goals, which is one of the most popular agile team characteristics known nowadays.
Three: Start Incrementally; Small yet Strategic
When we talk about digital transformation, it should always be considered a journey, not a single event. Starting from the proof-of-concept, the transformation process slowly builds up on itself, slowly changing various aspects of the business. But the key for a successful transformation, and one that builds up to a continuous future trajectory, is to make sure that first step, no matter how small, is strategic.
For one thing, a proof-of-concept that aligns with your organizational strategy will help you get buy-in from your company leaders quickly, a factor critical for digital transformation. The reason is that because it takes a longer time to prove ROI, it is better to implement it in phases. This is so the sponsor does not feel that their capital has been lost all at the same time, but can see it start to add value little by little as time goes on.
The concept of small-yet-quick wins is quite popular in digital transformation, and is always considered better than waiting a long time for a single, yet bigger win. Moreover, depending on your digital transformation plan, you could easily go for a modular approach, which is easier for the resources as well as a proof-of-concept.
Four: Plan How the Technology Will Be Implemented and Integrated
Next, there needs to be a change within your processes as well when you want to successfully implement and integrate new technology as part of your transformation. That is because statistically, it has been proven that implementing new technologies with old processes only ends up with more expensive older operations.
We can say that this point is concurrent with the one about the changing your culture for the success of your digital transformation. Basically, in order for a successful digital transformation strategy, there needs to be a strong focus on a presence of a sound business strategy, rather than just state-of-the-art technology.
However, if you’ve implemented the three elements we mentioned earlier, this is where the technological implementation starts. They pave the way for you to add the tech element so that your digital transformation strategy doesn’t fail due to the lack of a strategic business guidance plan behind it.
Once you have the business strategy in place, you will be able to know how to structure your modular or phased digital transformation for maximum return with fewer issues, by helping you target problem business areas easily.
Five: Look for the Right Fit and Expertise
Today, many digital and technological solutions are often integrated as partners or digital transformation enablers. So, when you decide to go for your digital transformation strategy, you also need to choose the right partner for your strategy.
But how can you choose the right partner? Well, there are some points that you can check off to see which option suits your business needs better in the long run, because the partner you choose today to drive your digital transformation will be a focal point of your strategy for a while.
Some of the best points to check include:
- Does the partner allow scaling, both up and down?
- Does the partner support or complement the digital transformation vision your team has?
- Will they be able to help guide your long-term strategy?
- Does their offering integrate with your existing technology?
- Do they have access to the latest technology and techniques necessary for your industrial niche?
- What is their track record for similar projects?
This step is very important within your strategy, as while you may have the right technological solution to implement within your transformation strategy, if you do not have the right partner powering it, you will not be able to leverage its full capability.
Let’s imagine that your transformation strategy includes cloud services. Now, two different vendors offer cloud solutions, one a proven brand with a known record, and the other a relatively unknown brand. As a strategist, it would be better if you go for the known name, as their experience and better technical ability will help you bring out the maximum impact for your money from your chosen technology.
Moreover, the right solutions provider will help you solve a more universal problem, instead of issues localized to specific business units or departments.
In short, a digital transformation strategy is an important document, one that needs to developed before embarking on a transformational journey. However, unlike what the majority of people think when we talk about digital transformation, a successful transformation strategy is not technology-centric. Rather, it is guided by a solid business strategy, with technology powering up the transformational aspect of that strategy.
Therefore, when looking to create your strategy for digital transformation in your company, you need to ensure that it covers the five elements described above, at the very least.
|What is a digital transformation strategy?|
Digital transformation strategy describes a plan or approach to revamping the business’s digital technology according to the business vision and goals. It is done to bring the company into the new age, by upgrading both the four key areas including business processes, business model, domain, and culture using the latest technology.
|What are the four key areas of digital transformation in a business?|
The four key areas of digital transformation are:
– Business model
|What are three common approaches to digital transformation?|
The three common approaches to digital transformation include:
– Waiting for proof-of-success
– Developing a comprehensive digital strategy
– Phased/Incremental delivery of digital elements
|What are the five main pillars of digital transformation?|
The five main pillars of digital transformation include:
– Customer understanding
– Technology alignment with goals
– Metrics and KPIs
– Project governance