Digital transformation: Even before the COVID-19 pandemic overhauled the way we live and work, businesses around the world were already transitioning towards digital. Today, everyone ranging from your employees to your clients is now quite comfortable with extensive usage of apps and tools to perform pretty much every task.
That’s the essence of digital transformation. It is basically the integration of tools and tech into nearly every area (people and processes) of your company, fundamentally amending how your teams work and produce value for your customers.
Digital transformation is all about bringing a holistic change in how your company operates. It is a revamp of your company’s processes and workflows, and also the supply chain. It is aimed at enhancing employee’s capabilities, with the introduction of digital tools, apps, and subscription software designed to optimize how your employees carry out their duties.
While there’s a lot you can do to accelerate digital transformation in your organization, here are five quick and actionable tips to get started right away.
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Align Digital Transformation Investments With Business Goals
Once you have buy-in from top-level executives, it’s time to think about digital transformation as an investment, not a cost.
And to change the notion of digital transformation from an expense to an investment, you need to work with the various team leaders and managers to establish concrete ROI metrics.
You also need to find ways to tie innovation projects and software investments to business goals.
For example, an investment in an enterprise content marketing tool can be tied to the company’s online brand visibility goals, with key performance indicators (KPIs) like website traffic, email sign-ups, social shares, etc. helping to substantiate the investment.
So, the first step is to set goals that allow you to measure success with metrics. Doing so also helps employees to understand why digital transformation is needed and how it will benefit them.
Figure Out the Right Tech Stack for Your Company
While digital transformation is not just about the tools and software you use, the choice of the right tech stack is key.
With most companies forced to go fully remote thanks to the pandemic, you likely already have adopted a set of digital tools in the past year or so. However, you need to consider if your choice of tools is optimal in terms of efficiency and output, or if there’s room for improvement.
That is, based on your company’s unique requirements and internal processes/workflows, look for tools designed to optimize remote communication, collaboration, productivity, and project management with the goal of enabling more flexibility for your workforce.
Don’t simply copy the toolkit your competitors have adopted, as what works best for them may not be ideal for your company. Do your research, consider your feature requirements and budget, and then experiment with digital tools in the following areas:
- Instant messaging and video conferencing
- Real-time collaboration
- Task tracking and project management
- Productivity and time management
- Customer experience and helpdesk
- Cybersecurity and compliance
Try out different software before committing to one for your company for the long run.
Assist Your Employees in the Transition
As you bring in a set of tools and processes to achieve digital transformation, you also need to have a strategy in place to help employees stay on top of their game. Because ultimately, it’s your employees who are going to revamp the way they do their work.
Sure, the modern software you invest in comes with a user-friendly interface and helpful guides/tutorials to get started quickly. However, to make the most of these new tools and understand all features, you can’t overlook the importance of an internal employee training program.
For example, new recruits with little-to-no work experience can greatly benefit from a structured training program that also teaches the use of digital tools that are standardized in the company.
Consider using an interactive training and onboarding platform that provides on-the-job training and serves as a handy guide, thus decreasing the time taken by teams to properly adopt new tools. Such a tool will also allow you to measure the effectiveness of your training with built-in analytics, so you know what’s working best and what isn’t.
Helping employees build digital literacy, and training and engaging them around the central idea or vision behind digital transformation will empower them to become partners in the company’s transformation efforts.
Just because the transformation strategy comes from leadership, it doesn’t mean employees can’t devise ideas or plans on what the transformation should include and how it could better benefit their team and role.
Thus, make it a point to constantly survey the employee experience, expectations, and journey to draw useful insights and turn them into initiatives.
Base Your Decisions on Data
It may not come as a surprise if you find that the data in your organization is either fragmented, incomplete, or both.
And so, a key component of digital transformation is to create a centralized data infrastructure that eliminates data silos and enables data-driven decision-making. In doing so, you’ll also promote data collaboration from various teams to better direct your company’s overall efforts.
Also, consider investing in data science and artificial intelligence (AI) to facilitate real-time and predictive analytics, and consequently have a competitive edge most of your competitors wouldn’t.
Prioritize a Company Culture of Innovation
Last but not least, adapting your company culture can be one of the biggest challenges to effective digital transformation and innovation.
Companies making the best progress in their digital transformation journey are the ones prioritizing investments in enhancing their company culture to be more forward-thinking, agile, and iterative.
Over to You
Digital transformation essentially means leveraging digital tools to optimize your company’s operations, leaving behind the conventional ways of pen and paper for good.
And guess what? It is inevitable. With customer expectations fast-evolving and employees going fully remote, your company can’t survive, let alone thrive, without completely embracing the digital way of working.
Use the five tips outlined in this post to accelerate your digital transformation and be on track for bigger and better results in 2021 and beyond.
Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He enjoys writing about SEO, content marketing, online reputation management, and social media. When he is not writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time on learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.