Digital transformation is a hot topic – and with good reason. Updating systems for efficiency and ease of use is an important aspect of modern business practices. But to what end? According to the Harvard Business Review, $900 billion of the $1.3 trillion allotted to digital transformation last year went to waste. Considering digital transformation is built on the idea of streamlining and minimising expenses, organisations need to take stock of how and what they plan to digitise.
Today, there is an endless amount of digital solutions for a variety of regular business processes ranging from cyber security to in-office communications to bookkeeping – every department has a problem that can ostensibly be solved by a cool new software service. However, if the issue is not simply in the process, but in the organisation’s culture, digital transformation can be a nuisance rather than a saviour.
Consequently, the first step in effective digital transformation must occur offline. Instead of just throwing any new technology at every process that seems clunky, consider your overall business strategy goals. What specifically are you trying to achieve? Once you have settled on which processes are to be updated to achieve those targets, you can find the right technology solution to apply to the problem.
Sit with the key stakeholders related to the business process in question and the decision-makers of the organisation and ensure that everyone is on the same page with the goals and the method of digitisation. While outside advice can be useful in some cases, the people who know the most about the processes you might be looking to change are the people who work with them every day. If and when they highlight a potential setback or ask for certain kinds of support from solutions, this needs to be considered and factored into any digitalisation plan.
Once change is set into motion, ensure that employees are provided the support they need to handle this transition. Digitalisation can sometimes mean a massive overhaul of operations and methods that date back for years, which people can sometimes find overwhelming or disconcerting. Actively including department team members in the change by updating them, providing guidance and asking for and acting on feedback will go a long way to making a digital transition as seamless as possible.
As technologies continue to advance, the business world must quickly adapt to changes by adopting new efficient measures. However, it is important to remember what makes your business great – the people and the structure that truly keep the organisation running day in and day out. Make sure the basics don’t get lost in the whirlwind of digital transformation.