How to Start Your Company's Digital Transformation in 6 Steps

January 29, 2020

In today’s fast-paced technological era, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to adapt to modern strategies and prepare themselves for further digital disruption. During the past decade, many organizations have been focusing their resources on creating digital channels and maximizing online platforms. After all, it’s all about being where the customers are.

For the last several years, buzzwords like social media, big data, mobile-first mentality, cloud computing, Internet of Things, Software as a Service, chatbots, artificial intelligence, marketing automation, and many more are being thrown left and right. 

Global enterprises are then quick to adopt the trends (some successfully, while others fall short). They create online platforms and launch digital campaigns to establish or strengthen their digital touchpoints. And often, their digital transformation efforts stop at digital marketing. But is that all it really takes?

What is digital transformation really about?

Digital transformation involves a profound change in any or all areas of business, including processes, systems, organizational culture, product development, service orientation, and more. It’s the foundational and holistic transformation to leverage digital technologies and meet the evolving demands of industries and consumers.

ted talks about digital transformation
Ted Talks about digital transformation

Despite how digital transformation is now being advocated in countless symposiums, TED Talks, conferences, and IT professional forums, many companies still do not have a solid digital strategy in place. Thus, it’s not a far stretch to say that a lot of companies are still using outdated processes and archaic systems, putting their business at risk of losses, security breaches, or worse, obsolescence.

How to start digital transformation initiatives?

Digital transformation is a massive undertaking for any organization, no matter how big or small. This is why any effort to implement such a program needs to be thoroughly planned and ensure business results. Larger enterprises may opt to work with a digital strategy consulting firm, while smaller businesses may try and implement their own strategy programs. But in both cases, most of them don’t have the key preparations laid out, which just results in creating new digital assets that don’t add any value to the business.

Here are some of the digital transformation steps to get you started.

  1. Define Challenges and Objectives

The first step to any organizational endeavor is goal definition. And with this, comes your assessment and analysis of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges (SWOT Analysis).

Are you getting a significant amount of negative customer feedback that’s affecting your brand reputation and sales? Maybe you need to enhance your customer service processes. Do you want to increase sales? Or is a new product development necessary? Perhaps your competitors are taking a huge share of the market, and you’d like to increase brand awareness.

Your digital transformation strategy must align with your challenges and objectives.

  1. Create Guidelines on How to Achieve the Objectives and Overcome Challenges

Once your goals and challenges are set, you can further subcategorize them to create guidelines for each. If, for instance, your goal is to increase brand awareness, then define how you plan to do so. Your guidelines will explain in detail how you will execute your strategies for each objective or find solutions for each problem. This will be your digital transformation framework and it should align your digital transformation activities.

  1. Identifying Departments and Individuals Suited to Take on Each Major Task

Who is involved in your digital strategy? Remember: digital transformation doesn’t just affect one facet of your operations but the entirety of your business.

Be sure that for each objective you set, that you have a team of professionals who have the appropriate skills and interests to achieve the goals you set. That means that you need to get everybody on board. Be sure to relay the entire plan to your shareholders, partners, employees, and even your clients. 

  1. Get Buy-In From Executives

No major organizational endeavor can succeed (or even begin at all) without buy-in from the company’s top executives. Key players must all agree on the upcoming changes or general direction the company will take. Not only will this help secure the budget for your digital transformation, but their professional and moral support will help get all employees on board.

  1. List Down Existing Efforts and Digital Assets

Audit your digital assets, equipment, tools, and existing efforts to determine what you need to eliminate, develop, and acquire. Identifying digital transformation efforts will also help build momentum for the team and demonstrate small successes.

Additionally, it’s crucial to align and integrate the efforts and assets of the entire organization. This will involve your entire team with the company’s digital strategy and allow effective collaboration across all departments.

  1. Find Experts to Help You

A successful digital transformation requires the right people with the right mix of talents and skills. Because your digital strategy involves multiple facets with interconnected goals and challenges, you need to be sure that each strategy is staffed with experts in their respective fields. This human element is crucial in all levels of your digital transformation, and will further ensure the buy-in of employees, from staff members to middle management to senior executives.

But, this doesn’t mean that you can simply outsource multiple service providers for every sub-strategy you have defined. This may result in an inefficient and disparate digital ecosystem. Instead, you can work with a digital strategy consulting team that will optimize every process, channel, and system of your business.

Gain Competitive Advantage by Taking The Right Digital Transformation Steps

Digital transformation isn’t just about adopting the latest technological advancements. It’s about enhancing your overall business performance across all touchpoints, from internal business processes and product developments to customer service and user experience.

With our digital strategy program, DSX, you can be assured that the digital strategies set in place are customized according to your business and organizational needs. This way, you’ll get the right outcome and generate real business value.

Contact us today to start your company’s journey to digital transformation.

Guide to Exploring Digital Transformation eBook CTA 2

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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