An effective digital transformation strategy is vital for any modern business. Simply put, digital transformation involves adopting technology or digitizing processes. Its purpose is to improve productivity while reducing risk and costs.
In this digital transformation guide, we’ll explain why it’s important, the benefits of a successful digital transformation strategy, and how to avoid common pitfalls.
Why is Digital Transformation Important?
On a fundamental level, digital transformation involves the collection and analysis of data. Whether it’s customer data or process data, gathering and using information is the basis of digital transformation for a business.
In turn, this data helps with:
- Enhancing the customer experience – giving tailored services, customized insights, and better managed resources.
- Improving employee experience
- Process optimization – understanding how to streamline workflows means higher productivity and more optimized processes
- Product digitization – taking a product digital involves data and transformation, the key components of digital transformation
Of course, almost all businesses are already digital in some form or another. Typically, a digital transformation strategy involves identifying and adopting more specific technologies, such as cloud computing, automation, and so on.
Benefits of a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy
The benefits of digital transformation for a business are essentially the same reasons it’s important. We can break the benefits down as follows:
Data is king in business, regardless of whether it’s customer or employee data. Having more (and better quality) information is the main goal of digital transformation, but implementing a digital transformation strategy also leads to better data security.
While one doesn’t directly lead to the other, it’s more about businesses evaluating how they collect and store their data. Having more data generally means finding more secure ways to store it, particularly sensitive customer information.
Also known as agility, the successful implementation of a digital transformation strategy makes companies more mobile. For example, it could mean products reach the market faster and can be improved more easily.
Much like improved mobility, digital transformation means improved productivity. Even something as simple as digitizing workflows helps, particularly if it means automating repetitive, basic tasks.
Enhanced User Experience
Customers expect almost everything to be digital. As such, a digital transformation strategy should focus on enhancing the user experience, whether through digital communication, digital products, or more streamlined online platforms. You’ll need a tool like SolarWinds’ Observability to provide customers with maximum flexibility, keeping your entire technology stack up to scratch and in line with the high expectations of modern users. This is key because it’s not just about providing a solid experience, but about ensuring it’s available consistently and reliably, rather than being subject to performance snafus and unresolved bugs. Post-transformation, your reputation can hang by a thread if you don’t have a handle on all elements of your new infrastructure.
A digital transformation survey from the SAP Center found that 80% of businesses reported increased profits after completing their digital transformation. Similarly, 85% report increasing their market share, and 23% expect greater revenue growth as a result.
Who is Responsible for Digital Transformation?
Regardless of an organization’s size, digital transformation for a business involves cross-department collaboration. Here’s a brief rundown of the main players involved in a digital transformation strategy.
As you can imagine, a company’s C-suite sets off the digital transformation roadmap. Typically, the CIO will be in charge, although there’s input from the CFO, COO, and CEO, too. The C-suite empowers change by kicking the process off.
IT and HR
Unsurprisingly, a company’s IT department leads the way in digital transformation implementation. They’re who put the digital transformation roadmap into action by upgrading and implementing new technology.
HR also gets involved at this level through training and culture change. Company culture is a major factor in implementing new change, and one report found that focusing on culture could improve the chances of success by 500%.
Employees are the ones who put a digital transformation strategy into practice. By extension, they report their findings, test new processes, and help improve workflows. During the implementation period, employees will work closely with IT to develop a streamlined system.
The Common Challenges of Digital Transformtion
The challenges of a successful digital transformation strategy aren’t too different from any other business project. After all, that’s what digital transformation is, even if there’s usually more at stake. Below are some common challenges in digital transformation for a business, and how to overcome them.
Lack of Strategy
This is a no-brainer, but lacking strategy for something as massive as digital transformation is a clear sign of failure. If a company sees it as a term to use rather than a goal to achieve, you can guarantee it won’t achieve its goals.
Overcoming this is easy: involve the departments that will play a big role (primarily IT). Set goals and priorities, and ensure all stakeholders are on the same page.
The need to pivot business structures was never more evident than in 2020 when most companies switched to remote working. Sticking to outdated practices during a digital transformation strategy will lead to failure, as digitizing is usually brought in to remove these.
Training and culture changes are key. Also, companies should focus on hiring (or establishing) change managers to work alongside HR. Identifying employee (and C-suit) concerns will help streamline digital implementation.
No matter which way you approach it, a digital transformation roadmap will probably be expensive. Technology can be pricey, and overhauling a company’s structure is no easy feat.
Defining a clear strategy is vital for having realistic budget ideas. Understand why and how digital transformation will benefit the business, and set milestones to better distribute funds.
Having differing visions for the end goal of digital transformation will quickly lead to failure. Granted, this is part of strategizing, but it deserves its own point. When you have so many departments working together, cohesion is vital.
Begin with management establishing a clear change story and making sure every department knows its role. While departments can have individual goals, everyone must understand how their goal fits into the bigger picture.
Use Textr to Start Your Digital Transformation Journey
Developing a digital transformation roadmap isn’t easy, but starting one with Textr can be. Textr provides streamlined communication services for businesses of all sizes and works on iOS, Android, and the web. Pricing plans are flexible, and there are numerous services to help out.
Textr can make your digital transformation strategy smooth by providing seamless communication between teams and with customers. You can make nationwide calls, send SMS messages online, and set up multiple business numbers, all in one place.
About the Writer
B2B marketing specialist with expertise in lead generation through text messaging. Unlock your business potential with his proven strategies.