Right now, we are in the middle of the digital transformation era, so the size, industry, or age of your organization doesn’t matter at all. You have to adopt the right mindset, processes, workflow and tools to maximize operational excellence and go forward in our highly-competitive world. Today, we’re going to talk about how to prepare your company through digital transformation. In this article, we’ll cover what digital transformation is, why it matters, and how you can implement it in your everyday work.

What Digital Transformation Is?

Digital transformation focused not only on how an organization embraces technology but also on how it deploys in the everyday operation process. It affects a rethinking from the whole organization, that strives to deliver better products and services to satisfy clients expectations. The term digital transformation sometimes sounds similar to the digitization and digitalization, when all three have a different meaning:

Digitization is the process of converting information from analogue to digital.

For example, before computers became standards, accountants entered handwritten entries into paper ledgers and journals. But even after switching to computerized accounting systems, the companies operated the same way, so there was no change in the business process.

Digitalization is the process of using digital data to simplify how you work.

For example, accountants can use digitized data to quickly retrieve information on a customer’s credit history rather than having to sift through dusty archives in the basement. But notice how there’s still no change in the business process, just a quicker, more efficient way to carry out the same tasks as before.

Digital transformation changes the way business gets done.

Why Is Digital Transformation So Important?

Most companies are forced to embrace digital transformation to survive, especially in times when agile startups are disrupting the market. For example, when Uber appeared on the scene, taxi companies had to overhaul their business model to meet the new expectations of customers. That meant embracing new technologies so customers could contact them via mobile apps and book in advance over the phone. But customers are not the only ones driving digital transformation; employees are too. 

A few years ago, Blackberry was the tool of choice for IT departments. It was totally secure, and people knew how to manage the back-end servers and answer employee questions about the phones. Then Apple launched the iPhone. Although it wasn’t aimed at the corporate sector, people adored it and employees wanted it as their business phone. At first, IT departments resisted, but slowly, one by one, more companies adapted to the change and allowed the iPhone. As a result, Blackberry slipped as the enterprise phone of choice because of its absolute inability to revise and meet customer expectations. However, this modification also meant a change in the mental attitude of IT departments. They used to determine which devices employees could use. now they take into account what technology their customers – the employees – want, and facilitate their decision wherever possible. 

How To Implement Digital Transformation In Your Organization?

Digital transformation can look completely different for every company, but some basic principles can be applied to any organization: 

  1. Acknowledge that change is necessary 
  2. Improve customer and employee empowerment 
  3. Empower employees to think differently 
  4. Embrace innovation through new strategies and tools 
  5. Lead from the top 
  6. Modernize company culture 

Let’s dive into each of the points.

1. Acknowledge That Change Is Necessary

You can’t do digital transformation without acknowledging that change is necessary. Although it would be powerful, change is inevitable. However, that doesn’t mean you have to force change through. It’s much easier to recommend and implement change with your employees behind you, rather than fighting their resistance. One of the easiest ways to get everyone on board is to speak clearly. When you clearly describe your strategy, employees recognize and understand where your company is headed, why it keeps changing, and why the changes are important. Organizations with clear goals and a timeline for change are the most successful. It’s also worth shifting communication channels. From old, unidirectional systems like company-wide email to additional interactive platforms like Slack, where everyone in the company can interact. 

2. Increase Customer And Employee Expertise

The implementation of digital transformation must be customer-centric. Successful brands like Apple, Spotify, Nike and Starbucks stay relevant by offering the simplest customer expertise. They don’t make customers buy into their processes. Instead, they design their goods and services to meet customer expectations to ensure they remain connected to them. Also, remember to increase the expertise of your employees. Are you providing the simplest tech equipment so they can do their daily tasks quickly and efficiently? 

3. Empowering Employees To Think Differently

Developing the talents and skills of the people in your organization is one of the most important factors for a successful transformation. Using the latest technology is only half of the equation. You need to empower your employees to find new ways of doing things so that you can complete the transformation. During your digital transformation, you could, for example: encourage employees to challenge previous ways of working. Give employees a say in where they should use the conversion. Train workers to train others in a whole new way of working. 

4. Embracing Innovation Through New Methods And Tools

All transformations require some element of innovation, whether it is the development of a new product, the creation of a new service, or the implementation of a new process. Successful digital transformations often assign specific roles of integrators and technology innovation managers. The idea of these roles is to bridge the gap between the traditional and digital parts of the business. Because these employees understand the technical aspects and business potential of digital technologies, they are able to steer the company in the right direction.

5. Have The Right, Digital-Savvy Leadership

For digital transformation to be successful, it is critical that the leadership team, including C-lvl’s, drive the program. It’s also important that leaders are familiar with the latest digital technologies so they can assess what to use or discard. Other key factors for success underscore the need for strong senior leadership:

  • They foster a sense of urgency for transformational change.
  • Senior managers encourage employees to experiment with new ideas.
  • Strong leaders ensure collaboration between departments on transformation initiatives. 

6. Modernize Corporate Culture

The basic idea behind all these steps is to cultivate the right culture. It’s not just about changing a few processes and updating the tech stack. Digital transformation goes hand in hand with a change in company culture. When you acknowledge that change is necessary, improve customer and employee experiences, empower employees to work in new ways, embrace innovation, and lead from the top, you will create a culture that is ready for a transformation.

Digital Transformation In A Nutshell

Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve covered today. Digital transformation is not just about how a company uses the latest technology, it also requires a change and investment in people, structures, processes and culture. It’s a company-wide mindset shift.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you go through digital transformation – contact us and let’s schedule a call with one of our consultant.