Digital transformation: how should we approach it?

Digital Transformation

Those of us who have been party to the age of digital change have witnessed modifications in customer behaviour and expectations, the development of new business tools and evolving platforms from which to make ourselves known. As we look at our businesses and business processes it is small wonder that we sometimes feel overwhelmed by the prospect of digital transformation. The term itself is maybe a rather limited one as digital transformation requires input from and has an impact on all elements of a business. A more suitable title might be ‘business transformation’. Getting the correct approach to this is vital and today we’re taking a look at five important areas of digital transformation.

1. A balance between top down and bottom up

Digital change will happen both within individual departments and at leadership levels. The value of this dual approach should be recognised and balanced within a culture that encourages entrepreneurship and has clear goals.

2. Leadership and organisational culture

There can be no doubt that successful digital transformation requires specific and qualified leadership. This type of appointment and mandate to change can only come from top level management and careful consideration should be given to the experience and personalities of digital change leadership candidates.

3. Shifting human strategy

You could argue that technology is at the centre of digital change. In one sense it is but people and the impact of changes on them should always be the starting point for thinking. Working out how we can put customer and worker experience at the very centre of planning and implementation is one key to success.

4. Digital disruption

It is tempting to view digital disruption as negative, it does after all have an impact on many work processes and people. However businesses should be seeking out digital disruption as it is a key indicator of innovation capacity. Some digital transformations such as cloud computing, social media and mobile expectations have brought about high levels of effective disruption. These have been absorbed and made good use of but digital change is ongoing and we should have systems in place to bring about digital disruption in an ordered manner whenever required.

5. Digital maturity

All businesses should have processes in place for monitoring their digital maturity, i.e. their position along the digital change continuum. Without a system of benchmarks and frameworks an organisation risks the advantages of digital change passing them by.

Digital transformation is perhaps a naive term, bearing in mind the degree of change that will be necessary to keep us on the track towards digital maturity. The key to success has to be in keeping a close eye on innovation, competition and possibilities, and making immediate and definite responses to all of these three. Our methods of achieving these goals will evolve as requirements do. The future of digital transformation is going to be interesting.

                                                                                                                                                             Image sourced from Flickr and produced by Bryan Mathers

Posted in: