Journey Towards Digital Transformation: A Step by Step Approach

Journey Towards Digital Transformation: A Step by Step Approach

Digital transformation is the biggest buzzword today, permeating every organization and bringing monumental changes in the industry. With digital technologies revolutionizing the world, it has become imperative for organizations to embrace change and evolve. Amidst digital turbulence, transformation is the key to survive, sustain, and be future-ready.

Why is Digital Transformation Imperative?

Creating the “digital” thread – from manufacturing to order processing through delivery and support – is a time-consuming and expensive process. Thankfully, digital transformation helps streamline the entire process, dramatically improving the way you interact with your audiences, design products. and services, manage operations, collaborate with your vendors, or provide support – in simple words, how you run the entire business.

Organizations are continuously working towards addressing fast-changing consumer needs. And a majority of such obligations are inspired by cutting-edge technologies and innovation. As such, digital transformation has become imperative for organizations today. It isn’t just the way of implementing digital tools or automating the manual processes. In its real sense, it redefines how organizations use methods and technologies to bring radical changes in business performance.

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Read More : Digital Transformation is the need of the hour. How and Why?

9 Essential Steps Towards Digital Transformation

Let’s face it – most organizations are not digital natives. The biggest impediment to becoming a digitally transformed organization is the inherent resistance to change. But with a definitive digital transformation strategy in place, they can evolve and create seamless experiences towards the change. However, the first steps towards the journey of digital transformation can be cumbersome for many leaders.

As stated by Jeff Hammond – principal analyst and vice president at Forrester – “When you look at everything that has to be done over the course of a couple of years, it can seem like a whole lot of work.” “It’s not really a technology problem – it’s a cultural problem and an org problem. And a lot of times the larger organizations don’t really either see that or want to admit that, because doing that work is a little bit harder than finding a vendor and buying technology or using some open source libraries,” he further added.

Here are the building blocks to effective digital transformation:-

#1: Discover Your Digital Transformation Objectives

Before leaping for digital transformation, it is crucial to devise a strategy that aligns with your business outcomes. Often, a digital strategy is only crafted from the lens of customer experiences; however, that is only half the story. You need to take a holistic approach towards digital transformation and identify the core objectives that should encompass the following areas:

  • Improving business processes and practices to enhance productivity, minimize costs, collaborate with supply-chain partners, and gain a competitive advantage
  • Augmenting the digital end-user and customer experience to increase productivity, revenues, retention, and loyalty
  • Optimizing operations and infrastructure to enhance flexibility, agility, and cost-effectiveness
  • Simplify customer service management process to gain better control and visibility over your assets, address complexities, and resolve problems before they arise
  • Deriving valuable insights from data analytics to improve efficiency, make smarter decisions and gain an edge over the competitors

For every organization, the transformational objectives will be different. But it is an integral step towards organizational alignment and must meet your core business goals.

Digital-first companies are 64% more likely to achieve their business goals than their peers. Click To Tweet

#2: Gauge Your Current Capabilities & Needs for the Future

Today’s network-based digital organizations are managed and structured uniquely than conventional businesses. This requires the top management to have the right approach and mindset to design, manage, and grow a digitally-driven business. The same infrastructure and talent that powers your organization’s operations currently may not be suitable for a networked, digital future. To equip your digital capabilities, you need resources with advanced skills like data science and machine learning. The infrastructure should also be seamlessly adapted to empower your employees with the tools and techniques that you need to grow and outpace the competitors in the digital world.

This might sound simple. However, most organizations take the path to digital transformation without considering how they are currently operating. This can make them vulnerable to under or over transformation.

#3: Understand the Key Technology Enablers

A vital step to digital transformation is to evaluate and harness the key technology enablers dominating the market. The SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud) stack is crucial to assess the next-generation of facilitators to empower and improve your customer experiences. These include intelligent automation, context and personas, the Internet of Things, and cybersecurity. In the digital era today, cybersecurity is an integral market enabler that helps ensure that emerging technologies are secure and deliver high-quality outcomes without compromising the privacy and safety of the users.

In addition to these, the SMAC stack is also evolving at a rapid pace. The cloud technology is evolving and integrating refined concepts like software-defined data centers and hybrid IT. Furthermore, wearable technologies and mobility are also primary disruptive technologies that are now working as the building blocks of digital transformation. Only when you take a comprehensive approach towards these enablers can you unlock new opportunities and maximize organizational benefits in the long run.

