Accelerating Successful Digital Transformations
In today’s world, staying innovative and relevant seems to be the hot topic in every boardroom executive meeting. The term ‘Digitization’ is sometimes loosely thrown around as the solution to falling profits and staying competitive in the market. Unfortunately to most companies, digitization simply means taking your operations online. To the rest… well it still means getting online too. But digitization is more than that. It simply means, the ability to be rapid, efficient, and able to adapt in order to stay ahead of the pack using experience design and technology as enablers. All processes, systems, and organizational structures that act against such intentions, play a huge part in why some digital transformation initiatives fail.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is a continuous form of evolution. Too commonly, organizations see digital transformation goals as an end point. They decide to “do” digital transformation. However, they fail to realize that it is not just something that you can buy and plug in. It is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how organizations operate and deliver value to customers. It’s also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.
The digital transformation journey encompasses much more than simply rolling out apps or redesigning a website. It’s about fundamentally redefining an organization’s business operations and customer experience, and creating a company that’s actually stronger and more agile than it previously was.
A Recipe to Build and Accelerate Digital Transformation
Very few companies have the experience of leading a digital transformation, and therefore lack the pattern recognition to hone in on the most important make-or-break actions. Our experience of working with Fortune 1000 companies on their digital transformations over the past 20+ years has shown us that there is a playbook for success. By focusing their energies on the following key aspects, companies can accelerate successful digital transformations:
Reimagine Value and Demystify Digital
The point of a digital transformation isn’t to become digital; it’s to generate value for the business. A crucial characteristic of companies that are able to successfully transform their business is that they can step back far enough from their current business model to reimagine where transformative — not incremental — value is possible. These organizations spend a lot of time researching competitor companies and staying on top of new trends that are generating value. This helps them to look at their own assets with fresh eyes and see where there’s new value and potential.
Embrace Continuous Improvement
Given the breadth and complexity of transformation, the volatility of digitally-driven markets, and financial realities, progress must be viewed from a continuous improvement perspective. While changes in various areas of the company progress at different speeds, overall transformation should occur over time with no end date in mind. Business leaders need to embrace digital transformation as a process that keeps changing and evolving every day and in order to keep up, they need to become accustomed to consistent change.
Upgrade and Unify Digital Tools
For transformation engagements to be successful, companies must build and establish digital technologies that permeate through every team and department. This process requires an open minded approach as well as preparation and understanding of how data, design, and technology will impact across different teams — HR, finance, purchasing, marketing, and even the product team, ensuring that it is accessible and easy to use for all. Moreover, there should be a common, well thought-out user experience for both employees and business partners when implementing digital tools. An increase in data-based decision making through adapting to technology across the organization and increasing the use of interactive tools can more than double the likelihood of a transformation’s success.
Validate Technical Requirements Early
There needs to be a robust business strategy in place that defines a company’s overall approach, not just towards digital, but to where and how it should operate to maximize value creation for the company. Successful business strategies need to be deeply transformed by recent technological evolutions. The approach to defining this strategy needs to apply a practical approach depending on the business environment the business is operating in. So how does one make that happen? Through setting short-term and long-term business goals and quickly analyzing: the benefits this transformation will offer to your business, changes and features that are worth transforming for, what technology is relevant, and the competitive advantages.
Find New Opportunities of Growth
Instead of staying in the repetitive cycle of selling set products or services, companies should always constantly think and be on the lookout for new adjacent opportunities while managing resource allocation to core capabilities, before and after the transformation. In other words, they need to think about where they have assets that could be taken outside of the current scope of work and be expanded across other services and industries.
Partner With Those Who Not Only Help You ‘Think’, but Also Help You ‘Make’
It’s important to hire the right people to lead the digital expansion of your organization. That is usually a difficult thing to do especially if the management team themselves don’t know what to look out for while hiring. In this situation, the easiest thing to do at the start is partnering with firms that focus on experience-design driven innovation. Creative Chaos has helped train various teams over the course of diverse global engagements, building a culture of innovation and design within the companies we’ve worked with. Our Innovation Delivery Framework positions our partners for sustainable market success by expanding on the possibilities technology and user centric design offers to their product offering. This way, over time, they can continue to grow expertise within their teams and let the knowledge gained circulate within the organization itself.
As you can see, to create a successful business model, companies have to move away from the traditional ways of doing things and embrace new technologies to help them achieve their goals. By collaborating more efficiently within their teams, ensuring that everyone is on board with the transformation plan, and having access to relevant information, companies can become more agile and better equipped to face the challenges of today’s constantly evolving business environment.
This is where Creative Chaos can help your business become better by providing you with the resources and know-how you will need to build a robust digital transformation strategy and executing it to fruition.