Digital transformation has been a part of the global industry for years. However, it was considered a tool to have a competitive advantage in the pre-Covid era. Now the digital transformation is a must for every business, a startup, or an established multinational company.
Statistics show that the global digital transformation market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 16.5% from 2020 to 2025 to touch $1009.8 billion. The World Economic Forum said the digital transformation will add $100 trillion to the global economy by 2025, with interactive platforms taking up two-thirds of the total value.
Similarly, data from Statista show that the global investment in digital transformation will grow from $1.8 trillion in 2022 to $2.8 trillion by 2025. With everyone around the world talking about digitally transforming their businesses, it’s vital to understand what it actually means and how to implement the process correctly.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to digital transformation with answers to questions like who should lead digital transformation and what is the fundamental meaning of digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of establishing a digital-first approach in a business to streamline internal processes, revamp business models, enhance customer experience, and increase ROI. Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud, automation, machine learning, etc., are used to leverage data, create seamless data flow, and empower smarter decision-making. It offers a real-time solution to market disruptions and creates new business opportunities for growth and success.
Digital transformation is not a one-time fix. It is the continuous adoption of technologies to deal with changing market conditions and customer requirements in the best possible manner.
So do you need a vision for a digital transformation agenda?
Absolutely! How you digitally transform your business depends on various factors, such as your organization’s vision, mission, goals, target market, etc. To create a robust and comprehensive digital transformation agenda or strategy for your business, you should first understand what is crucial for the enterprise and how it can be achieved.
Hiring a digital transformation service provider or consulting company is a stress-free method to handle the process effectively.
Every enterprise has its own strategy to digitally transform its processes and systems. There is no single methodology that suits all businesses. But how do you determine your optimal digital transformation strategy?
It’s done by aligning the digital transformation strategy with the organization’s strategy and following the two most important principles:
Defining and detailing the strategy will provide a clear picture and make it easy to implement digital transformation in the business.
While any digital technology can be used to transform business processes, some technologies have a central role and are a must for every enterprise. However, digital transformation will be successful when you know which technology is the best for your needs. Consulting companies not only help choose the right tools and technologies but also customize and integrate them with the business systems to increase overall efficiency and performance.
The top digital transformation technologies are:
The building blocks of digital transformation can be varied and extensive, depending on the enterprise’s requirements. Nevertheless, these are broadly classified into four major categories:
Digital transformation in organizations begins with identifying the elements under each building block. Having a detailed, high-level checklist will ensure you don’t miss any crucial factors when adopting the latest technologies and processes in your enterprise.
You should ask three major questions when setting the strategy-
With ever-changing answers, you should make sure the digital strategy has components that support making proactive business decisions in the present and future. Identifying the stepping stones and challenges helps choose the right areas to implement the changes.
A Gartner report shows that 60% of mainstream enterprises mention that becoming a composable business is their strategic objective to outperform their competitors and implement new developments 80% faster.
The ultimate goal of business digital transformation is to drive real value for customers through improved business operations. It should bring greater ROI and help enterprises achieve their desired outcomes. Hence, this category contains components like operations, business economic model, products & services, and customer & engagement across the selected channels. The primary intent is to find ways to derive additional value from the improvements without increasing the costs.
As the term suggests, enablers are the tools, technologies, and methodologies that help achieve the goals and initiate digital transformation in the enterprise. It also includes people (internal and external) who play varied roles in using technology and achieving success. However, the biggest challenge lies in building an in-house team and encouraging existing employees to adopt digital transformation.
The most prominent enablers of digital transformation are:
Many organizations partner with offshore service providers to save hiring costs and the time taken to build a team from scratch. Consulting companies also assist and train existing employees to become comfortable with new technology and use it effectively to increase their performance at work.
The final and crucial building block of digital transformation is orchestration, or the process of how to get it done. It deals with finding investors, creating a fund, setting governance regulations, scaling the systems, identifying competent leaders, and promoting community engagement to involve everyone in the process.
