by Thomas Clarke –
The textbook definition of digital transformation usually focuses heavily on the IT elements of your operations, but there’s so much more to it than just the technical aspects.
Digital transformation is an opportunity to engage with your organization’s stakeholders, holistically rethink your business processes, and identify ways to drive more value for your customers. Digital transformation is not simply a journey with a specific finish line or end date; it’s a business mindset that helps your organization focus on continuous improvement as the market around you evolves.
Curious about where your organization should start on its new journey?
Here are the key elements your team can use to approach your own digital transformation effort to make the strategic impacts your organization needs
The Drivers Behind Digital Transformation
Even before the global pandemic initiated a rapid shift to online meetings and remote work, customers and users were looking for new ways to get their personal and professional tasks done.
On the customer side, users are increasingly looking for brands that know how to personalize1 their experiences and can provide continuity across their brand platforms. For employees, organizations need to provide the tools, connectivity, and platforms to enable their staff to be productive and deliver no matter when and where they work.
Here are some other digital transformation drivers that your organization has likely already experienced:
- Customers are looking for cohesive experiences2, not just one-off transactions with brands.
- Businesses are looking for new ways to harness information to drive business decisions, engage customers in real time, and react to market feedback.
- Businesses need streamlined, digitized business processes to increase visibility, reduce costs, and promote operational efficiency3.
- Employees need technology and bandwidth to collaborate without sacrificing security, including increasing access to key data.
- Organizations need flexible technologies to provide a foundation for continuous innovation and integration while also lower maintenance costs.
How to Get Your Team Onboard with Digital Transformation
The only thing constant about today’s business environment is change, but that doesn’t mean that every transformation initiative isn’t going to be without its hurdles. This can be especially true when it comes to the people involved in or affected by the change.
So what can leaders do to help get their teams onboard with digital transformation? Here are some key actions you can take:
Explain the “why.”
It can be easy for those who are regularly thinking about digital transformation to forget that the concepts and reasons behind it aren’t top of mind for everyone else in their organization—and rarely ever with customers.
This is why it’s important for leadership teams to share their rationale, expectations, and goals with your larger enterprise. This includes identifying how the digital transformation effort enables the overall business strategy.
Not only can this help to build support and lower the chances of friction to upcoming change, but unique needs, requirements, and consents can also be integrated into any plans to proactively address potential challenges.
Focus on inclusion.
Change is much easier to understand, digest, and implement when members of your organization have the ability to be part of defining the solutions.
Emphasize the need to regularly involve representatives from across your organization in the process of researching, evaluating, and selecting elements to transform and define a larger digital transformation strategy. Share the end results of the research, as well as the continuous evolution and progress against the roadmap, with the stakeholder groups.
Show how it can be a win-win.
Between all the planning meetings, process redesign, and implementation tasks, it can be easy to lose sight of the larger picture. Keep your team motivated by showcasing the expected benefits. One method is to use case studies or experiences from peers. Share data and anecdotes about how improved system reliability, management, and maintenance means staff has more time to focus on customers or other more strategic tasks.
How to Get Started with Digital Transformation
Although every organization’s digital transformation journey will be unique, here are some key steps to get your initiatives off on a strong foot.
1. Get sponsorship for each initiative.
Securing executive sponsorship for each initiative helps to ensure the necessary funding, time, and other resources will be in place. These sponsors will also help to make key decisions and build buy-in throughout the organization.
2. Take a current state inventory.
Take the time to completely document the current state of a process to more accurately evaluate what is working well and what isn’t. Consider using an established methodology such as a SWOT Analysis4 to help formalize the process and be sure to document any steps, paperwork, decisions, and other elements that may be part of the workflow.
3. Prioritize what to tackle.
Armed with a current state inventory of a process or several potential initiatives, collect feedback from a wide range of stakeholders to ensure the workflows are accurately documented and to identify which projects to tackle first.
4. Consider an external partner.
Even if your organization has the necessary talent, time, tools, and experience to lead the implementation of a digital transformation strategy, it may be hard to take these staff away from their other responsibilities. This is why many organizations turn to external partners to assist with the process. An experienced partner can provide perspective, expertise, accelerators, and tools your organization needs to follow best practices and leap over common hurdles seen during transformation efforts.
5. Focus on change management.
You cannot overstate the role that people will play in determining the success of your transformation initiatives. Ensure your team proactively and regularly provides communications across different media to your stakeholders throughout the entire process, including any training that may be required.
Take the Next Step in Digital Transformation
As your team begins or enhances its own digital transformation journey, it’s important to remember two things:
- Run your own race.
- Your organization doesn’t have to face the hurdles of implementing a digital transformation strategy alone.
A partner like RCG Global Services is there to help your team with every step of the digital transformation process, from identifying the latest technology, tools, and capabilities that fit your business needs to facilitating the change management to maximize your return on investment. The RCG Global Services team has a deep bench of experts who understand the value of a holistic approach to digital transformation. We know how to weave together the people, processes, and technology elements of your operations to unlock new efficiencies while bypassing common hurdles that hold an organization back from maximizing its full potential.
Ready to learn more about what digital transformation can do for your organization? Contact the RCG Global Services team.
1. McKinsey & Copany (2020, Apr 28) "Personalizing the customer experience: Driving differentiation in retail" Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/personalizing-the-customer-experience-driving-differentiation-in-retail
2. Forrester (2020, Sept 9) "Forrester: Empowered Customers Have Turned The Tables On Consumer-Facing Businesses" Retrieved from https://www.forrester.com/press-newsroom/forrester-empowered-customers-have-turned-the-tables-on-consumer-facing-businesses/
3. CEO Hangout (2021 Dec 7) "The Major Impact of Business Digital Transformation on Cost Reduction" Retrieved from https://ceohangout.com/digital-transformation-cost-reduction/
4. Investopedia (2023, Apr 21) "SWOT Analysis: How To With Table and Example" Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/swot.asp