What does digital transformation mean?
The idea of digital transformation has been around for many years, and it is more important now than it has ever been. Businesses that embrace the truly digital mindset can transact much more efficiently than those that don’t, as they are adapting to the changing requirements of their customers. What does digital transformation really mean, though?
Digital transformation is not the same as simply digitizing your content. By now, most companies have digitized many of their processes. You’re more likely to see word docs and pdfs than paper memos circulating the office after all, and emails are one of the most common means of communication within organizations today. But these things, despite being digital, are just newer versions of their analogue counterparts.
Gartner defines digital transformation as ‘the process of exploiting digital technologies and supporting capabilities to create a robust new digital business model’. This means that all processes within the organization, from intranets to supply chains and sales cycles, need to be updated with the view to growth and increased efficiency, moving away from antiquated systems into the fast paced, agile, digital mindset. By engaging in this mentality of digital transformation, businesses are not simply changing from analogue to digital, but are potentially opening up whole new business pathways.
Digital Transformation Challenges and Opportunities
Digital transformation is an involved process that can require large amounts of an organization’s resources, and there are many challenges that make the transformation harder than it needs to be. If you convert these challenges to opportunities, however, you will put your organization ahead of the many others who are slower to adapt.
Pushback from stakeholders
Challenge: Change is always an uphill battle. Your employees are used to the current processes and systems, and are comfortable continuing with them. Management teams are often resistant to the unknown, as it has the potential to negatively impact profit. Getting your people to adopt new systems can often be the hardest part of implementation.
Opportunity: Growth never happens when people are comfortable. It often takes a certain level of discomfort to drive growth and change, and the implementation of digital transformation strategies could be the catalyst that your organization needs. If you counter objections with enthusiasm and clearly defined transformation goals and practices, you could be the driver of unprecedented growth within your organization.
Legacy systems and new software
Challenge: Updating your technology stack can be a major investment, and as a result, can be an impediment to true digital transformation. Not only is there the financial aspect of deprecating old software and implementing new, there is the issue of knowing which software will best suit your infrastructure. With the myriad vendors out there vying for your business’ spend, it can be a veritable minefield that you need to navigate.
Opportunity: Legacy systems are not generally geared to change and growth. There are new systems and software out there that have the potential to drive your digital transformation, with the added benefit that they can adapt and grow with your company, mitigating the need for future rehashing of your systems. Now is the time to research the best options for your organization.
Challenge: With digital transformation relying heavily on data and analytics, concerns have arisen around privacy and usage of collected information. The recent implementation of GDPR aims to increase data security and prevent mishandling of this data. The GDPR regulation do mean, however, that some data sets may be skewed or incomplete due to people choosing to remove their digital information from databases.
Opportunity: By being very open about your data collection protocols, and the reasons for collecting data, you stand to establish high levels of trust from both your internal stakeholders and customers alike. This trust, if fostered correctly, can help drive your digital transformation instead of hindering it.
Challenge: Even if you get buy-in from all the necessary stakeholders, and have enthusiasm around adoption, it is extremely important that the change from legacy systems to your new infrastructure is managed very carefully. If it is not handled correctly, your stakeholders will be left with a sea of new systems that they don’t know how to navigate, causing them to retreat into the safety of their old systems.
Opportunity: With a clear change management plan, your organization has the potential to build more streamlined practices that will benefit all stakeholders. Through strong change management, you can raise levels of adoption both within your organization, and with customers, further driving growth.
How to make your digital transformation a reality
While the act of digital transformation is about creating efficient digital systems throughout your organization, the real backbone of this change is your people. Without adoption, your systems will languish, and you’ll essentially be replacing one under-utilized system with another. If you concentrate your efforts on gaining trust, acceptance, and adoption from your stakeholders, your digital transformation stands the strongest chance of success. To that end, you should make your choices and processes transparent to all interested parties, and offer high-quality training, support, and engagement initiatives.
LiveTiles is the Headline Sponsor of the Digital Transformation Conference at etc.venues in London on November 22nd.
If you sign up today to attend, we can offer you a 30% discount! To register, go to http://digitaltransformationconf.co.uk/ and use the discount code LT30.
Come and see how we can assist your organization in transforming the way you do business and follow the event on via social media at #DIGTRA