As we continue to be a part of the digital revolution, it is no longer an option for businesses to accommodate a digital transformation, but instead a necessity. Nowadays, organisations must be forward-thinking, efficient, innovative, reactive and flexible in order to be successful and remain competitive. Crucially, none of these things are achievable without digitisation.
Without the knowledge, time or money to adopt all things digital, it can often be challenging for businesses to confidently make the switch. In this article, digital transformation specialists Cloud Central break down the process of digital transformation whilst providing a series of tips your business can apply to harness the power of digitalisation in the most beneficial way.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Before we can delve deeper into the tips you can apply directly to your business, it’s first important to understand what this term means. Digital transformation is essentially the process of utilising digital technologies to create or improve business processes, culture and customer experiences to meet the demands of the business environment shaped by the digital age.
“Every digital transformation is going to begin and end with the customer, and I can see that in the minds of every CEO I talk to.” – Marc Benioff, chairman and CO-CEO of Salesforce
So, how do you apply digital transformation to your business? Here are some tips and tricks from industry leaders to give businesses better insight into how they can prepare their business for the digital age.
Establish if You Need to Transform
Are you in the process of deciding whether or not your business needs to go through digital transformation? We have compiled a selection of questions that you can ask yourself to help you decide on a clear answer:
- Are you currently using processes within your business that take up an unnecessary amount of time?
- Look at what your competitors are doing – are they offering their customers more than you when it comes to technology?
- Are there new processes you have seen that you wish to introduce to your business?
- Are there new services that you have seen being discussed in your industry?
By assessing each of these criteria, you can clearly put together a digital transformation plan that suits the needs of your business and ultimately resolves the questions above.
Digital transformation requires a clear vision and digital roadmap in order to identify how these technologies will be leveraged within the business. By understanding and identifying the limitations you’re faced with on a daily basis, you can create a more streamlined strategy.
Make Digital Part of Your Culture
In order to properly implement a digital transformation, your organisation needs to embody this change. To do this, company culture must be re-aligned to focus on digital; and this cultural shift needs to start at the top and permeate throughout every layer of the organisation.
Once all your employees are on board, it makes the transition a lot easier to implement. A good place to start would be to redefine traditional roles to incorporate new technology or digital tools. This way, staff are able to experience the change first hand, and when your employees feel as if they are part of the change, they are much more willing to accept it.
Not only does this enable for a smoother transformation, but it also presents exciting opportunities for your employees to enhance their skill-sets. As well as this, their understanding of new tools, systems, channels and key digital strategies will also improve.
Recruit The Experts
Implementing a digital transformation for your business goes beyond hiring a new digital marketing manager. If you want to action an effective change, you need an individual or group of individuals that have experience in implementing digital strategy i.e digital transformation specialists. This person or persons would ideally have a proven track record in guiding businesses through the process of digital transformation.
The best personnel tend to be those who have had previous experience at board or managing director level. You need a strategist and a visionary to propel your company into the digital age, not just an executive ‘yes’ man.
A qualified team of digital transformation specialists will be able to identify what it is your business needs to adapt and evolve to the ever-changing and ever-demanding needs of customers. With this knowledge, they can offer you honest and effective solutions.
Assess What You Have & What You Need
Once you have recruited the right personnel, the next thing you’ll need to do is take a full inventory of your business’ tech stack. By recognising the tools you currently use for activities like email marketing, customer relationship management and internal collaboration, you can have a clearer understanding of what needs to be done to make your functions more streamlined and effective.
For many businesses, the need for digital transformation begins when the platforms currently used by the business need to be re-platformed. The need for re-platforming can come from a number of factors, such as:
- The platforms not proving to be as beneficial as they once were (which counts for both employees and customers alike)
- The platforms eventually becoming obsolete
- The platform needing to be replaced for other reasons
It’s important to remember that taking your business on this digital journey shouldn’t just be for the benefit of the customer, but the employees as well. Think about how different technologies, platforms and software can help to support your internal team. For example, is useful information easily accessible? Does data flow smoothly between different departments?
Inefficiencies and inconsistencies in the digital experience for the employee can not only negatively impact the culture and ethos but also impact on their ability to deliver high standard customer service. Therefore, the customer experience may become compromised.
Consistently Evaluate And Reevaluate
Once you have a streamlined digital transformation strategy in place, you must continuously find new potential for growth and development. As the needs of companies and industries continue to change and evolve, these processes will become crucial to keep your business at the forefront of your industry.
Ensure you’re collecting all the data you need to closely monitor your digital transformation. Choose measurable metrics that offer you with clear insights into how your strategy is performing, therefore highlighting any areas that require improvement. By sharing these results with your employees, you can give them a clear direction for what needs to be improved.
Is Your Business Ready For Digital Transformation?
Whilst it can sound daunting, digital transformation maybe just what your business needs to grow and experience positive outcomes. Always consult a digital transformation specialist for assistance in creating a detailed plan.