Digital transformation isn’t just about technology. A cultural shift also needs to happen to ensure success. Digital transformation is a continuous process, and it’s about permanently shifting the business model one step at a time.
This is my advice on how you can master the transformation process.
Break Down Siloes
There’s still a perception in many organisations that digital transformation is an IT or marketing task. But it’s about changing every part of the business and the way it operates, with buy-in from everyone. In addition, in many large organisations, every department uses its own system, which makes collaboration and sharing data extremely difficult.
Breaking down these barriers is not just beneficial for efficiency and internal processes—it will improve customer experiences, too. Customers want your business to be able to speak as one. If your company has certain data about someone, that person will expect whoever they speak with to have access to that information. It’s not just about getting more information on your customers, either. It’s about serving them better with the information you already have, and that requires the free flow of data.
Attract The Best Talent
To ensure your organisation stays open-minded, and to give your transformation the best chance of success, you will need to attract the new top talent. To do so, another barrier that is important to break down involves hierarchies and rigid processes. For example, some companies still discourage working from home. But making the workplace more flexible is one of the key elements that will attract the next generation of talent.
Increasingly, companies are also realising the benefits of hiring expertise from different sectors. Of course, specific industry experience is still relevant, but this is about the kind of work that someone has done and the skills exhibited. Bringing in new energy can also give existing staff a boost and help drive the transformation process forward.
It might sound obvious, but the right attitude is also vital. There’s no playbook for digital transformation success, so you need people who are adaptable and willing to engage with challenges.
Maintain Momentum With Quick Wins
There’s always a balance to strike between quick wins and the bigger architecture changes. It’s vital to have an overarching, shared vision that focuses on a desired destination rather than an end date. Equally important, however, to have short-term, lighthouse projects that demonstrate success and secure people’s engagement.
It’s key that everybody can see some tangible changes that the transformation offers to maintain their motivation during what can be a challenging process. Demonstrating incremental wins is also a powerful part of the narrative that will help secure funding for your transformation on an ongoing basis.
Prioritise Continuity To Achieve Success
I’ve often heard people refer to a digital transformation programme or, even worse, a digital transformation project. But it’s not something that has a beginning and end. It’s about permanently shifting the business model because it’s a totally different way of doing things.
Projects and programmes can arise as part of the overall process, but, ultimately, it requires a business strategy, not a short-term fix. It won’t finish in a year or two; things must continue to evolve and keep moving in one direction.
Adapt And Prioritise Capabilities
Shortening deployment cycles from requirement to production will make the transformation more practical and fit in with wider business objectives. Even if that sometimes means that the entire feature isn’t built by deployment, having those smaller steps can help an organisation get more business demands on board.
Once you have broken down the organisational silos and have the entire business on one platform, with the functionality that brings, you can adjust the business needs on a short-term basis and prioritise business critical functions.
In the fast-evolving, “connected experience” world we live in, almost every employee becomes involved in creating the customer experience. Once the organisation gets on the same page, you can continue to implement required changes to suit your evolving business needs and stay successful.