The term digital transformation has become quite popular in recent years. Research tells us that digital transformation initiatives will more than double by 2020, from 22% to almost 50%.
At the same time, we have studies that show how 84% of companies fail at their digital transformation. What may be the cause of this high percentage of failure? Well, it might have to do with the fact that digital transformation is a process that requires maturity across strategy and vision, culture and people, and technology and capabilities.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key elements of a digital transformation to help you see whether your company has reached its digital maturity.
Does Your Digital Company Have a Clear Strategy and Vision in Place?
Great visionaries have left a permanent mark on our society. From Feynman and his creation of nanotechnology to Tesla and his discovery of electricity, what these people have in common is a sense of vision. They weren’t scared to look into the future and place a solid strategy ahead to achieve it.
But let’s skip the comparison and say that what part your company will play in the digital future relies on your strategy. When you have a strategy in place, you’ll be able to calculate resources, predict any risks, and ensure a successful digital transformation.
If you want to develop a solid digital transformation strategy, you’ll need to:
- Surround yourself with digitally competent people.
- Define your core vision.
- Analyze your specific industry.
- Make sure your place customer experience at the center of the strategy.
- Evaluate where you are now and where you want to be tomorrow.
Does Your Company Have the Investment it Needs?
Another pillar of your digital maturity is an investment. It goes without saying that investment is crucial for your digital transformation strategy. It funds the transformational change that your company should go through. What's more, it also helps you pay for your needed resources, business process, and services.
If you’re struggling to find investors but need more capital, you can:
- Use the help from companies like startups.com that are offering a convenient channel for locating investors in an efficient way.
- Look for an angel investor who will support your business. Check out Funded.com, Angel Capital Association, and Angel Investment Network.
- Browse crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. You might find an investor who seeks new ideas.
- Work with an incubator or accelerator. Startup accelerators like 500Startups, TechStars, and Ycombinator, can offer you advice, small seed funding, and exposure to other investors.
Does Your Digital Workplace Have the Right Culture and People?
Teams are proof that people are better when they work together. Humanity managed to survive the changing climate, lack of nourishment and menace from wild animals by sticking together in groups.
Just like with prehistoric people, your company needs to have a skilled team of digitally competent people who will survive the changing times together. You can’t be digitally mature if you don’t have a reliable team who will be responsible for implementing cross-channel analytics, looking for relevant emerging trends, and providing comprehensive guidelines.
Key components of your digital maturity when it comes to culture and people include:
The right company culture. The ideal company culture is to give employees what they desire. According to Harvard Business Review, 96% of workers said they need more flexibility at work. Whether it’s a part-time option or remote work, flexibility will boost your employees’ engagement and motivation rates. Most importantly, you need to create a communication-friendly environment. This is essential as digital transformation requires a flow of innovation and collaboration. Your employees must be comfortable to share ideas, experiment, and embrace change.
Digital transformation leadership. A digital transformation isn’t possible without a leader. This digital leader should lead the company through change and manage any obstacles along the way. But who is the ideal digital transformation leader? The leader should be a futuristic visionary who will look beyond today, tomorrow, 10 years from tomorrow. They need to grab every opportunity for experimentation in order to explore new technologies and ideas.
Strong digital skills. You can’t compete in the digital world if your employees don’t possess strong digital skills. From technical computer skills to web analytics skills, your team must understand the new technologies, capabilities, and approaches.
Does Your Digital Workplace Have Digital Innovation Processes in Place?
Digital innovation should be at the heart of every organization. You need to constantly innovate things so that you find new ways to engage your customers. You’ll bring new products and services to market, ensuring your company remains competitive and relevant.
If you want to know whether you’ve reached digital maturity, you need to ask yourself: do you encourage an environment of innovation? Today, we can see some of the most innovative companies creating innovation labs and forming fast-track teams. These innovation labs act as incubators within their enterprises where teams come together to discuss and deliver applications that tie into digital innovation initiatives.
How can you speed up the process? It’s easy, you’ll only need the right process, platform, and people. What’s more, you’ll want to focus on three main areas and that’s:
- Customer experience. There are two primary touchpoints that create the customer experience: people and product. Make sure you deliver both.
- Product and service innovation. Enhance your existing products and services with digital components.
- Back-office processes. Automate your complex internal workflows, enable better access to data, and faster decision-making.
Do You Follow a Digital Transformation Framework?
As digital transformation is a planned and strategic change, it needs a planned and strategic framework. These digital transformation frameworks can help you pinpoint growth opportunities, identify innovation opportunities and select the most suitable technology to deliver transformation, among others.
The digital transformation framework you have in place should lead you toward digital maturity and give you an answer to these questions:
- What problem are you trying to solve? What is it that makes you unique and stand out from your competition?
Where do you want your business to be 5 years from now?
- What is your customers’ intent? What service or product is most in-demand?
- Who are your competitors? What is making their business unique? How popular are they among customers?
- What resources do you have available? How can you leverage them to get what you need?
Does Your Digital Company Have the Right Technology and Capabilities?
If you want to move your business and digital transformations forward, you need to have the right technology in place. Reaching your digital maturity depends on finding the right technology to support your digital transformation.
Every digitally mature business should keep an eye on these trends and technologies to stay ahead of the curve:
- Big Data: Big Data can help you gain better insights into consumer behavior, target your prospects, and open fresh opportunities in new markets.
- Cloud: your digital transformation should incorporate expanded use of the cloud. One survey showed that 38% of businesses were building private clouds. What’s more, 32% were using public clouds and 59% were using a hybrid model.
- Blockchain: Blockchain is another popular technology that promises to upgrade businesses. It enables trust, provides transparency and lowers costs.
- IoT: according to a recent Forbes Insights survey, 63% of businesses are delivering new or updated services directly to customers thanks to their IoT capabilities. Nearly 64% of companies said IoT is very important to their business today, and 91% said that it’ll be even more important in the future. Why? Because it helps them gain greater insight into customer behavior and requirements, improve customer experience, and reduce costs.
One thing is for certain: businesses must evolve or they will go extinct. Chances are that your company will be dead in 10 years if it fails to drive digital innovation. Therefore, if you want to stay relevant, you’ll need to reach your digital maturity. Even after you reach your digital maturity, there will be a constant need for innovation and quick response to change. Luckily, over time, agility will become an intrinsic part of your company’s operating model.
To sum up, if you’re curious about whether your company has reached its digital maturity, take the following things into consideration:
- Your company needs to have a clear strategy and vision in place.
- Your company must have secured the investment it needs.
- You have the right people and culture.
- You have digital innovation processes in place.
- The company has the right technology and capabilities.
- You’re following a digital transformation framework.