by Manish Bhartiya
he world of work has changed. The way organisations engage with their customers and the employees who serve them is prompting businesses to change their digital ways or die. Digital transformation is on the boardroom agenda of many organisations today.
According to a recent article by Forbes, as many as 84% of businesses fail at digital transformation. The secret to success could lie in the preparation and the approach. In our experience at TalenTeam, organisations who take the following steps are better positioned to manage expectations and achieve what they set out to do.
Understand the reason behind your need for transformation. As you progress from strategy to execution, it’s important for the strategy to set the stake in the ground in terms of why you need digital transformation.
Digital business is often discussed solely from the lens of the digital customer experience or employee experience but that’s only a part of the story – albeit a vital part. Be clear on the business reason behind your need for digital transformation.
Does your firm need to compete more effectively? Is it critical to survival? Are you looking to future proof the organisation? Whatever the reason, be clear and communicate it across the business.
Have a clear idea and realistic list of the business outcomes you want to achieve.
The project team should set the stage for the requirements-gathering process and educate the team at large about the goals of the project and organisation, allowing for feedback and input on the project. It is important to keep this phase positive and for it to generate additional ideas. This is the opportunity for business units to understand the value proposition of the proposed project and ensure its relevance to their area of focus.
What outcomes do you want to achieve? Is it lower turnover? Higher productivity? More streamlined systems and processes? What else is possible? Consider working with your technology partner to bring in new ideas.
Forewarned is forearmed. There will undoubtedly be surprises along your digital transformation journey but by meticulously mapping out the areas that will be affected by the transformation and communicating – even educating – internally, negative impact can be avoided.
Think carefully about the impact that the transformation will have on different teams, systems, business processes and models, activities and functions, organisational culture, skills and even on the level of trust between partnerships. Understanding and explaining that you will probably need to live with a legacy and the new system as you move forward in your transformation can also help to manage expectations.
Take a reality check. Are you aware of your organisation’s digital maturity?
Determining the digital maturity level of your current business, and the degree to which you leverage digital technology will help you understand where you can and should make improvements. Where are the gaps in terms of technology and processes? Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
Assess if the gaps are due technology, infrastructure, process complexity or user experience and take the necessary steps to identify what needs to be done to get where you need to go.
Identify your champions and select your role models and influencers.
Never underestimate the importance of selecting the right stakeholder support. Stakeholders from traditional silos that are close to the business must be engaged as part of the team even if they lack the technical knowledge. Include stakeholders who are customer facing, as well as those who are focused on operations because the group should be a representative subset of the company.
Communicate the transformation at every level and every function so that the reason for change is both believable and desirable.
Find ways to ensure you understand where the latest technology trends are headed.
Learn to identify which trends might be relevant to your industry now and what might change in the future. Look at how your customers are engaging with other services, solutions and products and how that might impact their experience with you.
Be aware of, and leverage, the technology enablers in the market. Look beyond the traditional stack and into the next wave of enablers including personas and context, intelligent automation including human-machine collaboration, the Internet of Things, and of course, cybersecurity. Having the vision to see what new technologies mean for your business is key.
Work in partnership with your organisation’s IT team to master how you design, develop, deploy, manage and continually evolve your organisation’s digital experience. Digital evolution means accepting the notion of ongoing change and disruption.
Be prepared to try and fail, learn, and do better. Make sure you support your staff’s development as they work to keep up. Identify the data you need to establish metrics. Think about how your business architecture needs to evolve to support governance, strategy or risk management.
Select and make the most of online collaborative tools, platforms and mobile apps to help employees interact and produce wherever they are.
Tap into your talent and make sure everyone has a digital voice and feels connected to the organisation’s goals. Have specific metrics in place around engagement. Make sure employees can easily find what they need, when they need it. Encourage them to provide feedback and to submit content that will help improve processes.
Digital success requires capabilities above and beyond traditional technical or business skills. Find and nurture the right types of skill sets and behaviours needed to fit into emerging environments.
Recruit the right people by rethinking your talent strategy: how will your recruitment processes and requirements need to change in preparation for digital transformation? What will your new role descriptions involve? What new attitudes and skills will you need to hire for? How will it affect reward and remuneration? What about career development? Make sure your talent management strategies are in line with what you are trying to achieve.
Finally, your organization needs to be culturally comfortable with continuous change. You can’t expect to implement change and then just sit back and wait for the next five years of business as usual.
Make sure you keep the new momentum alive and that the rhythm in your business reflects the new reality of the industry in which you are operating. Ensuring that constant change and evolution is part of your organisation’s culture will ensure you are strongly positioned and resilient for the future.