Many challenges arise in this stage and determine the end results of digital transformation in a business. For example, a wrong leader could put the entire organization at risk. Partnering with a digital transformation consulting company reduces risks and empowers your business at various levels.
Your digital transformation approach has to be structured in a systematic process to prevent mistakes and unexpected roadblocks. Be it a small business or a large enterprise, planning and implementing digital transformation is no small feat. The process is extensive and requires time, money, resources, expertise, and dedication.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to implementing digital transformation in your enterprise:
Firstly, define what you want to achieve by implementing your digital transformation ideas. The vision changes from one business to another, even within the same industry or niche. For example, one eCommerce business may want to attract Gen Z while another business may want to simplify online shopping for Gen X, who aren’t fully comfortable with technology.
Finalizing the end goal or vision will help make the right decisions at different steps of digital transformation. At this stage, it’s vital to consider the inputs from employees at all verticals, end-users (customers), stakeholders, investors, and top management. This eliminates the risk of misunderstandings once the process begins.
To simplify things, you can consult a digital transformation strategy provider to give a framework for understanding business requirements and defining the vision, objectives, and outcomes.
Digital literacy is essential to initiate digital transformation. Experts from offshore consulting companies bridge the talent gap within the enterprise and help gather the necessary resources (tools and technologies). Some organizations may choose to train their employees at this stage. However, having a reliable B2B partner is recommended to prevent mistakes.
Nevertheless, make sure that your employees are involved and updated about the latest developments. Encourage them to understand the need for digital transformation and provide the support system (training) to empower your employees in adopting the latest technology and using it effectively.
At this stage, you can also analyze how other enterprises were successful in digitally transforming themselves to strengthen your strategy.
It’s vital to invest in technology that gives guaranteed ROI and can be customized as needed. A wrong decision at this step can lead to financial loss and can negatively impact employee mindset and work culture in the organization. Another important aspect is to speed up the deployment and adoption rate by providing interactive on-the-job training across the enterprise.
Furthermore, some software products are easier to use than others. For example, you can invest in Microsoft Power BI to derive business intelligence and share data visualization reports in real time. Employees have access to the Power BI dashboard to make day-to-day decisions at work.
Digital transformation doesn’t mean all existing processes and systems have to be scrapped. Legacy systems can still be used but should be updated to allow third-party integrations. The intention of digital transformation is to collect scattered data from across the enterprise and make it easily accessible to all employees.
In this step, you should focus on connecting data and employees to create a unified view of the end user (customer). This will help identify ways to enhance customer engagement instead of spending on marketing a product without understanding the target audience. Once you define the view and elaborate on it, you will know how to derive insights from the datasets and use them.
Digital transformation management can be effective only when it is supported by organizational and work culture changes. Initiate cultural change in parallel to give enough time for employees to adjust to the new systems and processes. Provide the necessary support through training, one-to-one mentoring, counseling, etc.
Showing employees you care about their opinions and emotions is important to sustain the retention rate and overall productivity. Several businesses fail to make the most of digital transformation by not focusing on cultural changes. Avoid such issues by proactively tackling employee resistance and assuring them.
Digital transformation is not completed even after the previous steps are successfully implemented. That’s because the markets, customer needs, and technologies are always changing. You should continue to monitor your performance and ROI to ensure the systems are delivering the desired outcomes.
The top management and C-level executives should ensure the business vision, goals, systems, and KPIs are aligned at all times. Digital transformation consulting companies can help through regular upgrades and maintenance services.
Different organizations implement digital transformation in different ways. It can be tangible (like creating new mobile apps or using customer-centric tools) and intrinsic (like dismantling data silos across the enterprise to set up a centralized cloud-based data warehouse or data lake). A few examples of digital transformation are:
One question many ask is should large companies invest in digital transformation or is best suited for small and mid-sized businesses.
Large companies need digital transformation to improve the quality of their business data and make smarter decisions based on real-time insights, just as SMBs do. In fact, every business in today’s world needs a digital-first infrastructure to make data-driven decisions. Talk to the leading digital transformation solution provider to boost your business and increase profits.