In this article, Digital Leadership will provide a clear guide to digital transformation. We will cover the framework of what digital transformation is, use examples to display what a company’s digital transformation journey entails and how you can make sure it’s successful.
Digitalization is a holistic approach that goes far beyond process improvement or an enhanced customer experience. Our 5 Building Blocks of Digitalization offer a powerful guide that enables you to understand and implement digitalization at the core of your organization: From strategy, ecosystems, structures, processes, and technologies to people, culture, and values.
What is digital transformation?
Although digital transformation as a concept has been discussed in the business world for quite some time, definitions still greatly vary. This is mainly because every company has its own expectations and requirements for what they want from digital transformation. That being said, there are some key aspects on what digital transformation includes.
Successful, company-wide digital transformation is about much more than just modernizing business processes or introducing new technologies. Promoting acceptance of this change among the workforce is crucial in order to implement and guide the company towards digital transformation. If all departments and management levels come together, the full potential of digital transformation can be exploited, improving operations, corporate culture, and ultimately customer service all alike.
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Business benefits of digital transformation
1994 is widely regarded as the year the Internet began and purely digital companies like Amazon established themselves. Competitors had to quickly implement similar business models if they wanted to survive this digital transformation: online sales became increasingly popular and provided strong competition to in-person stores. Over the years, this phenomenon continued and could be observed wherever startups or new companies were present.
Technology plays a crucial role in this. According to experts, the continuous development of new, more powerful tools and solutions will continue to drive the digital transformation that characterizes the world today. Remember when 4G LTE was introduced in 2014 and it was a major deal to many. Well, six years later, the focus is already on 5G. To keep up with this rapid evolution, you should assess now whether your company offers the performance, flexibility and capacity needed to guide your employees and organization towards digital transformation.
Top priorities for digital transformation
In order to secure competitive advantages, you have to take a proactive approach to digital transformation. This could mean (1) integrating AI-based technologies and cloud-based services into your operations, (2) introducing new tools that provide seamless communication between different channels, or (3) supporting your mobile workforce with powerful mobility solutions. A successful digital transformation requires that any new implementations are tailored to the specific needs of your business, your industry, your workforce, and most importantly, your customers.
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Five focal points of a successful digital transformation
Ahead of these five points that provide a guide and framework for digital transformation, we want to emphasize that you first need to establish a corporate culture in which digital transformation can take full effect and thus become a success. After that, you need to ensure that your workflows and environments are up to date so that your employees can respond more flexibly and quickly to future changes. In the following, we are laying out five focal points for a successful digital transformation journey.
- Ensure an efficient and powerful network: The network is the foundation of your business and therefore the framework of digital transformation. Seventy percent of executives believe that the success of their digital transformation initiatives depends on the performance of their enterprise network. And thanks to the 5G-enabled networks of the future, the performance and thus your ability to innovate will reach whole new heights.
- Promote a digital workplace: Your employees are your most important resource. Make sure to give them a guide or framework with all the tools they need while removing hurdles that could hinder productivity and collaboration. Provide fast, secure mobility solutions and devices that enable your employees to communicate with customers anytime, from virtually any location.
- Protect your company: In the age of digital transformation, your company and your critical resources are exposed to new threats. Security becomes more important with each new phase in your digital transformation journey. Your company needs to design a security strategy and then make sure it works. To ensure that the strategy has a lasting impact, it is best to take a zero-trust approach, use detailed and up-to-date threat data, and continuously adapt your security infrastructure and policies to the changing threat situation.
- Measure and improve your operations: There have certainly been many changes in your company over the years and this will continue in the future. This is why you should invest in flexible, innovative processes, systems, and infrastructures that will enable you to better adapt to new conditions at any given time. This can be brought on through monitoring your resources, collecting and analyzing the associated data, and finding areas for improvement.
- Empower employees to provide better customer service: As technology advances, your customer’s expectations change. Your goal should be to provide seamless service to your customers across all interaction channels and to communicate with them at a time that suits them, regardless of location. The first step in doing this is to provide your contact center staff with a digital transformation guide accompanied by useful tools, such as a cloud-based contact center platform and unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions.
Challenges of digital transformation
Digital transformation is crucial for future competitive advantages, but we know that the path to becoming a digital company often brings considerable difficulties in many places. Most importantly: a successful transformation must not be rushed. Take enough time to secure the support of all affected stakeholders and adapt your operating procedures using a strategic framework. Also make sure that you maintain an overview of your transformation project at all times and that all implementation steps are executed correctly. Otherwise, there is a risk that your project will not deliver the expected value. It is also recommended to bring a reliable partner with the necessary expert knowledge and sufficient experience to guide you in your digital transformation journey on board.
How Digital Leadership can help
Now as you have learned more about the frameworks and the journey of digital transformation, you may be left curious to know more! For more detailed insights into the journey of digital transformation have a look at the Digital Leadership UNITE Strategy model called Building Blocks Of Digitalization. This guide helps you gain a complete understanding of the holistic and integrated nature of innovation and digital transformation initiatives. Get access to the 50+ UNITE Innovation & Transformation Models which are fully OpenSource and entirely free to download! https://digitalleadership.com/UNITE.