Businesses of all sizes and shapes must embrace new trends and learn how to do things differently. To make this process easier, we will suggest a path toward digital transformation. With these seven steps, you will have a clear picture of what you need to do and what measures to take to bring your business into the brave new world.
Create a clear business strategy
A strategy is, to quote Ann Latham (Forbes contributor) a framework for making decisions about how you will play the game of business. Add business goals to the frame, and you will have a clear business strategy.
The defined business strategy makes the process of digital transformation easier. When you know where you are headed, it will not be that hard for you to choose a set of tools that will get you there.
While doing that, don't reinvent the wheel. Explore different strategies and good practices of companies who already went through the process of digital transformation. Such knowledge can help you avoid some common mistakes and speed things up in the future.
Use existing resources in a different way
Creating a new framework for your business doesn't mean that you should drop existing good practices, useful tools, and valuable people around you. On the contrary - you should welcome them and give them a more prominent role in the digital transformation process.
If you already have an excellent customer support team, try to see what they need to be even better. Maybe they need more reliable helpdesk software, or it can be another team member who will take some load off. Make sure to find out and use this invaluable resource more effectively.
Digital transformation's central role is to optimize existing processes and practices developed around your core business. Think about the resources you already have and find a way to make them more productive and efficient or use them in another way.
Align digital transformation with your company culture
Every organization has its own culture. It is their unique way of doing things. Therefore, your team has a culture of their own, too. We are sure that your company culture is unique and tailored to fit your needs. But, to survive the digital transformation process, that culture must be open, inclusive, and adaptable.
Remember, digital transformation is a long and laborious process. If you wish to preserve your team, the company culture you are fostering must be open and transparent. One of the key pillars of such a culture is encompassing internal communication. Tell people what you intend to do, how you will do it, and ask them to be a part of it.
You can use different techniques to improve your internal communication:
- organize regular team meetings where you will share business updates,
- introduce company-wide chat channel,
- encourage distributing news and updates about daily tasks and challenges,
- run an internal company blog.
Of course, we are fans of internal blogging, and we highly recommend it :) but it is up to you to choose tools that would be the best fit for your team.
It is essential to align your company culture with changes that you plan to introduce. And one of the best ways to do that is by talking with your team regularly through channels that they love.
Digital transformation is also about your customers
Besides employees, there is another critical group of people that you should consider. They are your customers—the core of your business and the reason you are in the market.
Your customers are your most valuable asset. According to some authors, digital transformation is all about your customers. It revolves around customer experience, and it starts and ends with your customers.
Excellent customer experience is crucial in the modern economy. CX principles say that we must completely adjust to our clients. We must be available in the space they choose, communicate in the way they prefer, on channels they are using.
And we are using digital transformation as our ally to optimize our working process and adjust to our clients completely.
Celebrate small steps and aim big wins
Digital transformation is a marathon, not a sprint. The actual benefits from the process will be visible in a distant future. Like marathon training, constant hard work can lead to a drop in general morale and a lack of motivation. Some of your co-workers may even start questioning the motives and purpose of the entire endeavor.
To prevent that from happening, be agile. Plan the entire process and divide each phase into a set of specific tasks. Then design each task to have clear output and a visible result. No matter how small this result is, you should always announce that the part of the job is completed and turn it into a significant achievement.
As we would like to say - create a post about it on your internal blog and schedule a celebration at the water tank.
To have a clear view of the impact you are making, you need to measure everything you are doing. With all the tools, plug-ins, and services available today, this is a practice that you probably already have.
One of the fundamental principles of digital transformation is data-driven decision making. Meaning - the more information you have, the easier it will be for you to decide. And you will get information by keeping track of your results and efforts.
Use numbers and work with them. They are your ally in this story, and they will help you improve your business. Just make sure that your team is included and find a way to motivate them to work with numbers, too, not to consider them their opponents.
Always go forward
The biggest flaw of digital transformation is the fact that it has no real ending. It is a continuous process of improvement and optimization of different aspects of your business. Once you start playing the digital transformation game, you will be playing it forever.
At the same time, continuity is the most significant advantage of digital transformation. It is the force that makes you evolve and go forward. And that is excellent, because, as we said in the beginning, businesses who do not develop - die. You don't want your business to die, so embrace changes and transform your business in every possible way, whenever you have the chance.
Digital transformation is a process, and it is a necessity. But, it is also an outstanding opportunity to optimize and rethink your business. While it may seem like a never ending project, it is a useful habit that we all should adopt.
We are sure you already know that, and our intention here was to remind you of that and give you a few clear steps that can help you on the way.
And, while you are digitally transforming your business, make sure to blog about it on your internal blog. In case you wish to share your insights with us, we will gladly hear from you, so feel free to drop us a line.