Success in the business world is hard enough, let alone amid a worldwide pandemic. Keeping your business running at maximum efficiency relies on many things, but now more than ever, one of the most important is the ever-growing implementation of a successful digital transformation (DX).
With the panic of COVID-19 and lingering economic effects expected for years to come, creating a DX strategy that can scale to meet growing digital demand and foster business growth is crucial for B2B and B2C companies. According to Forbes, 97% of executives said that COVID-19 sped up their digital transformation efforts, which led to significant improvements, specifically in the area of customer communication. That communication is key, and it starts with redirecting resources within your company.
Increasing DX doesn’t have to mean reinventing the wheel, but it does mean changing the tires so you can course correct and adjust to this new economy. Here are seven ways every business can develop a digital transformation strategy for the future.
1.) Examine your strengths and weaknesses
Only you can truly understand your company’s advantages and where you could use improvement. The concept of communication comes into play once again. Instead of focusing on external communication, turn your attention toward internal communication. Look at how IBM has altered its DX with the human element in mind and recognized their strategies to better to serve homebound clients. While technology continues to advance and becomes a lifeline of communication, it can also stand in the way as a roadblock without proper human application. Take the time to scale your DX with the help of your staff. Businesses are always looking into customer pain points, but too often, business shortcomings fall by the wayside. Talk to your team, map out where you are missing the mark and invest in proven digital technology solutions to make improvements that your clientele will be able to recognize.
After you’ve determined what isn’t working, look at what is and repeat the process with the idea of enhancement in mind.
2.) Establish a digital transformation contract that targets goals
Imagine you are a coach who just signed a multimillion-dollar contract. Ownership of the team is investing in you to accomplish tasks over an agreed upon time. The same idea can be applied to a digital transformation contract. You are investing in leadership tools and ideas for your business. Like the owner of a team, you’ll need to define exactly what you want and at what pace.
Sit down with your leadership to create a contract that defines your goals and a summary of how they will be accomplished. Having a contract provides accountability and organization. It also allows for a thorough review, later on in the process.
Companies seeking to build a practical DX contract often require expert assistance to navigate all the requirements. One of the easiest ways to create a contract is by consulting with the digital marketing experts at Americaneagle.com. From Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to analytics and data analysis, receive digital expertise that your team might not have.
Groups like Sitecore have developed Content Management System (CMS) tools like the Digital Acceleration Hub that can fast-track the DX process with help from a development partner. There are even companies that focus on business-specific partnerships, like GE Digital, which offers industrial digital transformation support.
3.) Make a game plan for implementation
Nearly every business on the planet has been forced to make changes to daily operations because of the pandemic. Economic thought leaders are already proposing for many of those changes to become permanent, according to the United States Council for International Business. Whether your team is working remotely or if you are operating at capacity limits, making your digital transformation a success will rely upon a solid implementation plan.
Your DX contract should already have established a hierarchy for who will lead what, when and how. The implementation process begins with a knowledgeable Information Technology department overseeing technology functions. Specialized uses of technology implementation then trickle down to other department heads and their staffs. Some digital technologies even reduce the need for high-end IT implementation. For example, companies like ROC Commerce have created an e-commerce platform that is built to easily integrate with other software. There is no exact format to follow for implementation, but make it as easy as possible for your team.
4.) Coordinate your projects
Always remember that a digital transformation is a large undertaking that has to be completed in stages. You only have a finite amount of resources, from people to technology.
Stemming from your implementation game plan, coordinating each piece of your DX journey will rely on a logistical approach to project management. It’s understandable to expect your team will be working on multiple projects at once, but it’s not feasible to think you can complete every aspect on time without running into a few barriers.
Coordinating your projects from the start will go a long way toward avoiding these issues in the first place. Maybe you run parallel sites but each brand caters to a different demographic in another part of the world. You’ll need to plan ahead and anticipate challenges like these during your digital transformation. Even with thought-out planning, you will likely hit a snag or two. When this happens, take a step back and work with your teams to find a solution that still meets your goals in a timely manner.
If you’ve made it this far in the process, congratulations! You’ve put DX plans into motion. But how do you gauge your success?
The answer is by taking a broad approach to analyzing performance metrics. Yes, you should look at the data, but also consider how your digital transformation changed the overall functionality of your business. It’s especially beneficial if your business feeds into several industries. Take a look at how Springer analyzed the digital transformation of five platform ecosystems and how they intertwine together. Use your comprehensive analysis to improve upon and create new processes for the future.
6.) Elicit feedback from clients and partners, but don’t forget your staff
Receiving opinions on your DX implementation at various stages can make or break the outcome. How is the public perceiving changes to your site(s)? How are your partners handling new workflows? Circling back to the idea of internal communication, how is your staff learning to conduct business with new tools? These are all questions that you need to know as a part of a greater analysis.
Surveying is a good way to receive information from your stakeholders before and after you complete a digital transformation. You’re likely to see some mixed feedback like the Center for Creative Leadership did when it learned that among users, top challenges when preparing to implement a DX included insufficient internal skills and lack of a clear vision for a digital customer journey. In the same survey, the organization found that strong leadership can inspire digital innovation.
7.) Don’t forgo digital updates
Like you, your platforms are always updating to keep up with the latest technology. Don’t let your processes become outdated by forgetting to install updates or by avoiding new platform features that become available. Keeping up with competitors means staying ahead of the curve. Many platforms provide excellent tutorials and information channels to easily help you implement updates as they are made available.
Americaneagle.com can take your digital transformation to the next level with the latest tools and services on the market. We have helped clients across the industry spectrum move into the digital age and stay relevant during tough times. Learn more about what we have to offer and contact us today to rejuvenate your business with reliable solutions that spur growth.