Success through Digital Transformation in 2020, Part 1

What is digital transformation?

Looking inside as well as out

  • A little less talk and a lot more action is needed
    While organizations claim to recognize that changing customer behavior is among the top drivers for digital transformation, less than 50% invest in understanding digital customers, meaning over 50% are often just talking and not doing.
  • The siloed approach has a flaw
    True success in digital transformation can only be achieved through a company-wide, cross-functional endeavor. Siloed efforts can, and often do, directly compete against collaboration because they create a possibility for department-specific alignments that hinder overall success. While CIOs and IT departments are an important player in digital transformation, the rest of the executive team would need to be hands-on, too.
  • Seeing transformation as a cost center rather than an investment
    Change agents can often have the unique role of debunking the myth that digital transformation is a black hole in which executives pour in excessive amounts of cash with little to no return. When seen as a cost center instead of as an investment, change agents will not be able to get stakeholders’ buy-in for their pursuit of digital transformation.
  • Lack of digital talent
    While companies recognize that employee experience today is a critical element of a successful digital transformation, investment in both modernizing employees’ skillsets for the new digital economy as well as new digital talent is still lagging behind. 2
  • Stay laser-focused on your customers
    Creating customer value should be a foundational principle and a top priority for every business when embarking on a digital transformation journey. Communicate cross-functionally and transparently to maintain alignment and preserve a customer-first mindset.
  • Remember that it’s not all about technology
    A common practice for most organizations on a quest to digitally transform their business is their technology-first approach. Companies often zero in on a specific technology and how it can benefit their organization instead of looking at the technology within the bigger picture. Strategic digital transformation discussions should not start and end with technology only. Remember; Customer-first.
  • Develop as leaders
    Ensure the organization’s leadership possesses the necessary qualities to execute, oversee, and communicate the vision and strategy in a time of change. Not only should they be able to lead with their example, but also empower teams and individuals to have the autonomy to make decisions and experiment, rather than micromanage.
  • Be creative in acquiring the necessary skillset
    Assess your goals and address skillset shortages first. Focus on investing your company’s future by creating an environment of continuous learning. Be proactive about hiring new digital talent when you don’t already have the expertise in-house and time-to-market concerns arise. If hiring proves to be a difficult or lengthy process, focus on developing strong partnerships with trusted consultants instead, especially in areas such as emerging technologies, design thinking, and modernization.
  • Create a culture of innovation
    It’s critical to link customer experience to employee experience, especially with regard to digital transformation. According to Gallup, the cost of productivity loss totals $7 billion globally and is directly associated with poor employee engagement. Leaders who address company culture as a component of the customer experience and exude positivity around innovation realize 10% higher customer metrics, 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability compared to those who do not. 3
  • Measure results
    Like any other digital initiative, digital transformation can be tracked, measured and bound to KPIs and tangible results. Follow the revenue, not shiny promises.

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