Did you know that more than two-thirds of digital transformations fail? Alarming statistics like this have led some business leaders to steer away from innovation, instead settling for tried and tested solutions. Given the fast-moving hype cycle of modern technology, we can hardly blame them for being cautious. But because consumer habits and demands are changing all the time, the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” no longer applies.
Don’t become one of those companies that failed to innovate. Digital transformation is essential for staying relevant in a constantly evolving market. In fact, 96% of companies now consider it to be important or even critical to their continued operation. But it’s also an incredibly complex process, and no two strategies are alike. Above all, it requires ample preparation and long-term planning. Begin your organization’s transformation with these five steps.
#1. Identify your business needs
When digital transformation efforts fail, it’s usually because of a failure to align technology with the needs of the business. Blindly following the industry standards is not the best way to go because digital transformation isn’t about doing what everyone else is doing. It’s about identifying a need, setting your goals, and determining how digital technologies can help you achieve those goals and perfect those processes. You need to have a clear understanding that digital transformation means something completely different to different businesses.
#2. Choose your people
To create a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, you’re going to need to choose your champions. Digital transformation is just as much about people as it is about technology. You need top-down support from innovators and technologists who can champion the case for digital transformation and help employees and customers alike get the most out of your new solutions. If you don’t think about the human element, the process will only end up being disruptive, achieving the exact opposite of what you’d hoped for.
#3. Convince your stakeholders
Successful digital transformation strategies change the way businesses work. They positively impact people’s jobs, how they work together, and how they complete their tasks. Together, all these things add value to your business. That’s the main message you’ll want to communicate when achieving buy-in from your key stakeholders. Many IT leaders struggle to get executive sign-off, which is why you need people who can convince the business stakeholders, rather than just focusing on the technology itself.
#4. Use your data
Companies are generating more and more data every year. Shrewd business executives aren’t interested in guesswork, and they’re often very wary of adopting new technologies at the wrong stage of the hype cycle. As such, you need to provide them with cold, hard facts if you’re to have any hope of convincing them to invest in digital transformation.
For example, if your accounts payable department is spending hundreds of hours per month managing small suppliers, you need to invest in automation and use available data to dramatically reduce hours on that task.
#5. Think long term
Perhaps the most important thing to understand about digital transformation is that it isn’t like a single goal or destination. It’s a journey that’s never complete because there will always be room for improvement.
Given the pace of change, the advancement of technology, and evolving consumer habits, digital transformation is about continually improving and adapting. That’s why your initiatives need constant refinement and oversight. Innovation should address new challenges as and when they appear.
Umbrella Managed Systems offers responsive and dependable technology services to assist your business in Kansas City, Lawrence, Olathe, and surrounding areas throughout its digital transformation journey. Talk to us today to find out more.