Digital business transformation: From its humble beginnings as an online shop, to a trusted e-commerce brand that sells everything from fashion to food and home goods, it’s safe to say that digital has become a big part of virtually every business today. However, with so many companies shifting to an omnichannel model and the growing pressure for digital transformation (e-commerce in particular), not everyone is equipped to deal with the change. If your business is under greater scrutiny than it ever has before, now may be the time for a digital overhaul. After all, the pace at which new technologies emerge — and are adopted by businesses — has never been faster.
5 Tips for a Successful Digital Business Transformation
Digital transformation can be daunting for any business, but especially for those operating within a legacy system. For some businesses, this may mean an end to the digital age and a return to traditional methods. However, if you’re looking to break out of the mold and make your business more competitive in today’s marketplace, read on. Here are 5 tips for a successful digital business transformation:
Review Your Operations and Work With Only What’s Required
Many businesses look to transform their operations with a digital transformation that includes a wide range of initiatives and projects with a long-term impact. While this might be an approach for some, for others, it’s better to focus on the change that’s required and to start with small changes that build over time. To ensure success during this transformation, start by identifying the areas where your business is already successful and see where you can transform them first. For example, your business might be successful because it’s able to offer a great service and provide excellent value to customers. If you try to transform your organization into a digital business that offers a range of new digital services, you may end up losing customers in the process. Instead, start with an area of your business that’s more successful and that your customers are likely to praise, such as service quality. Then, expand on that initial success as your business transforms.
Invest in Technology
Digital transformation can be expensive, but there are many ways to reduce costs along the way. The first is to invest in technology first. If you don’t have the right technology in place, you’ll be spending a lot of money to bring the transformation to life. To ensure you don’t make this mistake, start by identifying the technology that’s required for your transformation. Then, invite your IT department to work with you on selecting what technologies to invest in first. Once you’ve identified the technology that’s required for your transformation, you can begin to invest in it. This doesn’t mean you should immediately buy everything you need. Instead, focus on what’s required to get your transformation off the ground. Start by adding the technology that’s required to transform the first area of your business where you’re successful. As your transformation expands, add new technologies based on need.
Transforming your business to digital can create new challenges, demand new skills and require a lot of flexibility. This is especially true when you’re transforming a business that’s been operating in a traditional way, where skills and mindsets are more likely to be based on a legacy system. This transformation can mean a shift in culture, too, where employees might need to learn new skills and norms. To ensure your transformation is successful, be flexible in your approach. Start by identifying areas where you need flexibility and where your business might be less likely to transform. For example, your business might be successful because employees already know how to service customers, but transforming your organization to become an online business might mean changing how employees communicate with customers.
Collaborate with Stakeholders
When you invest in a digital transformation, you’re going to need to build a coalition of stakeholders, from executives to employees. While you’re likely to engage with these stakeholders individually, it’s better to build your coalition around a single representative. This comes in especially handy during a transformation, when many stakeholders have competing interests and require a clear vision to be successful. To engage your stakeholders around a single representative, start by identifying those key stakeholders in your transformation, including executives, investors, and employees. Then, invite each of these stakeholders to meet with one representative. This representative can be the head of your transformation initiative, or someone more senior who has the authority to represent the interests of all stakeholders.
Create a Roadmap
Once you have your coalition, it’s important to create a roadmap that describes how your transformation will happen. This roadmap can help you prioritize initiatives and set expectations with stakeholders throughout the transformation. To create a roadmap for your transformation, start by identifying which stakeholders you’ll be engaging with throughout the transformation. These stakeholders might include executives, investors, employees, and other stakeholders. Once you’ve identified your key stakeholders, start by mapping out the transformation from now until your business is fully digital. This roadmap can help you identify the initiatives that are required and where your business is successful today.
Digital transformation might be daunting for some businesses, but if you’re looking to break out of the mold and make your business more competitive in today’s marketplace, follow these 5 tips. Begin by reviewing your operations and work with only what’s required to transform your business. Invest in technology, be flexible, collaborate with stakeholders, and create a roadmap for your transformation. Finally, be prepared to be flexible and to collaborate with stakeholders as you transform your business to be more digital.
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