Ten Key Things to Consider When Implementing Digital Transformation
03 March 2020
Data collection and analysis are integral to business success and growth, and most businesses have already adopted digital transformation strategies to ensure they thrive in competitive markets now and in the future. Digital transformation affects all aspects of a business, from digital marketing to business operations, so this transition process should be handled carefully. If you’re thinking of moving towards digitalisation, here are the key things to keep in mind to ensure digital transformation success.
- Strategy. An overall digital transformation strategy must be in place to avoid using a shotgun approach or doing bits and pieces at a time. Strategy requires building a set of requirements tailored to your business’ needs and documenting them to create a brief.
- Expertise. Consider whether you have the expertise internally to execute the strategy or if you need to engage with external contractors, partners, or experts.
- Research. Gather information on products, platforms, and technology that might be considered as part of the transformation, e.g. different accounting platforms, e-commerce platforms, etc. Book vendor demonstrations and workshops if they offer that service.
- Peer Review. Check vendor references, online reviews, and meet up with existing users. This way, you’re able to base your decision from a wider pool of experience and information.
- Future-proofing. Make sure the solution you intend to adapt is future-proofed. Technology moves fast, so be avoid using software that's likely to become obsolete within the next few years.
- Automation. Automation is an integral part of digital transformation. Ensure your solution can automate internal processes, fix any current problems, or remove a current bottleneck with little to no human intervention.
- Insight. Consider whether the solution will provide more insight, analytics, transparency, or allow you to look at the business activity in a different way.
- Budget. What is the cost/budget and timeline to execute the strategy? Consider 2% of turnover to be a good starting point for a digital transformation budget.
- Delivery. Create a project plan with a clear sequence of events and designate a champion for the delivery. They must be responsible for executing the strategy—internally and/or externally.
- Change Management. This is the human element of digital transformation. Managing change internally requires managing people's emotions and egos, gaining staff buy-in, and getting people on board with the strategy. Pre-empting human issues or resistance can make a big difference to the success of a project.
- Attitude. As an extra yet essential step, it’s important to remain positive, seek out the positive benefits of change, and focus on what new opportunities the solution creates. Understanding the limitations of a system is important, but try not to critique it too much, as you will always find limitations with software. There is no perfect system. What’s important is that, overall, there is improvement, efficiency is gained, and/or it solves more problems than it creates.
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