Although digital transformation is a trendy topic, most business leaders are unaware of the entire depth of what it entails. ‘Doing digital’ isn’t the same as ‘digital transformation.’ A purposeful, strategic repositioning of one’s business in today’s digital market is recognized as digital transformation.
Digital transformation has become a buzzword in the corporate world, with many companies currently working on these projects. As with many buzzword-worthy phenomena, there are valuable components of transformation that businesses can profit from, as well as misconceptions that can waste time and money.
It’s easy to have unreasonable expectations from transformation, especially with regard to what the project can and should accomplish. Other activities, such as strategic goal-setting, culture change initiatives, and organizational design, should frequently precede, accompany, or follow transformation.
Let’s look at some of the opportunities, as well as some of the overhyped parts of transformation so that organizations can better grasp how this impacts them.
What impact does digital transformation have on existing processes?
The sheer number of systems and processes that need to be updated in order to achieve success is a major stumbling block while working on digital transformation initiatives. Add in the reality that many people are creatures of habit, and it’s no surprise that a large number of transformation projects fail.
A great digital transformation begins with a thorough grasp of current processes, why they exist (for better or worse), and the problems they address. Businesses can only develop something better if they have an in-depth understanding of the current state of affairs.
How can digital transformation impact company culture?
While successful businesses have long recognized this, any company embarking on a digital transformation initiative will quickly discover that organizational culture and openness to change are just as crucial as the technological strategy employed.
Businesses should gain buy-in from all levels of their company before beginning on the difficult task of transformation. There will be unnecessary roadblocks if leadership is not on board with the change endeavor, nor are front-line employees adopting the tactical strategy (or anybody in between).
One method to help with this is to educate and involve the entire organization in aspects of the process from the start, to ensure that everyone understands their role and that they are kept informed about both triumphs and challenges. Businesses should make it a point to celebrate victories along the road and to clearly define success measures.
What impact does digital transformation have on current customer experiences?
The most visible and probably most significant component of digital transformation is how it affects and, in the best-case scenario, improves the customer experience. After all, if organizations can’t improve their consumers’ experiences, their long-term investment in transformation isn’t likely to be worthwhile. Repeat customers are also more likely to refer others, which is crucial for business success.
Alternatively, businesses should ensure that their transformation has a clear focus on customer experience. While operational efficiencies and cost-cutting can be key performance indicators (KPIs) of the transformation initiative, they are lacking a critical component if they cannot meaningfully improve the performance of their customer experience.