Ask almost anyone involved in the technology industry and they’ll tell you that digital transformation is the be-all-end-all of business today. If your company isn’t utilising technology to change the way you do business, you’ll quickly find yourself falling behind those that do. If you want to not only survive, but succeed in 2018, you need to go with the flow and embrace digital transformation.
It’s not just a fad – in a survey by Capgemini Consulting, companies who successfully achieved some degree of digital transformation were twice as likely to report industry-leading growth, profitability and customer satisfaction compared to their competitors.
For all the talk of embracing digital transformation, though – what does that actually mean for you and your business? I tend to find that although the term is bandied about regularly, it’s still not clear what the expectation is for a company to do to ‘go digital’ – not to mention the potential for roadblocks and setbacks along the way.
Digital transformation is utilizing technological advances to increase productivity and gain a competitive advantage. This can span every aspect of a business – from how people collaborate internally, to how the customer experience is delivered, to maximising efficiency on a production line. Any part of a business can be positively disrupted through the strategic use of technology, and any company can begin their digital transformation by leveraging the capabilities of new tech to do the things you do, only better, faster and smarter.
Sound scary? It’s easy to get settled into the status quo. Becoming complacent about the current way things are done because ‘they work well enough’ and ‘people are happy’ is a common reason for companies to avoid innovation. The longer you’ve been operating a certain way, too, the more difficult it is to make the rapid changes required to step up to the digital plate. Maybe you don’t even know what options are available, or where to begin?
Even if you’re open to the idea, it’s not as simple as throwing software at a problem and expecting a world of difference – you also need to consider how your employees and managers will react to the change. People are the most important part of the digital transformation puzzle and because of this, company culture is the number one potential roadblock for companies seeking to utilize technology to change their workflows. Employees resistant to change – especially technological change – can make it nearly impossible to move towards permanent, successful transformation of your business.
So, how can you help your company embrace digital transformation at every level?
Think digital first
Unless you change your mind set to put new, digital solutions at the forefront of your processes, you’ll end up settling back into your old ways. Build your processes around technology – not the other way round.
Change from the ground up
Trying to implement a digital strategy from the C-suite is doomed to fail – your employees won’t be on the same page as you, and they’ll become resistant to the change. You need to involve your staff in the planning process, and make the transformation something everyone is a part of. You’re much more likely to see successful adoption of your new strategy this way.
Encourage innovation at all levels
The digital revolution is all about innovation – using new, innovative technology in new, innovative ways to create a better outcome for your business. Your employees will be using the technology first and foremost, and they also best know how things have been done in the past. Encouraging innovation throughout the whole company will give rise to more high quality ideas, and improve adoption of these ideas throughout your business.
Failure is the mother of success. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or get things wrong the first time round – or the second, or the third. Make your workplace an environment where failure is encouraged and your employees will be much more willing to try – and more likely to eventually succeed.
A leopard can’t change its spots. But an organization can change its culture and revolutionize the way it works by embracing digital transformation. With a vision, strategy, and collaboration, your business could become the next market leader using cutting edge digital technology to be better than ever before.
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