4 Tips for a Successful Digital Transformation for Your Business

For the better part of two decades, businesses have been leading the charge away from manual processes and toward digital, automated systems that cut back on waste, promote efficiency, and increase profits. But in 2018, we’ve finally reached a point where this shift is no longer optional. If you want your business to be successful both now and in the future, you need to drive digital transformation (DX).

What is a Digital Transformation?

“Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers,” The Enterprisers Project explains. “It’s also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.”

It’s this latter idea of getting comfortable with failure that scares many businesses away from digital transformation. But despite the fear it evokes, the reality is there’s much more risk associated with not pursuing transformation.

As the rest of the business world digitizes, customers have elevated expectations of what companies should offer. A failure to recognize and act upon these expectations could compromise results. A disciplined response that prioritizes digital processes will level the playing field and give you opportunities to be competitive for years to come.

4 Tips for Success

The idea of digital transformation sounds great in theory, but what does it look like in application? Here are a few tips and principles that you can use to increase your chances of success:

1.- Understand the Why

“True digital transformation does more than just create an electronic version of legacy processes or help companies keep up with technology trends,” Bridgepoint Consulting explains. “When implemented thoughtfully as part of a larger strategy, DX can help companies address growing pains, unify customer and process data and speed time to market for new products and services.”

As you seek to understand the “why” behind digital transformation, you’ll feel even more motivated to instigate positive change. Always think about it in terms of key business objectives, and you’ll find it easier to push through when challenges inevitably arise.

2.- Decide on a Leader

One of the first issues your business has to sort through is who will lead the charge. Will it be the CEO, CIO, CFO, or someone else entirely? Well, according to ACR Solutions, it should be the CMO. This is true for three specific reasons:

CMOs are more customer-focused than anyone else in the company and will commit to perfecting the end-user experience above all else.

Unlike the CIO, the CMO will treat digital transformation as a broad organization-wide change (rather than just another isolated IT project).

The CMO has the most influence over company culture, which helps bridge the divide between technology and enterprise concerns.

You may decide on someone else to lead the charge, but don’t discount the role of the CMO. If nothing else, the CMO and CIO should be working in tandem.

3.- Use the Right Technology

There are plenty of different technologies to choose from. As you push digital transformation, spend time carefully selecting solutions and systems that align with your business objectives. The more your technology is compatible across the board, the less friction there will be in the migration. Keep this in mind as you vet your options.

4.- Measure Like a Pro

Digital transformation will be ineffective if you don’t have the right key performance indicators (KPIs) in place to track customer data and analyze digital experiences. But instead of only focusing on the technical side of things, set up KPIs that take the cultural shift into account.

“The most challenging part of managing digital transformation is not technical, but cultural, therefore changing the way you track and reward success across your business is a crucial tool for breaking down siloes and promoting cultural change,” Adobe advises. “It helps the whole business focus on the things that matter.”

Keep Your Business on Track

Digital transformation is no longer optional. If you want to keep your business moving forward, you have to resist the temptation to play it safe and usher your company into the new age. Because as intimidating as it may seem, digital is the way of the future.

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