All month long, we are focusing on digital transformation. Drawing on our experience of helping countless organizations on their own digital transformation journey, these posts serve as a great starting point as you begin to plan for change.
The way we work is evolving rapidly. Customers have different expectations of how they should be able to interact with you. They want to engage with you through various digital media platforms on any device. Staff want to work in different, more productive ways. To succeed in the digital era, your business needs to adapt and execute a digital transformation strategy. This can be a daunting task, but if you start with a clear vision for what you want to achieve, you are taking the first step towards digitally transforming your business.
For your digital transformation to be anything other than hyperbole, your organization needs a clear and well-defined vision of what you want to achieve. This is a time to be ambitious. All too often companies only think of digital transformation as a means of saving some money on software licenses by moving aspects of their business to the cloud. Instead, elaborate on a broader goal for what you expect for your company projecting up to at least the next two years.
This could be anything and everything from deploying automated workflows in your sales department, to reducing the paper used in your office by digitally archiving documents, to using a mobile app to make it easier for your employees to input or receive information.
To get from where you are now to where you want to be, you’ll need to create a vision.
Define Where You Are Now. Decide Where You Want to Go. Determine How to Get There.
Knowing where you are currently before embarking on any journey is essential. Start by asking yourself questions like:
- What kind of digital environment do we have presently?
- What technologies are we currently using?
- What areas of the business will be the most responsive to change?
Once you define where you are now, you can get a better idea of where you want to go. Defining what you expect the digital transformation to look like is very important—maybe it’s to have all work done in the cloud, or for employees to begin using large and complex data sets. For example, it could be automating workflows in your sales department to reducing the “paper trail” in your HR department by digitally archiving documents or using a mobile app to make it easier for your employees to input expenses. Whatever the goal, evaluate your current digital environment and use that to identify shortcomings that your digital transformation can address. These goals should be flexible—it will help keep your digital transformation focused as you move forward.
Formulate steps towards these goals. They don’t need to be carved in stone, but should act as a general guide as you implement your vision.
Share Your Vision
A great way to begin sharing your vision is to get executive buy-in. This may take the form of getting the green light on funding or hiring new, digitally native employees to help with the transition. It might simply be more high-level executives showing support for the transformation through internal communications, or leading by example through their own working practices.
To ensure success, communicate your vision throughout the company so employees feel involved. This way, a much higher number of people know and understand the plans for change and feedback can be gathered.
Next week, we’ll take a look at step two—how to choose the right technology for your digital transformation.