Many organizations attempt embracing digital transformation beyond revamping their corporate websites every 6 months. In order to empower all functions of the business, organizations need to cut out the noise and all the ambiguity that makes it tough for them to focus on their core business objectives.
Successful companies run with a crystal clear business direction leveraging a thoughtfully prepared roadmap and a mission statement.
Without this strategic arsenal, businesses would fail to innovate and deliver value to their end users.
A large number of organizations are still lagging in adopting the digital transformation framework that would have otherwise helped such companies develop unique business models based on digital opportunities.
This post will outline the journey that companies need to take to realize the benefits of digital transformation and tap the maximum value of digital technologies to disrupt their current processes and revitalize their business models.
The digital transformation journey is guided by three basic questions:
This moot question is the jumping point of all digital transformations since organizations need to have a clear idea about the reason for change. The impetus for transformation can come from varied factors as stated below:
- Customer Experience
- Operational Excellence
- Empowerment of workforce
- Physical to Digitized workspace
What to transform?
The next important challenge for organizations to crack is - what to transform? This certainly calls for prioritization. The significant elements of an organizational value chain that businesses can think of transforming digitally are:
- Business models – new routes to market, revenue streams, key customer segments, differentiation from the competitors, relevance for future, etc.
- Structural changes – current organizational structure, balance between local and global decision making, current digital capabilities, etc.
- Workforce – digital proficiency level of the people, new capabilities required, channels to attain those skills, etc.
- Processes – current level of process automation, extent of adaptation possible, etc.
- IT capabilities – current sophistication level of databases and core systems, value being derived, current alignment between IT and business strategy, etc.
- Products/services – current level of digital enablement in products/services
- Engagement model – existing customer relationship, number of customer touch points, customer loyalty, etc.
How to transform?
This is the hardest question to answer in this whole digital transformation journey. Many organizations successfully figure out why and what to transform, but fail miserably at implementation i.e., how to transform? A few also manage to find out how to transform but are unable to accomplish business agility that combines speed and implementation – both are important pieces for successful digital transformation. Even a giant like Google possesses a big legacy of failure with disaster stories of its products – Google Wave and Google Glass. Nevertheless, the technology giant learned from its failures and moved on. Many organizations in legacy businesses tend to fail at learning from their own mistakes. Successful digital transformation does not happen bottom up but top-down. Companies must emphasize more on “how” than the “what” since most successful transformations are brought about by driving the changes to leverage the benefits of already existing valuable strategic assets in innovative ways.
Step-by-Step Framework for Digital Business Transformation
According to Gartner`s survey, digital transformation and business growth are top priorities for CEOs in 2017. Despite increasing pressures to adopt digital transformation, it’s still a daunting challenge for many industry players.
Let’s explore step-by-step framework to help you adopt digital business transformation.
Step 1: Clear understanding of current processes and capabilities
To enable the successful digital transformation, an organization needs to identify and fix the gaps between different functions, processes, departments and technologies. This needs a clear and in-depth understanding of the existing processes in varied areas of business, coupled with a thorough grasp of the competitors’ business approach too across different parts of the world to understand their geo-specific business operations and strategies. Such solid know-how of business will help organizations figure out the current gaps and the approach that needs to be adopted to re-envision customer experience, operational processes and business models. This step of the framework will also help organizations find out and document whether their business needs digital transformation or not. And if it does, how do they need to adopt it.
Step 2: Extensive analysis of the need of technology advancements
We recommend organizations to take time to analyze the existing business processes in detail to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Based on this assessment, businesses need to figure out the scope of technology advancements that need to be adopted to drive a change across different departments, processes and functions. This step will help organizations to get good information about the key improvement areas of their businesses, which they need to fix so as to drive better performance and improve business agility and deliver a delightful customer experience.
Step 3: Identify the changes to rev up your processes and business
As the next step of the digital business transformation journey, businesses need to identify the changes that they can make to their processes and business to make these better. We recommend organizations to do away with the paper-based status update, reminders, approvals, etc. Organizations must involve key stakeholders who can drive the changes in activities, documentation communications, approvals, and much more. It’s important to seek ideas from customers, partners and your employees too. Understanding the most recent technology innovations would help organizations make the necessary teaks to their products/services and if needed even to their business models. The key point to consider here is that an organization’s focus should be to boost the sales/revenues and not save on the operational costs.
Step 4: Prioritize the changes to be made
Once the changes are identified, organizations must perform the cost benefit analysis and evaluate their budget and availability of resources. Based on this assessment, the organization needs to prioritize and discuss with key stakeholders (customers, partners, operations and business teams, management) to devise a roadmap for implementing the changes to business processes.
Step 5: Demonstrate and promote the changes that are going to be implemented soon
Businesses now have a roadmap to implement the changes that need to be made to their business model or processes or workforce. Next step is to promote the benefits that this digital transformation is going to yield. This would include spreading the awareness and extending the necessary support to the employees to prepare them to face the digital world of tomorrow.
Step 6: Execute the identified changes as per the roadmap
This step involves implementing the changes, which calls for the budget allocation, allocating the responsibilities to the teams for implementation, remodeling the processes and conducting the technical implementation, etc. In addition, organizations also need to do adequate testing of the changes. Once the applications have been tested properly, businesses should deploy those in their work environment.
Step 7: Roll-out for production usage
This is the final step of the digital business transformation framework. The toughest part of a successful digital transformation is the cultural piece. We recommend organizations to formulate a crisp roll-out plan that entails clearly stated roles, responsibilities and timelines. This would facilitate an acceptable adoption of the digital business transformation. The earlier organizations start publicizing the reasons and benefits of the transformation in the business environment, the easier is its adoption. So, early communication does help. Deploying early adopters of this transformation across every business function would facilitate easy and smooth adoption of the changes. It’s imperative to slowly replace the older systems with the new systems, and not push the changes right off the bat.
To make a successful digital transformation happen, organizations need complete alignment—from the board through the executive team across different business functions through the whole company. There are numerous organizations such as Uber, Ola, Netflix, etc., that have revolutionized the way of doing business and emerged as the early adopters of digital business transformation.
Digital business transformation can mean the difference between cementing an organization’s position as a key industry player or being pushed out of the game altogether. To emerge victorious, leadership at the organizations need to be able to identify the current state of the business and the gaps that they need to bridge to be able to successfully ride the digital transformation wave and amp up their performance, workforce efficiency and ultimately, sales/revenues.
CSS Corp Digital
CSS Corp’s digital transformation solution is centered on driving Customer eXperience, improving operational efficiencies, creating specialization and in turn helps our customers with revenue creation. Visit CSS Corp Digital to learn more about how we do it