A few organisations think they can upgrade their sites and in-house applications, purchase a couple of new gadgets, and after that turn in until tomorrow—however, that is not the way digital transformations works. Rather, consider this transformation as a moving target that is constantly evolving, and needs steady evaluation and updating to remain viable as a strategy.
With this multi-faceted shift towards a more digital organisation, it creates many challenges. Perhaps more than anything else it creates an endless and exhausting cycle of change that can slow down any company not ready to wholeheartedly embrace the potential of technology. In those with traditional legacies, the resistance to change is almost palpable, making digital transformation difficult to embrace and even more difficult to achieve.
If that sounds like your enterprise—or you haven’t even begun making a digital transformation—you may wonder how you’ll ever go from point A to point B, much less travel further through the alphabet. The good news is every company has the potential to maximise the digital transformation journey.
Here’s how to get started:
Get executive level buy-in. Whether you’ve already taken a few small steps towards digital transformation, or just starting on your journey, you’ll need buy-in from the C-suite. Focus on earning executive management approvals for technological innovation over the long-term before you pitch individual solutions. Present realistic goals to ensure management understands the importance of maintaining momentum over time. Digital transformation is pointless if it doesn’t facilitate strong relationships between employees and a company, and consumers and brands. Leadership is key to making this a reality.
Identify and support your champions. Every business needs legacy champions. These individuals are well respected in the organisation and can help influence the higher-ups when it comes to tech adoption and implementation. Have them continually reinforce the benefits of the changes that are happening, and share their own experiences using the technology. Attitude—even fear—can become a big obstacle in digital transformation. Having trusted support teams in place at all levels of the organisation can help improve user adoption rates while reinforcing the idea that technological change is a positive change.
Drive Customer to the Core. In the era of experiential marketing, customers are not only defined by how they feel about a brand during a transaction but instead by how they feel about every interaction they have with a brand from the time they first connect. With customers seeking to do more and more of their own research, digital has become the main vehicle for brands to connect and engage customers. This means that the digital and physical engagement from brands needs to not only have a strong digital footprint but consistency in how customers are engaged on a vast array of channels.
Prioritise ease of use. When you add a new tool to your digital strategy, someone on your team will have to learn how to use it. Make sure any managed service providers you might be dealing with will allow “test runs.” That allows the people who will use the solution to try it out, hands-on before you have to make a costly commitment. If your people hate the user experience, you could end up wasting money on a costly solution instead of building efficiency and driving ROI.
Encourage innovation throughout the company. The motivation to adopt new technology and the innovative ideas that take a business to the next level can come from any department in your organisation. Instead of relying on a focus group or “your creatives” like marketing to suggest the latest tech or generate ideas, consider opening the floor to the entire enterprise.
Go mobile. Going mobile means investing in cloud storage and application management, and embracing remote work and overall independence from on-premise solutions. Make sure your employees can easily update or install new apps or software to make adoption and use easier than ever. Mobile solutions also help IT personnel troubleshoot, update, or make changes from a remote location.
Broaden your horizon. A company that only focuses its digital transformation efforts on customer acquisition is two-dimensional Remember to build and nurture your relationships with the customers you already have. Use the digital transformation to round out your business. Show consumers your mission-oriented side with community outreach and social campaigns. Strong, mission focused operations often grow their businesses because of their willingness to appear “human” through charity work, or community-based “good deeds.”