As the world becomes increasingly digital, businesses from the small to the enterprise have to embrace digital transformation if they are to remain relevant and competitive. This is not news anymore. New technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and advanced analytics are changing the way businesses provide value to their employees, customers and the society in general.
AI for example, has made personalized banking a reality. Without the intervention of an employee, a client of Sainsbury bank could be offered a Sainsbury’s personal loan based on his or her spending habits and financial needs. Soon, such digital transformation will transcend the service industry and move beyond issuing payday loans uk direct lenders. Bots will start offering personalized medical treatment to people miles from the hospital.
What drives digital transformation?
One of the biggest drivers of digital transformation is technology. To achieve digital transformation, companies must invest in digital technology capabilities. However, despite adoption of newer technology, progress is hampered by the prevalence of legacy technology. Maintenance of outdated processes and legacy technology takes up a larger portion of the budget than investments digital technology and innovations. For businesses to keep up with the rapid pace of digital change, executives have to make major overhauls in technology.
Culture is another important driver of digital transformation. To achieve digital transformation, executives must establish a digital mindset across all levels of the organization. They must also define a digital destiny, source useful skills and bring all members of their organization together in a continuous evolution.
Unlike technology which can be changed or updated quickly and with relative ease, changing the culture of people within an organization takes time and dedication.
How to drive digital transformation within organizations
Determining what processes need to be digitized, getting employee buy-in and having them rethink their roles can seem to be too much heavy lifting for most executives.
To drive digital transformation within their organizations, executives need to follow these four basic steps that tackle both technical and cultural issues.
Design the transformation around business goals
To begin the process of digital transformation, executives have to change the company’s business model. This is because the transformation can completely turn the industry upside down affecting the revenue of businesses with a rigid business model. A company like Uber for example completely transformed the Taxi industry business model by leveraging mobile and cloud technologies to connect with customers.
Prioritize user friendly processes and offer proper training
Transitioning to a new technology that is not user friendly can be extremely frustrating. If employees are frustrated by upgrades, they will simply return to their old way of doing things and the attempt at digital transformation will fall flat. Tech executives must prioritize employee-friendliness when introducing new technologies and effecting new processes within their organizations.
Digitize the recruitment process to make hiring top talent easy and efficient
Recruiting the best talent and not just in the IT department is one clear area that contribute significantly towards digital transformation. Executives should always be on the lookout for people with the right skill sets. This can prove challenging since the technology landscape is constantly changing necessitating people with entirely different skill sets every few months. Leveraging the right digital tools such as social media and video calls can make the process of finding, connecting and recruiting new talent much easier.
Take an enterprise-wide approach
Currently, companies are focusing solely on IT for digital transformation. This is mainly because IT people are viewed as the most prepared for the transformation. This approach is proving ineffective since one team in an organization cannot accomplish digital transformation. The impact can only be limited.
It takes the involvement of cross-functional teams within the organization to make significant strides. Executives should empower IT teams to work with other departments to find ways to digitize their systems.