Digital Transformation – the adoption and integration of digital technologies across all areas of the business to fundamentally change and improve processes and customer value. While the concept seems simple. It is far from it.
It will be different for different companies, industries and countries. The conversation comes up due to various issues or issues, an improvement in the customer experience, or an increase in productivity. All company personnel. No one size fits all.
What is universal, however, is that the key to a successful digital transformation does not simply lie in the implementation of new technologies. It’s about using the right technology, and the information and analysis it brings, to transform your business. And that covers not only business processes and models, but organizational culture as well.
Digital transformation is a huge task. If we have learned the lessons of the past years, we realize that the adoption of agility in business is essential and that digital transformation can play a key role, not only to survive but to thrive. It’s about leveraging technology to fundamentally change, but it’s not just about technology, it’s also about fundamental culture change where you have to continually question the way things are done and be open to change.
Success is as much about people as it is about technology. Everything from vision and strategy to execution involves people. It is therefore commercially logical that the desire for transformation comes from a return to basics, the right infrastructure, the adoption of the right technologies and the support of your employees at every stage of the process.
Digital transformation is not about using the latest cool technology, but about harnessing the power of technology where it makes sense to get the right business results. What is the point ? Improve the customer experience? Increase productivity? Or offer the best business partnership?
Digital transformation affects all aspects of a business, so a successful program engaging in this type of work requires input from all areas of the business and leadership at the top. It requires a clear vision, strategy and roadmap. Where are you today? Where do you want to be tomorrow? And what are you going to do to make it happen? And that requires checks and balances in place to monitor success and identify potential weaknesses and the ability to respond and adapt appropriately.
The main challenge of any digital transformation is to make people travel. You need to be clear about the results of the transformation, how you will measure success, but most importantly, you need to double down on communication and training. I can’t stress enough that you can’t communicate too much when going through a process like this. There will be a lot of people who will feel uncomfortable and challenged by large-scale change, but in order to be successful they need to be committed. You need to be clear on how they fit into the future and constantly communicate why you are changing things and support them throughout the journey.
Digital transformation should be seen as a catalyst, affecting all aspects of a business and its employees to be the best they can be. As such, the basis for successful transformation lies in leadership and culture.
To cultivate an innovative digital culture, everything depends on your people. It means encouraging collaboration, multidimensional teams, idea generation and experimentation. To succeed and thrive, innovation needs a safe environment for your employees to think independently, solve problems and be creative (within clear boundaries), give them ownership, are listened to and valued, and give them the means of making decisions and acting.
It is also about creating an environment where people are not afraid of failure, within reason of course, and above all to learn from it by looking to the future. Understanding what your people and business need, how to implement with current systems, and the benefits to the organization means you’re constantly on the lookout, always learning, and always ready to respond.
Customer experience plays an essential role in digital transformation, and it requires a whole organizational approach. It changes consumption habits, allowing people to access what they want, pretty much anytime they want. Embracing an increasingly digital world means we need to rethink the way we interact with our customers and for customer service it means being proactive in the way you help your customers and offering a wide choice of channels to support them – social media, chats, forums, phone, email are all part of the mix. It’s about being customer-centric, creating experiences to meet their demands.
But he is not alone. It needs to be optimized in conjunction with your processes, improving the efficiency of workflows and leading to the empowerment of your staff and organization, finding the right work-life balance.
Good leaders have a clear vision of the digital transformation path their organization needs to take. One who is motivated by the adoption of digital technologies to consider more efficient working methods to meet their specific needs. They will also be able to adapt and evolve as the journey begins, not forgetting the vision, the goal.
Additionally, good leaders will be able to inspire employees to work towards the goal, joining them along the way, shaping strategy and generating a sense of ownership.
Leadership and culture are at the very heart of a successful digital transformation. It’s about people, not just the latest fad tech. It’s about understanding what digital means for your business, how technology can improve your operations and the values ââof your customers, yes, but it’s about cultural change. It’s about building a mindset that continually challenges, innovates, and is comfortable with failure.
Technology is changing the world at an accelerating rate. Businesses need to be agile enough to adapt and grow in order to keep pace. By placing leadership and culture at the heart of your digital transformation, people and businesses will stay ahead of the competition and thrive, no matter what the world throws at them.
Pete Hanlon, Technical Director, Moneypenny