Digital transformation calls for organisations to engage with stakeholders to transform business models through disruptive technologies. Many organisations are embracing new technologies which offer exciting ways to leverage data, engage with customers and automate processes in order to establish new processes, develop new products and jump start growth. While the potential impact of digital transformation is promising, it can also be intimidating. Where do you start? How do you measure success? How do you get all areas of your business on-board?
This checklist provides six critical steps for a successful digital transformation:
Your digital action plan must start with the key mission you hope to achieve. This should be related to the very core of why your organisation exists. What experiences and products do you want to offer? You must be crystal clear on this point from the outset.
Although product and service offerings are often blended today, you need to be able to clearly define your goal. If you can’t articulate your mission, chances are your personnel, partners, and customers will be confused and unreceptive.
Balancing the workforce between doers and thinkers is important. Every organisation has a combination of hands-on workers as well as managers focusing on bottom-line profitability. But you also need the creative problem solvers who can bring imagination and a vision for the future. Different perspectives can spark creative thoughts and fresh approach to solving business problems. Encourage these individuals from divergent disciplines to form teams and learn from each other.
Conceptualise your business model first, then decide how to execute it. Keep in mind you can have more than one business model and multiple revenue streams. Start from a core objective then work out what technologies, people, and systems you need to support the model.
Data is the steam that makes the digital engine run. Collecting, understanding, and leveraging data in a meaningful way is the crux of the digital era. In order to take advantage of modern capabilities, you need devices and systems for collecting, storing, and aggregating millions of random data points into logical patterns. Data must be accurate, real-time, accessible, and relevant.
Access to accurate, timely data helps managers be confident in their decisions and set strategies based on science, not hunches or anecdotal comments. But, to reach this level of sophistication, you need the ability to store and aggregate large amounts of data. Cloud deployment is a necessity for practical, economical storage of vast data.
The IT team cannot plan and execute the complete digital agenda alone. The mandates must come from the top, and continue to have key executives highly engaged, especially in setting the company culture, pace of change, risk tolerance, and investment priorities. Teams can focus on specific aspects, such as creating new revenue streams, regulation compliance, commercialising data, and enhancing existing systems.
Teams should involve personnel from multiple areas and diverse backgrounds in order to get a comprehensive perspective and a wide range of new ideas. As teams focus on their specific aspects, there must also be a method for teams to share ideas, ensure their ideas are compatible with other teams, and iron out any disagreements.
One of the main benefits of a digital strategy is the opportunity it provides to align with customers. An enhanced customer experience is the key to differentiation today. Customers expect a highly personalised, positive experience when making a purchase, whether in business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) markets.
Customers expect ecommerce, the ability to collaborate on designs, highly personalised products, and portals for such things as placing orders, requesting service, tracking service claims, monitoring warranties, and projecting the need for service, upgrade, or replacement. All of these customer-centric features can be easily offered thanks to modern technology.
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