The world learned many lessons from 2020. It showed the fragility and resilience of the global economy as well as the human spirit. It was a business context that saw digital transformation accelerate at an alarming pace.
Companies that we're able to adopt new technologies in the face of adversity were able to stay afloat, and in many cases, prosper. The companies that we're struggling to adapt to the new reality did not succeed.
Even if you were unable to meet the challenges immediately, there is still the opportunity to take advantage of newer technology to help with digital transformation. This guide will show you how to make the transition easier.
Identify the areas where you are behind
Digital transformation can be defined as anything from the use of an electronic signing generator to speed up agreement completion and sign documents, to an entire process management system.
Your business may not need all aspects of digital transformation. If you own a retail shop, for example, you might not need cloud computing resources. A cloud-based inventory management system is unlikely to be needed if you are a software company.
These are just a few examples, but it is easy to get carried away with digital transformation projects and end up with standard operating procedures that you don't use.
To determine if you are behind in certain areas, use the questions below:
- What are our current methods of performing this task?
- Do you know of any tools that could help us accomplish this task more efficiently?
- This tool will help you save money and make more money.
- Is the tool going to help us gain or maintain a competitive edge?
These are just a few questions that will help you get started. It's possible that you have additional criteria to help evaluate your business. It is important to clearly state your case in any area you might be lacking.
Shortlist specific vendors
Once you have a clear understanding of where technology can be used to support your digital transformation, you can start to look for companies that provide those solutions.
There are many vendors who can help you improve the efficiency of every area of your business. It is important to know what each vendor brings to the table, and which drawbacks they have.
Your budget. This is a major consideration. It doesn't really matter how great a piece of technology is if it's too costly for you to afford. Many tools save you money or help you make more. It is important to ask how long it takes to add value.
It can take a while to set up and train your staff on many platforms. Is your company able to pay for the cost of these platforms and wait for them to become ROI-positive?
It's easy to use. It's useless if no one uses it. It should be easy to learn any tools that you use to help with digital transformation. It doesn't need to be maintained by specially-trained staff.
Who it is designed to serve. They may appear to do the same thing, but they are designed for different types of customers. There are tools for email marketing that can be used by eCommerce businesses and ones for bloggers. Both can be used regardless of your brand, but they won't work well if you aren't in their target audience.
Make a plan of actions
Next, you need to decide how you will roll out these changes. Too ambitious digital transformation projects have led to many failures. No matter how long-term it might be, people will always resist change.
This is a crucial fact to remember if you are leading a digital transformation campaign. You should create an action plan that focuses on small steps of the overall change.
If you are trying to replicate 5 legacy processes within your business, you can do so one at a. and make sure you communicate why you are making these changes. Start with project management and move on to inventory management.
Avoid starting another initiative while you're finishing the previous one. Although it may seem long, it will save you time.
Go at your own speed
You may feel that everyone else is moving faster than you and getting more done. It may be true, but it is important to move at your own pace.
It's like raising a child. While there are certain milestones that children should reach certain points, some children are quicker than others. It's not a good idea to start worrying about your child's growth until they are well behind the pace you expect.
Felix Yim says, "It is all too common for startups to value growth above all else. This leads to cash flow problems or internal process chaos. Growth is important, but it can be done at your own pace.
This is true for your digital transformation journey. It's important to not start worrying about it until your progress is well beyond the milestones that you have set. Everyone involved has a new experience, so it's important to allow for some slack.
Digital transformation is not just a buzzword. Digital transformation is sweeping every industry at an alarming pace. It's easy to ignore and eventually you'll be behind. It can do more harm than good if you rush it.
This guide outlines simple steps that you can follow to ensure positive outcomes for your digital transformation efforts. If you do it right, you can get ahead of your competition and be set up for success many years down the line.