While embracing technology is at the core of digital transformation, it’s not the end of the road. It’s merely the vehicle that future-proofs businesses by keeping them up-to-date with a constantly changing world. Digital transformation alters company operational structures. It changes how teams and individuals work together to achieve common objectives. Key success factors of digital transformation include:
1. Embrace Change
Digital transformation should be at the top of your business agenda; it’s not a side project that will happen by the by, it’s not a buzzword, it’s not a marketing concept, it’s integral. Success in the digital arena is about agility, flexibility and adaptability.
Goalposts are continuously shifting as technology develops, so it’s important to develop an ethos that’s comfortable with change, and one that acknowledges that technology — for the foreseeable future — will continue to evolve.
Your business needs to be as adaptive as the market. There’s no doubt that you need to plan a broad digital road map you can follow to achieve your aims. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to re-prioritise plans already underway, or kill existing projects if they don’t align with your evolving business model
There’s no single archetypal methodology to digital transformation. The key, especially when starting out, is to test small experimental initiatives and work off immediate feedback before applying new methods to larger goals.
If a plan isn’t working, then you need to be flexible enough to change it. Because customer behaviours and technology can change rapidly, you can’t afford to wait and stagnate for three years to review results. Successful businesses continuously build momentum, implement faster working rhythms, and are not deterred by minor failures.
2. Get Buy-In From Relevant Stakeholders
Employees can sometimes tend to think anything digital belongs exclusively to the IT department, but it involves everyone. To achieve transformation, everybody needs to be on the same page and pulling in the same direction. Getting there is going to take strong internal comms and planned efforts to gain buy-in right across the organisation.
Collaborative working to break down organisational silos is vital. Some employees may need time to adjust to new ways of working and technologies. It’s important to bring everyone along the journey and encourage a workspace environment that embraces and is excited by change. Make sure that teams and individual colleagues have ample opportunity to learn new skills and grow together.
Strong leadership from key stakeholders is a prerequisite when implementing new ways of working. If your company has worked with a set methodology for a long while, you’ll need organisational flexibility for some time until everyone adjusts. Once executive-level employees put digital advancements at the top of their agenda, it becomes easier for others to follow their example and do the same.
3. Align Technology With Your Business Objectives
New technology should improve productivity and become embedded in the fabric of the organisation. Deployed correctly, it will streamline work processes and deliver efficiencies. However, you need to make sure that its set-up is not over burdensome, and that you’re not just pursuing a technical solution for the sake of it. Remember, your company’s utilisation of digital solutions depends on which stage you're at in the transformation journey.
Before you’re carried away by the offerings of technology, you need to focus on the right level of transformation. Evaluate what technology provides the most benefits, value and will bring you closer to your business goals. True digital transformation arises when businesses have clear objectives, understand what their market wants and select technology that enables them to achieve their goals. This way, they don’t try to determine what they can do with technology, but rather seek out digital solutions that support their strategic objectives.
Potential solutions vary widely regarding functionality and development rate. Therefore, it’s important to select an IT solution and vendors with flexible offerings. Make sure the software you purchase has core capabilities aligned to your current and future needs such as; open data standards, predictive analytics, multi-dimensional segmentation, cloud computing, to name a few.
Any software you use must focus on continuous improvement, efficiency, allow different channel integration and deliver quality outputs. If you adopt a flexible offering, you and your team can work incrementally and make changes over time to ensure you’re using suitable digital solutions to achieve your aims.
“Going digital” is process-driven undertaking. To learn more about how to start your digital revolution, read our book all about Shift! How to Make Channel Shift Happen in Housing.