The Right Approach towards Digital Transformation
In recent years, one of the most discussed concepts in the corporate world by the apostles of change is Digital Transformation. It is the process of redesigning and digitalizing the business model, to make it more competitive in the market, and to improve the value proposition for customers.
Most of the companies are either at some stage in the transformation process or contemplating it. The global spending on Digital Transformation is projected to touch $2.3 Trillion by the year 2023. But, most majority of these attempts fail, resulting in the wastage of valuable human resources and billions of dollars. There are ways that will help your business avoid the common pitfalls and successfully implement a transformation process.
Power of Why
In the book Start with Why, author Simon Sinek makes the case for the importance of purpose in the functioning of a business. Many businesses face issues at the implementation stage of digital transformation due to a lack of clarity about the purpose and necessity. Leadership should have a clear vision of where they want to take the business. A strong why makes it a lot easier to figure out the ‘what’ and ‘how’.
‘Our competitors are doing it’ wouldn’t qualify as a solid primary reason for your business to undergo this major overhaul.
Success in any major project relies on your ability to convert your aspirations and ideas into a concrete plan of action. The next step is to make a digital transformation roadmap with clear objectives, milestones, and metrics to measure progress. Keep early milestones to create momentum in the team.
This is the stage where different opinions and priorities among different departments and top executives merge to form the most effective plan. Assigning ownership and responsibilities to various individuals and teams will help maximize the RODI (Return on Digital Investment). You also need to look into the past projects to estimate the project management capabilities of your organization and plan for additional resources if needed.
Companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Amazon have demonstrated the impact of Disruptive Innovation and emerging technologies like Cloud, AI, Blockchain, Big Data, etc are widely adopted to increase business capabilities. Digital transformation is not meant for small incremental changes or cost-cutting. It redefines all areas of the business model at a deep and fundamental level.
In essence, it is a business transformation with the help of technology. You should use technology as a tool for change, an enabler. So, ignore the hype and noise in the market about new technologies and trends, and select a technology only if it makes sense and fits with your business goals. The transformation efforts should not ruin your core strengths or existing position as a business but build on it. It is like renovating a restaurant while it is running.
Get everyone on Board
In 2014, Automaker Ford made a failed attempt to digitize its business by creating a new section. The reason for the failure was the inability to integrate the digitization efforts with the entire business.
Many employees think that Digital Transformation is the responsibility of the IT department.
Senior executives might have resistance to the process due to insecurity about the loss of authority or rigidity due to decades of conventional working style. Orientation sessions are needed to educate why this transformation is crucial and how it can benefit the business. All the concerns and doubts should be addressed and cleared at the very beginning of the project.
Innovation Platform and learning culture -
More than the adoption of new technology, digital transformation needs a change in culture and a fixed mindset. Learning the new trends and innovating has to be ingrained in the DNA of the business. A dedicated innovation team can drive this process of collaboration and sharing knowledge.
This team needs to have a much broader scope than the R&D section and ideally, it should have members from various functions of the business to have a holistic view of the entire value chain. Sometimes, expert consultants might be needed to fill the skill gap. One of the important objectives is to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) faster and do the necessary iterations quickly.
Many successful pilot projects fail at the stage of scaling. So, scalability is a crucial factor to be considered from the very start of the innovation process.
In today’s interconnected world, Industry boundaries are blurring and major companies in tech, financial services, retail, etc are venturing into new fields in the ecosystem. One risk in this scenario is developing a tunnel view and being obsessed with your own business, competitors. It is crucial to have a broader outlook on the industry and the latest developments.
The competition in the business world is moving towards the pattern of ‘Winner takes it all’. The ability to adapt fast based on the changing circumstances is a crucial survival skill. So, don’t consider Digital transformation as a one time project. Keep it as a continuous process of improvement, building on the past gains, and rooted in a strong technological and cultural foundation.
Drupal is part of many successful Digital Transformation initiatives like the Commonwealth of Massachusetts which has become a single face of government or Pfizer, where the global digital marketing platform is being used in 46+ countries.
At Valuebound, we have partnered with many successful brands in their digital transformation journey using Drupal as well as other open systems. Do connect with us if you would like to discuss the possibility of using Drupal for the next adventure in your enterprise.