9 essential steps towards digital transformation

#4: Determine How to Go Digital

Once you set the transformation objectives and capabilities, it will become easier for you to assess different alternatives available to you: front-end transformations like customer experiences and products, back-end transformations like IT and cloud infrastructure, or bespoke software solutions that help bring both types of transformations. When devising a digital transformation strategy, you have various options to choose from. For instance:

  • Transforming manufacturing units and operations using machine learning, automation, or 3D printing
  • Redesigning and manufacturing products to integrate advanced digital components like the Internet of Things
  • Developing a robust IT infrastructure that functions as the central nervous system for your digitally-driven organization
  • Creating a digital ecosystem based on Big Data, the cloud, and connectivity
  • Delivering improved customer experiences that leverage digital technologies and features smart components like online booking or chatbots

Whatever is your strategy – implementing a small change or a combination of external and internal transformation – it is crucial to understand that digital transformation is the means to an end. Keep the ultimate goal in mind and devise the transformation strategy that can add value to your customers and businesses and not merely implement new technology just for its sake.

60% of companies that have undergone a digital transformation have created new business models. Click To Tweet

#5: Run Pilot Tests

During the digital transformation process, it is likely that organizations will break or change the existing methods. However, it is easy said than done because transforming all processes at once is not simple. Digital transformation requires your stakeholders to do things differently. This includes changing how the organization interacts with clients, implementing new procedures, or even transforming roles.

For a digital leader, the biggest challenge is to channelize and empower your team through this radical disruption. Therefore, it is crucial to run proof of concepts and pilot tests before integrating new tools and techniques before implementing the transformation plan. In case the technology you want to achieve is unique to the business, it can be hard to predict how it will affect your organization’s operational efficiency, processes, and performance. Hence, a pilot test can help you stay realistic and integrate necessary checkpoints into the strategy. According to last year’s Deloitte report, an organization can test them on a flexible and secure infrastructure to gain early insights.

This process also plays an integral role in making every employee aware of how the transformation process progresses. This will further help make the additions efficiently.

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#6: Visualize a Futuristic Digital Business

The technology enablers that pave the way for digital transformation can facilitate building a highly-distributed and virtualized business ecosystem for on-demand services. Depending on your organizational goals, you can leverage meaningful combinations of advanced technologies to achieve desired business results – improving the digital workplace, enhancing digital customer experiences, streamlining management, bringing radical changes to business processes, and implementing a cybersecurity strategy or optimizing the infrastructure.

Journey Towards Digital Transformation: A Step by Step Approach

The futuristic platform for digital business can be utilized as a reference for the transformation process for IT capabilities – both approaches and technologies – required to achieve the set objectives.

We can help you envision a digitally enabled business strategy that is up to date with the latest technological advancements. Click here to know more.

#7: Manage Risks

Any level of digital transformation will unsurprisingly disrupt business processes and models to survive and stay competitive in the modern digital era. The process is all about scaling advanced technologies, challenging your status quo, and functioning more efficiently. Effective risk management is an integral element of this ever-disruptive change. Digital leaders should be able to devise effective risk management strategies and better manage risks to implement successful strategies. Risk control and mitigation are the crux of digital transformation, an art that every CIO should master to facilitate the seamless implementation.

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#8: Create a Culture of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation becomes successful through intelligent integration of varied organizational capabilities that help achieve your business objectives, mission, and vision. Herein, company culture plays an integral role in making the transformation a sheer success. It is essential to clearly communicate the vision and objectives to the organization, making it seamless for everyone to embrace the change. A cultural shift towards digital transformation is as significant as technological change and this may involve hiring a remote team.

If the goals of transformation are not communicated efficiently in the organization, it may fail in employee buy-in, impeding the journey in the future. Maintaining high levels of transparency and a definitive transformation structure, with comprehensive training, is essential to implement the process and achieve success in the long run.

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#9: Start the Journey to Digital Transformation

Once the above strategies are in place, it is time to kickstart with your digital transformation journey. You must stay committed throughout the process and keep the goals aligned with your business objectives. Organizations that had successfully implemented digital transformation are the ones that have set clear goals and worked towards directing the business to improve growth and development. It is essential to take your journey to a futuristic platform that helps maintain, support and modernizes the infrastructure, resources, and organization.

Conclusion

If you are ready to initiate your digital transformation journey, you need to know who is going to benefit the most from this. You must also understand why you want to launch it and not because it is the latest trend to follow. Radixweb has benefited many clients in the capacity of a digital transformation consultant and helped their digital transformation aspirations take a final shape successfully.

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Maitray Gadhavi is a senior business development manager with Radixweb who accelerates the growth of organizations through innovation-led custom software development. Balancing the long-term gains in an evolving industry, he brings the voice of the customers into the enterprise. Binge-watching favourite series is his idea of fun after work.