Digital transformation of a business is the process of integrating new or existing technology into the business. The goal of digital transformation is to maximize the potential benefits of technology for a company. It means leveraging technologies such as IoT to improve the process of doing business.
Digital technology and IoT has revolutionized almost everything we know about the world today. Devices, people, and infrastructure continue to grow more intertwined and this has greatly increased the capacity of businesses. However according to the Economist Intelligence Unit Digital Evolution Report of 2016 shows only 10% companies are recognised as completely digital. 85% are developing their strategy to become fully digital by the end of this decade.
Needless to say, digitally transforming your business is an extensive project that will have tremendous effects on how you run and organize your company. Because of the potential disruptions that will be associated with the process, it is important that you are absolutely sure of what you intend to do and make some major decisions. Here are some of the most important considerations before executing a digital transformation.
Start with a strategy: Digital transformation takes accurate and deliberate planning. One of the very first things you should do is to assess your overall business goal. You should identify the main things you intend to achieve with your digital transformation plan and strategize accordingly.
Consider the technology: IoT, Cloud computing and big data analytics and three of the most vital digital transformation technologies. However, none of them is a one-size-fit-all solution. You should never invest in new technology simply because it is the trend. Instead, you should identify which technology will cause the most profitable change and go for it.
Collect data: access to good data is one of the most vital factors that will determine the success of your digital transformation plan. Crucial data such as customer trend, product and infrastructure analytics and so on will assist you in your quest to turn insights into crucial actions towards achieving your digital transformation goal
Consider your KPIs: the key performance indicators of your business are valuable metrics you must consider before implementing your digital transformation strategy. They will help you determine where to focus your efforts and how your business will change as a result of the new technology. By evaluating your KPIs it will help you with finding a custom solution for your business needs rather than a generic one.
Look at your competition: one of the best ways to determine how to begin your company’s digital transformation plan is by looking at others in your niche. Looking at your competitors for insights that have helped them will help you adjust your own digital transformation plan to surpass them.
Look at your market: never be too much in a hurry to integrate new technology that you forget to look around you. Be sure to track changes in your industry and anticipate the response you will get from your consumer when you execute a digital change.
Bring stakeholders on board: from your staff to the boardroom members of your company, it is important that you carry everyone along in your digital transformation plan. In many cases, digital technologies will automate many processes and change the way you do business completely. For such a staggering decision you need an executive sign-off to proceed.
Consider the cost: you will also have to evaluate the cost of the digital transformation process and see if it is indeed worth it. This isn’t merely about the monetary costs alone. Digital transformation will cause major changes that might be too costly for your business.
Prepare your staff: it is important that you ensure that your staff has the technical knowledge required to support your digital transformation plan. This might require retraining of your staff or hiring new ones with the needed technical skills.
Constantly rethink and re-evaluate your strategy: digital transformation is a continuous journey and you must continue to evolve in order to be successful. Hence, you must continue to reevaluate your strategy and find out new ways to improve.