Digital transformation strategy has been an organizational agenda for many years. In light of this, the need for digital transformation is important for all businesses. The role of digital technology is shifting from driving marginal efficiency to being a catalyst for innovation. Here, the emphasis is laid on what the future holds for digital transformation. Also, what needs to be taken into consideration to plan for its development and implementation.  

Developing a digital transformation strategy

For any kind of industry, we need an effective strategy to carry out a successful digital transformation project. Organizations need to be prepared to adapt to the new digital landscape, which calls for planning ahead for future transformation. Contextually, a well-developed strategy helps leaders to address the following questions for their businesses.

Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How are you going to get there?

Businesses require good data and resources to inform their decisions. Furthermore, they need the agility to execute those strategic decisions with speed and precision. Therefore, a roadmap for digital transformation strategy can help in developing and channelizing these capabilities effectively. How to begin a digital transformation journey? As a matter of fact, the best way to start is by crafting a strategy. 

  • Collaboration

Digital transformation requires collaboration across different departments. It combines business-focused approaches with quickly evolving application development methods. This works in cases where all critical stakeholders across the organization get involved. Also, hold a unified vision of transformation for business growth. Communication between all departments must be kept open to easily disseminate information addressing all aspects of the digital system. 

  • Risk Management

Digital transformation is about disrupting business models and processes to enable organizations to stay competitive in the new digital age. In light of this, risk management is an important aspect of change. The CIOs who know how to manage risk and design risk management strategies will be able to carry out successful programs. Hence, risk management has to be implemented in the digital strategy. The concept of risk containment and control does not match the digital transformation project. 

  • Data analytics to improve current digital systems 

Cloud and data analytics perform many tasks for businesses. Analytics can extract patterns and witness trends from big data inputted into the system. Furthermore, data analytics enables digital leaders to answer these corporate queries.

  • “Products that customers are buying?”
  • “Audience talking about?”
  • “What is lacking in computer systems?” 

Big data analytics enables organizations to answer complex queries effectively for the smooth running of a business. 

Example: 

Gathering information about customers and clients through Facebook Analytics,  focus on vital metrics.

  • Enhanced customer engagement 

It is essential to ensure that digital transformation strategies are customer-ready in catering to their demands. Creating user-friendly applications and websites is a strong foundation to gauge customer attention. This allows them to accept the technology more easily and interact with the business with loyalty. Customer problems should be addressed in a more effective manner. Gathering insights from different analytic tools is essential to assign value to customers. Implementing digital technologies help leaders in decision-making and the successful implementation of a digital transformation strategy. 

  • Company policies to foster digital transformation

The need to overcome employee resistance and encourage the use of digital systems should be put on priority. It is pertinent to create and implement corporate policies for organizations to embrace digital innovation. Setting the rule that all transactions must now be recorded on the computer systems is simple yet compelling. Some of those employees and customers who used traditional methods may find it hard to adapt. But soon get used to the new digital culture urged by company policy.

Who is in charge?

A strong digital transformation strategy is based upon building a strong foundation for transformation and executing a successful strategy with great people. People designated for each process in the digital transformation strategy should be clear for a successful, sustainable project.  Hence by taking a collaborative approach, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) should work with the Chief information officer (CIO) to help accelerate the digital transformation process. This is done using a collective mix of data analytics, technological insights and innovative consumer marketing techniques to help in business growth. Every leader needs to know how to communicate the fact that the move to digital is the best strategy for the organization. Therefore, it is essential to maintain transparency to enhance the future of the business. 

How to address the shortage of digital skills?

To help make businesses smarter and digitally equipped to evolve with emerging trends and technology, 40% of digital transformation initiatives coupled with 100% of all effective IoT efforts will be supported by cognitive or AI capabilities. According to studies, many CIOs have opined that acquiring new digital skills is a priority. That said, to thrive in the modern business world and build valuable customer relationships, today’s business leaders must foster a culture of continuous learning. 

Also, many organizations are now looking to foster a digital culture. Therefore, it is important for executives and leaders to have a vision of digital practices and processes. 

Open forums must be created for team members to discuss the impact and usefulness of new technologies. The discussion forums enable them to exchange skills, data, and information. By this, organizations can move forward as a cohesive unit. Upskilling the staff with relevant digital courses helps in digital transformation.

How to determine the current state of your organization?

Conducting a current state assessment is essential for executing strategic decisions regarding digital processes. Hence, a current state analysis will help in:

  • Assessing the organization’s culture.
  • Evaluating the workforce’s skillset.
  • Mapping out existing processes, operations, structure, and roles.
  • Identifying opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed.

Lucidchart provides actionable insights for every team by mapping out an organization’s current state to easily identify gaps and opportunities for the scope of improvement. Below is the chart. 

Lucidchart
Lucidchart

How to prepare for big changes?

AI and ML technologies will continue to be a driving force in the business world. C-suite executives must commit to new operating models that add value to the organization. In light of this, predictions suggest that blockchain will not disrupt any industry. More tech leaders will begin to experiment with quantum computing, following the footsteps of industry leaders like Microsoft, Google, and IBM.

Companies are developing their traditional business models into business platforms. Moreover, to connect with customers directly or through intermediaries. This shift in approach leads to boardroom questions revolving around platform-based models and new partnership ecosystems. Furthermore, innovative ways of organizing the business for higher success.

By preparing for these changes, business leaders will be able to remain one step ahead. Also retaining the capabilities to form long-lasting relationships over time. To embrace innovative ways of doing things and working with new technologies, organizational culture needs to be open to experimentation and failure. Overlooking cultural aspects could be the biggest mistake leading to the failure of a digital transformation project. 

Conclusion

IDC study predicts that by 2020, 50% of the Global 2000 will see that much of their business depends on their ability to create digitally-enhanced products, services, and experiences. This expansion of digital transformation at a macroeconomic scale signals a new, digital economy. To progress on this DX journey, savvy business leaders need to understand how to combine these technologies to maximize value for their organization. Hence, they should leverage data in acquiring knowledge. And in emerging digital technologies for higher organizational growth. 

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