First steps towards digital transformation

2018/ 07/12

Only a part of ​​digital transformation applies to business, but the fastest and largest revolution is expected in this field. This process can be considered as a kind of business transformation, so it is understandable why some use the term of digital business transformation. But how can someone begin his journey on the path of digital transformation? What are the steps that in an influential role you can take so that your business can start on this development track?

digital transformation

When defining the steps of digital transformation, the goals and demands of the given enterprise are of primary importance, so we can only provide a sort of guidance that you have to adapt to the needs of your company. Do not worry if you have not started the transformation yet; now it is the best time to do it!

Determine what “digital” means to your company

Transformation consists of different processes for each company, which must be principally determined by their leaders. The first step of them is to highlight the issues that for some reason need to be handled in a “digital” way. It is crucial to include existing and mostly well-functioning processes and procedures in the examination, since you may find solutions from diverse angles that serve the same purpose differently but much more efficiently. This idea is well exemplified by the following Henry Ford quotation: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” In other words, the goal is not to optimize the usual way of doing things, but to constantly seek new alternatives to find the most effective one. This is usually not a clear or simple task, but experimentation and alternative search are certainly expedient and useful technique.

Think big, start small

Digital transformation is a task that requires management courage and determination. It is just too big and complex to be executed simultaneously, especially while maintaining the continuity of ordinary course of business. It is therefore necessary to break it down into phases and to give them realistic objectives. But where is it recommended to start? Getting started on something is never an easy task and this is especially true in the case of digital transformation. Many are afraid to start their journey, thus so much depends on the success of the first step. This has a decisive influence on the attitude and opinions of the entire company, so it has a major role in the implementation of further development. With a good solution you can impress your employees and you can also be assured that its reputation will spread throughout the company. Be sure to start with a project that is relatively easy to implement, but has a large and beneficial impact on the customers’ satisfaction or on the employees' everyday work. A facilitation like this can be the foundation stone of the digital transformation in your company, so its importance is invaluable.

Find professional labour force

The greatest difficulty of transformation may be the lack of skilled labour. If you do not have qualified staff, you can basically choose between two options. The first one is to educate people who are already in employment of your company and you think are competent to perform such a high priority task. If you cannot find potentially suitable people among your subordinates, you need to hire the right workforce. For both alternatives, the main goal is to create a determined, dynamic team that will drive the digital transformation of your firm. The presence of information technology and business experts is required in this unit. Individuals who fully understand the everyday processes of your business and can form them creatively are also indispensable. Without the proper IT expertise, however, this knowledge often remains unrealisable. IT professionals will develop the necessary software and hardware environments, so they have a central role in the transformation. The great advantage of creating such a constructive and powerful team is that the enthusiasm and the ambition of the participants will spread to all the employees of the company, so everyone will feel the paramount importance of the transformation. In order to understand and accept it, it is advised to organize trainings for every employee. Parallel with the understanding, the abstinence and the occurrent fear may decrease and the acceptance of change can increase.

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Ask for help from a partner company

The introduction of innovative technologies often involves risks and pitfalls, and in the absence of professionals with the right knowledge and experience, it is directly dangerous to the company's operation. If you think it is a costly and time-consuming job to train an existing workforce or to find a new and well-trained personnel and team it up, find a partner who will be your companion in your digital transformation. This option is also expedient if there are some suitable employees in your business, but they alone would not be enough to perform such a large volume of work. When choosing a partner, it's a vital criteria to be familiar with the latest IT solutions and trends, and to be able to help you with their experience. But this is not enough on its own. The fluency of your mutual work and the easy understanding of each other’s needs and viewpoints is at least equally important. One of the best ways to choose a business partner is to share the digital transformation goals of your business and evaluate the solutions they give. Based on these, there is a good chance of deciding who is the most competent for such a high-priority partnership.


Source: McKinseyForbesCIO

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