Some of the greatest advances in business start with a plan. While there's a certain value in being agile enough to work without a plan, major operations require more forethought. Digital transformation is no exception, and the proper digital transformation strategy can go a long way toward ensuring that this complex change to any company's environment goes off as successfully as possible.
If you'd like to ensure that your business is successful in a digital transformation, understanding that it's a strategy and not a product or a technology will help you approach this change with the right mindset.
How to Build the Best Digital Transformation Strategy
Like any other strategy, a digital transformation strategy can be complex and difficult to build. Keeping a few key points and factors in mind will help produce the best strategy for your specific needs.
Start by getting an understanding of what you already have on hand. Most offices have made at least some steps toward a digital transformation, and a proper digital transformation strategy will make note of this. It helps prevent unnecessary redundancy — some redundancy, however, is desirable as it allows for backup in case of emergency or breakage — and keeps you from buying components that don't need to be bought a second time. Also, consider how well what you have now is working for your business. Are there tools you can't live without? What needs to endure into the next phase of your digital transformation? Are there upgrades to anything you're using now? These are points your strategy should also reflect.
What exactly do you want a digital transformation to accomplish? A digital transformation isn't a thing you buy off the shelf and install; it's a change to your business' way of life, it's a strategy. It's up to you how far you want that change to go, of course, but it's still a fundamental change. One goal to consider seriously is that of customer experience and how you wish to improve it with a digital transformation. Because customer experience traverses all aspects of a company, it's crucial to have the right technology in place that will help meet the needs of your customers. A a digital transformation strategy can help you become more efficient in ways that will not only benefit your clients but your business as well.
In addition to that, knowing what you want the digital transformation to accomplish is vital toward making the right plan. Do you want to expand your presence to customers online? Start hiring remote workers? Improve your communications within the office, or just cut out some of the business travel you're taking on to meet with customers or colleagues? Knowing what you want to do is an important step toward doing it right.
Get input from employees.
Your employees will be the people using the product of a digital transformation most often, so get their input. Find out what's been working well for them, what doesn't work nearly as well as expected, or what could be useful going forward. It might even be a good idea to roll out the transformation in shifts so you can better figure out what is working and what isn't. One of the worst possible outcomes of a digital transformation is that no one actually uses the new methods and equipment because the employees are all actively resisting change. Digital transformations also come with culture changes, especially if “hire remotely” is on your list of priorities.
Get input from customers.
A digital transformation is not strictly an internal matter, though it can be depending on how it's set up. Customer-facing applications in a digital transformation are often part of the picture, and here, it will be a good idea to know what the customers want to see. An omnichannel customer experience, for example, is often a high priority, to the point where some customers won't do business with a company they can't reach online. Therefore, you must ask yourself a few questions.
- Are you easy to do business with?
- Can customers find the information they need easily?
- Do customers want better access to information about your product lines?
A digital transformation can help put that information face-forward and improve the chances of making sales. Additionally, it can help you understand the customer journey more easily because you'll be able to better analyze the user experience and traffic patterns as well as identify if there are existing limitations.
Consider your options.
Once you've established what you need and what you don't, you can begin to examine your options for actually getting the system put together. There is a range of providers in the market, and figuring out which among many will be difficult. You'll not only need someone who can deliver what you need today, but you'll also need someone who keeps abreast of changes in the market and can deliver what you'll need tomorrow as well. Look into someone with a reputation for flexibility, someone who can establish a system that can grow with your needs. Nothing's quite so galling as being five years out from a digital transformation only to discover that you're now three years behind everyone else in the market, so remember the value of flexibility.
How to Get Help Building a Digital Transformation Strategy
Digital transformation is neither simple nor easy. It requires an awareness of the entire company, both where it is currently and where it should be in the future. It requires careful planning and the ability to be flexible enough to account for future developments that have yet to be made known. Developing a strategy in such an environment can be helpful, but even this is a challenge. To get past this challenge successfully, get in touch with us at UTG. Our background in IT solutions will help you create that strategy as it becomes clear what's available now, and what likely will be later, which will help you make a strategy you can get behind.