This year, businesses have fought hard to adapt to new ways of working and survive in a challenging social and economic environment. The COVID-19 pandemic forced every tier of business to look at their technological advancement and digital capabilities. Some companies managed to master the art of digital transformation, but it's not as simple as it sounds. And, most of the time, it doesn't take place overnight. Though 2020 has resulted in a leap-frog in tech intervention in business, the road to truly successful digital transformation requires careful planning and consideration. These 5 key factors will help your business succeed at digital transformation...
5 steps to succeeding at digital transformation
1). Find the right tech for you
Every business is different. Therefore, so are their digital needs. Rather than diving head first into the latest tech solutions and software development, think about what your specific business really needs. And how technology can help achieve your goals. The way you streamline processes and make your company more efficient will depend on what your end-goal is. And, if you're in finance, manufacturing or fashion, these goals will be different. You want tech to suit your business, not the other way around.
2). Secure great leadership
When you start the process of digital transformation, it's important to get everyone on board. Especially the people at the top. At every level of leadership, team members need to be committed to the changes, or your tech intervention won't happen.
A recent report by accounting company Sage found that 90% of senior financial decisionmakers have adopted emerging technologies in some form. While 87% of CFOs play a role in digital transformation and say that emerging financial management technology is key to success in their role. This means that the people at the top are leading the charge towards digital transformation. And inspiring other leaders to do the same.
3). Structure your data
In order to implement advanced tech and software development solutions, your company's data needs to be organised and centralised. It's the fuel that will drive your digital transformation 'machine'. And, before the machine can start to work, information and data needs to be strategically captured and analysed so that important business decisions can be made. This will guide you to implementing the right kind of digital solutions for your business. Rather than leaving data collection and analysis to individuals, create a centralised digital data hub so that anyone can access and analyse the data they need.
4). Harness talent
The right team will determine whether your digital transformation succeeds or fails. Whoever is leading the tech intervention process needs the right combination of people around them to help with everything from problem solving to motivating the rest of the company to embrace the transformation. Success depends on who manages the change program, as well as who executes the program throughout the organisation. Take time to make sure your business has the right people at the top, and that your company is filled with the talent it needs to take the digital transformation process forward. A key factor in adapting to new tech solutions is motivating staff to learn and embrace the new technology.
5). Stay agile
The last step is about remembering that digital transformation isn't a once-off, stagnant solution. If you do it right, your journey to successful digital transformation is never over. Today, the key to succeeding in our ever-changing, tech-driven world lies in being open to adapting to new developments and constantly evaluating the efficiency of your business. This might mean promoting or moving talented employees to new departments, learning new business tools or programs, shifting attention to different areas of the company. Agility is crucial in our 'adapt or die' environment and those who are open-minded enough to embrace the abilities of technology are sure to succeed.
While the road to successful digital transformation might initially seem overwhelming, with the right strategy, leaders and mindset, it's certainly possible. Here's to harnessing technology and moving your business forward!