What part your company will play in the digital future depends on your digital transformation strategy. Developing a sound strategy that is based on detailed analysis can help any business predict possible risks, calculate the resources of such endeavor, and ensure a successful outcome.
Many businesses have thousands of digital efforts underway. However, only a small number of them have a clear direction. One study by Forrester discovered that only 27% of companies have a digital strategy set up.
There’s no doubt that any digital transformation endeavor requires a coherent digital strategy. Here are five things that every digital leader should consider as they build transformation strategies.
Step 1: Surround Yourself with Digitally Competent Experts
Just like with everything else, teams have also gone digital. If you want to create a successful digital transformation strategy, find yourself a competent digital team. From Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to other specialists, these skilled people are crucial for your transformation.
If you can’t put together a team in-house, hire a partner to help you with implementing the digital strategy for your company.
Your winning digital team will be responsible for implementing cross-channel analytics, looking for relevant emerging trends, and providing comprehensive guidelines. The team should closely collaborate with the IT department, which owns critical technology infrastructure and associated services.
Here are a few tips for creating a high-performing digital team:
- Your team members need to be experienced in technology, content strategy, marketing, and innovation. People who are skilled in only one area will struggle on a high-performing digital team.
- The team needs to be comfortable with uncertainty and be agile. They need to be able to make smart decisions based on limited information and make a change when they fail.
- Find people with different experiences. Whether they have experience in delivering software product or working on the client side, a varied experience can lead to creativity, innovation, and smart solutions.
- Help your team prepare for the future. You can upgrade their skills through launch training, qualification courses, or mentorship.
Step 2: Define Your Core Vision
Your company needs to ask itself: How will it plan and win in a digital future? Developing a unique view of how to compete in the digital future is essential.
What problem are you trying to solve? Where do you want to see your business in 5 years? Think about what you do differently than your competition. Examine your long-term goals and the experience you want to create for your employees and customers.
Here are some tips for defining your core vision:
- You should come up with a vision that explores the future but it also deals with reality.
- Look at the present. What resources do you need to get to your goal? What resources do you have available at hand? This includes budget, employees, training, product launches, etc.
- Look at the future. Think about how your business will look like in six months, one year, five years and ten years down the line.
- Have a specific timeline for when you plan to meet certain milestones.
Step 3: Analyze Your Industry
Most businesses have changed due to technology. There’s more competition every day and industry trends constantly change. For example, studies show that Uber and Lyft generated 65 percent more rides than taxis in New York in 2017.
Why Uber? Because the company captured its share of the market through an amazing app, excellent social media marketing, and groundbreaking delivery service. Which brings us to a conclusion: If you want to create a successful transformation strategy, you need to think about the future of your industry.
Try and think. What will your industry look like in 5, 10, 20 years? It’s not enough to only imagine the future. You need to conduct market analysis. Whether machine learning or Cloud lies in store for your industry, a proper analysis of the market dynamics will tell you where you should be headed.
Some of the main benefits of market analysis include:
- Staying ahead of the competition.
- Minimizing investment risk.
- Identifying potential threats and opportunities.
- Discovering your’s and your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Facilitating strategic planning.
- Spotting emerging trends.
- Providing revenue projections.
- Focusing on customer needs and demands.
Step 4: Place Customer Experience at the Heart of Your Digital Transformation Strategy
It’s no secret that customer experience fuels the most progressive digital transformation strategies. Nearly 89% of companies compete primarily by delivering the best customer experience. Although 80% of companies think that they’re delivering top-notch customer experience, only 8% of customers agree.
These statistics show that a large number of businesses lack a super customer experience. There’s a 72% delivery gap! Meaning, your company has a great opportunity to gain a market share in an industry and get ahead of the competition.
Look at Cisco. They made their support services more connected through virtual spark rooms. Now their customers can collaborate with experts in real time. They managed to reduce the time to resolve issues by 90%.
Starbucks came up with a new mobile ordering service. Their end goal was to make the coffee-buying journey a more enjoyable experience by letting customers preorder their favorite beverage.
Here are some customer experience tips for your digital transformation strategy:
- Encourage disparate groups to come together, to collaborate, and invent.
- Deliver personalized, real-time experiences that help your customers take their next steps intuitively and conveniently.
- Integrate data in one place. Customer data shouldn’t be strewn across the organization. Organize your data in one place to portray a holistic view of the customer.
- Tie customer intent, context and business performance into metrics for growth. Create value and then measure it to create a win-win scenario.
- Enable effective information flow. Have solid data to process, a skilled team to manage every part of the system, and a technology ecosystem that optimizes touchpoints and scales personalization.
Step 5: Evaluate Where You Are Starting Your Journey
Now that you know what you want your company to achieve, it's time to evaluate where you are starting your journey and identify if any gaps need to be filled.
By conducting a thorough assessment and evaluation, you’ll discover what needs to be updated, what processes need to be optimized, what technologies to invest in, etc. As you assess, evaluate and predict your business needs, you’ll get a better understanding of what the best digital transformation plan for your company should incorporate.
This is what your digital transformation strategy needs to incorporate:
- Assess your existing digital infrastructure. Evaluate how well your software and apps cater to your present and future needs. Go for a major upgrade, if necessary.
- Move everything to the cloud. If you’re a small business, Software as a Service (SaaS) can help you access software program that was previously out of reach. If you’re a larger business, SaaS can help you cut down your dependency on physical infrastructure and make sure your business is scalable and agile.
- Invest in the right technologies. Consider IOT, the internet of things, as it has the potential to provide operational intelligence. Big data technologies can transform your company data into predictive and actionable insights.
- Make sure that your digital infrastructure is secure by conducting a risk assessment.
Failing to transform your business digitally can make you a thing of the past. Your business will be a relic of the old days, just another business that didn’t succeed to become a modern enterprise.
If you want to be a leader in this modern era and achieve the digital dream, there are 5 tactical steps that you need to take:
- Surround yourself with digitally competent people.
- Define your core vision.
- Analyze your industry and imagine the future.
- Place customer experience at the heart of your digital transformation strategy.
- Evaluate where you are starting your journey and identify if any gaps need to be filled.