16 Aug 4 steps to achieving digital transformation
by Carlos Montejo
In 2013, 27 percent of global executives polled called digital transformation a “matter of survival.” The years have only seen that dedication rise. IDC reports that two-thirds of Global 2000 CEOs will have centered their corporate strategy around digital transformation by the close of 2017.
Do you feel behind the curve? You’re not alone: a survey of more than 700 digital decision makers found that 59 percent worry it is too late to transform. Don’t worry, though. There’s still time to take steps to strengthen your company. Keep that in mind as we examine the what, why, and how of digital transformation.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation can mean many things to many different industries and companies. Generally, think of digital transformation in three points. First, it is helping customers move to CRM cloud technologies. Second, it is developing strategies to optimize your current program and taking CRM to the next level by improving the end user experience. Third, it is expanding your reach to customers using digital platforms.
Organizations today are paying closer attention than ever to this movement. Employees and customers alike expect and demand more than ever. Their expectations can and will impact your bottom line.
Why digital transformation?
Customers who move to the cloud can leverage digital capabilities to drive revenue growth, increase end-user productivity, and improve the customer’s experience overall. As mentioned before, employees and customers demand more and expect more so their experience continues to change and evolve. They expect to collaborate, communicate, conduct business, and share ideas similar to how they interact with others in social media.
The benefits are dramatic. A 2016 Altimeter study found that 41 percent of surveyed companies have seen “an increase in market share due to digital transformation efforts,” and 37 percent saw an improvement in employee morale. A 2015 study by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 39 percent of polled organizations experienced “strong progress in enabling real-time transactions,” 32 percent in “improving the efficiency of operations,” and 28 percent in acquiring new customers. If any of those successes interest you, it’s time to get started.
How can you achieve digital transformation?
There are many steps in digital transformation. Let’s go over a few.
- Know your customers.
Get to know your customers’ needs and wants. Make sure you understand the trends and changes in consumer behavior in your industry: where, when, and how to communicate with them.
- “How do customers want to collaborate?”
- “How do customers wish to receive information?”
- “How do customers want to communicate and share their ideas?”
The answers to these questions will most likely drive your digital charter and provide the foundation for your business case
- Build the business case for digital transformation
Once you understand the digital needs of your customers, develop the business case with clearly defined goals, objectives, and expected business outcomes. The business case should have the following:
- a digital charter with guiding principles, and
- a strategic roadmap that outlines the prioritization and deployment of digital capabilities.
True digital transformation is rooted in innovative thinking and changing the way companies do business. In addition to understanding your customer needs, you should also assess current state processes to examine areas for improvement. Look for new ways to re-engineer, standardize, harmonize, and streamline operational processes to improve efficiencies.
- Encourage business and IT collaboration.
Digital transformation requires careful planning and collaboration between your business and IT organizations. Many perceive digital transformation as something mainly rooted in technology. But technology is just one component of digital transformation. We use technology to turn something to serve a business function and requirement. IT should help the business identify and recommend digital capabilities (mobile, analytics, social media, etc.) that enable the business organization to be more effective.
- Enable your sales team.
It’s up to you to make the sales process more efficient and effortless. Provide your team with digital tools and capabilities that allow sales managers to sell more effectively and avoid wasted time on operational tasks and activities.
Now you’re ready to begin your transformation. If you’re still hesitant, remember that you don’t have to make this journey alone. Simplus will guide you in understanding digital transformation, implementing it, and reaping the benefits. Take your first step today.