Even before the global pandemic, many organizations have decided to implement digital transformation whether to improve the business processes or more effectively serve their customers. However, it’s no secret that the pandemic has forced many businesses to further accelerate their digital transformations, and there are also many traditional companies that were forced to quickly pivot to online business models.
With that being said, implementing digital transformation is not an easy feat. There are going to be various challenges you’ll face along the way, which can be further complicated by the fact that the objective(s) of the digital transformation process may vary greatly between different businesses.
Currently struggling with planning or implementing digital transformation to your business? You’ve come to the right place. Below are the 7 actionable tips you can use to build a roadmap to a successful digital transformation initiative.
Before designing and implementing the digital transformation process, it’s crucial to first assess your current business processes and how the overall business process is currently executed.
Based on this assessment, identify how adopting digital technologies can help improve the process based on your business’s (or specific business processes’) purposes. For example, if the purpose of a business process is to serve customers’ needs, then we should figure out what digital transformations can help enhance the customer experience.
In short, your digital transformation should be purpose-driven instead of blindly adopting the latest technologies that won’t bring any benefit to your business at all.
You should gather as much information as possible about these possible changes and technology adoptions, the most effective approach is to interview your senior management and leaders.
Digital transformation should be treated as a top-down process and should begin with obtaining authorization from senior management.
You should do this by briefing senior management on the potential benefits of the digital transformation process and all the details about the project, including:
- Potential benefits and opportunities
- Potential risks during and after the implementation
- Budget estimation
- Strategies to achieve the digital transformation objectives
- Estimated timeline needed to complete the project
- The potential impact of digital transformation on the company’s culture and employee experience
Digital transformation, as we know, is mainly about adopting new technologies. However, which technologies and solutions should we adopt?
It’s crucial to closely evaluate different technologies, resources, and applications before deciding to invest in one. Adopting a technology solution is often a long-term commitment, as it can be difficult and time-consuming to switch into different solutions midway.
So, we shouldn’t use a trial and error approach for this, but instead, careful research is required by considering:
- How the solution can help the company achieve its objectives
- How the solution can improve the experience of both customers and employees
- The scalability and adaptability of the solution while considering future business requirements
As discussed above, digital transformation should be implemented top-down. Meaning, after you’ve secured the support of executives and senior management, it’s also important to gain commitment from employees.
You have to effectively incorporate digital transformation as a part of your company culture, to ensure the digital transformation becomes a synergistic effort throughout the whole organization.
The more digital transformations undergone by your company and the more always-connected technologies the company adopts, the bigger the potential attack surface for cybercriminals.
This is why digital transformation should not be separated from cybersecurity, and security policies must be updated along with the digital transformation progress.
While cybersecurity is certainly a pretty deep subject that deserves its own discussion, here are some key security concerns that should be addressed during the digital transformation process:
- Making it mandatory for employees to use secure and unique passwords for all their accounts, and using 2-factor authentication when necessary
- Ensure your company website and servers use SSL certificates/HTTPS to encrypt data in transit
- Make sure all your systems including all third-party applications are configured properly
- Educate and train employees about common signs of phishing and other social engineering attacks, as well as cybersecurity best practices. Conduct regular refresher courses to address new security threats and trends
- With most cybersecurity threats are performed by malicious bots, it’s crucial to protect your eCommerce website with advanced, AI-powered bot management.
- Install adequate firewall and antivirus/anti-malware solution
- Perform regular backups and regularly restore everything to a known safe state
- Update everything regularly, including obsolete hardware that is no longer supported by manufacturers
Digital transformation can be a long-term process, so it’s crucial to develop working methods of tracking your progress and validating performance, so you can make the necessary adjustments along the way.
You should assign KPIs and develop metrics to analyze various aspects of performances during digital transformation implementation, and you should also measure the benefits generated by the digital transformation for the company.
Validate whether the digital transformation efforts you’ve implemented are working, or whether you’ll need to adjust your strategy or adopt other solutions.
Before any new solutions are officially implemented, it’s also important to test everything thoroughly to make sure you’ve eliminated all possible issues. Be sure to regularly report system performance and communicate successes to employees and management.
The digital transformation process contains many different variables and there are potential risks and issues that could happen along the way.
It’s very important to preemptively prepare an emergency response and recovery plans to ensure your business can still operate in the event of accidents and minimize any disruptions/damages caused by technology issues.
If you use tools and solutions from third-party vendors, make sure their solutions are properly protected and preferably they should offer 24/7 technical support.
Back up everything regularly, especially crucial systems and data, and make sure backups are securely stored while being immediately available for emergency use.
Implementing digital transformation doesn’t have to be a nightmare and doesn’t have to end with disaster.
By following the tips we’ve shared above, you can more effectively incorporate new technologies to improve your business process, and as a result, you’ll be a more effective organization in.