Considering all the buzz that surrounds this phrase, it’s not surprising to see why the true definition (and purpose) of digital transformation ends up getting ‘lost in translation’. The overarching broadness of the concept is also another contributing factor to the confusion. Thanks to the fluidity of digital transformation strategies, what constitutes a legit move, and what doesn’t?
In order to answer this question (and what digital transformation really means, in essence) is to look at how your business can benefit from using the right kinds of technology to advance a certain business goal.
So, in a nutshell, digital transformation is the utilization of the right technologies, in order to meet changing customer expectations and improve efficiency within internal processes.
How can the average business be digitally transformed?
While there isn’t a concrete blueprint on how to embark on a digital transformation journey (and succeed at it), the following factors shall universally apply to any business. Irrespective of industry or size, consider the following variables to map out a journey that is unique to your business’s specific needs – while checking in regularly to note if iterations needs to be made.
Understand what your stakeholders (especially customers) really want – with data.
This is the first and most crucial pointer for any business’s digital transformation journey without a doubt. Until you are able to zero in on what your customers want, why, where and how, nothing can be mapped. You cannot build (or improve) what you cannot see, so measuring customer conversions and behavior isn’t just imperative for most other areas of your business – but also for digital transformation.
Another factor to consider for digital transformation, though, is the rate at which these consumer trends are bound to change. Being able to forecast such patterns can significantly help for wise decision making, especially in terms of how scalable your digital transformation strategy needs to be.
Involve IT teams to contribute to strategy-making.
Whether it’s overhauling your data centers, or implementing personalized messaging for your customers, every move that pertains to digital transformation is best carried out under the guidance of your IT team. Long gone are the days when IT was only consulted for installing, upgrading and troubleshooting software; it is now a lynchpin that determines how well your business achieves its many goals, as IT and business outcomes are now inseparable in this day and age.
Start small – and build your way up.
No two businesses will have the same digital transformation journey, so it is always viable (and less pressurizing) to smart small, such as an MVP. Gauge performance and iterate as needed, to only invest in a digital product that is attuned to the needs of your business and its customers.
Summing it all up…
Digital transformation has long since been a buzzword, but its broad-spectrum qualities mean that businesses need to hone exactly what this means for them. As long as business outcomes, customer expectations and internal processes are enhanced with the right technologies, organizations can confidently claim that they have implemented an effective pathway of digital transformation.