Digital technology has revolutionized every aspect of our lives and changed the way companies conduct their business.
In today’s crowded market, it is more important than ever to stand out from the competition, reach more customers, grow your business and revenue.
Competitive advantage goes to those who can leverage modern technology in the right way, and strengthening your digital resources can help you stay ahead in your industry.
If you decide to integrate digital technology into all aspects of your business, you can expect changes in how your company operates. It also provides value to customers.
There are many high-level benefits for companies that choose to make the digital transformation.
Let’s name just a few:
- more effective collaboration across departments,
- improved customer experience,
- better insight into customer behavior,
- more automated processes,
- removal of manual tasks.
We’ve listed six important steps to kickstart your company’s digital transformation.
1. Define your goals and challenges
Before diving into any changes, you need to develop a comprehensive strategy. Coming up with an effective plan requires a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Your digital strategy needs to match your business’s future goals.
Your goals may be focused on particular departments, such as customer experience or improving productivity.
You may be facing a lot of negative customer feedback and want to improve your reputation. Alternatively, your competitors may be taking a big share of the market, so you want to increase your brand awareness.
The first step of the digital transformation is conducting a SWOT Analysis. You’ll need to assess and analyze your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges.
Once you’ve identified the goals and challenges your organization faces, you can determine what digital solutions suit your business needs the most.
2. Determine how your company will go digital
When you’ve determined your goals and challenges, it’s time to determine how exactly your company will carry out the transformation. You need to find workable solutions for your business. The best way to achieve this is to create guidelines that explain how you’ll put your strategies in place.
List each goal together with a thorough plan on how to achieve it. Also, create a comprehensive action plan to overcome the challenges you’ve come up with.
There are many digital transformation alternatives to consider, from customer experiences to cloud computing.
For example, businesses looking to transform their operations and factories will need different digital solutions compared to those looking to improve customer service—the former need to automate tasks and drop manual work. Machine learning and 3D printing, and similar cutting-edge technology solutions are the perfect fit for those businesses.
On the other hand, if you want to increase brand awareness, you’ll need to create a different plant to achieve that.
3. Check your digital assets
You need to have a thorough understanding of your existing infrastructure to make the right decisions. So, check and list down all your digital assets, equipment, tools, together with current efforts.
This way, you’ll make an informed decision on what you need to develop, get, or cut.
Don’t forget about your workforce! To achieve a successful digital transformation, you need to integrate the assets and the entire company’s efforts.
A team of professionals with appropriate skills will help your organization accomplish its digital goals. Besides noting your digital assets, identify departments and individuals suitable to take on some of the tasks required to implement the changes.
4. Find experts to ensure successful digital shift
The lack of internal expertise to implement digital transformation is one of the biggest challenges companies face. Finding the right partners to support you on the digital transformation journey is vital.
They can help you navigate digital innovations and inform you about the industry’s best practices. The experts in the field will provide you with guidance on implementing technology to achieve your company’s goals.
Take cloud computing, for instance. It has become a norm in today’s digitalized world. More and more companies are transferring their data to the cloud. Accessing, managing, and storing data has never been easier.
Still, cybersecurity is a concern for many companies going digital.
Look for vendors that offer cutting-edge, innovative solutions along with a wide variety of security features. For instance, enterprise cloud solutions allow companies to adopt the latest innovations in cloud computing, as well as advanced network security technology.
5. Make sure the key executives agree on the upcoming changes
After you’ve built a digital strategy and perfected the solutions, there is one vital step to make. You need to sell the key players on digital transformation. Without the buy-in from the company’s top executives, no project can succeed.
They need to agree on the general direction the company will take.
With key executives on board, the budget for the digital transformation will be approved. Also, their professional and moral support will encourage employees to embrace the upcoming changes.
Bear in mind that presenting a digital transformation plan that revolves around doing too much too quickly may not get executives on board. They are more likely to perceive it to be high risk.
So, be willing to start small and introduce digital transformation slowly.
6. Prepare your team for digital transformation
As with any other business area, transparency is vital to get your employees to trust your vision. When leaders communicate their plans openly and clearly, they are more likely to get the workforce on board.
Discuss the required shifts in routines and procedures with your staff early and often. If you manage to provide a clear structure and plan to prepare your team for the digital transformation, it will eliminate the fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
Emphasize the value of digital transformation for the company, the customers, and team members themselves. You need to secure a genuine buy-in from them, so they fully adopt the upcoming change.
Of course, adequate training is necessary to prepare your employees for the transition. It is also important to provide your staff with enough time to adapt to the new technology.
By following these six vital steps, you’ll successfully kickstart your company’s digital transformation, stay ahead of your competition, and reap all the benefits of leveling up your business.