Digital transformation (DX) is the business process of integrating digital technology into every aspect of an enterprise that can fundamentally change the way of business operation and the delivery of value to customers. DX is also a cultural shift that compels business organizations to constantly challenge the status quo and get comfortable with trial and error.
The COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of disruptive technologies, and the sprouting of new talents push businesses to move ahead with digital transformation at an accelerated pace.
Digital Transformation Strategy
A digital transformation strategy involves devising a detailed plan to implement digital solutions to boost the efficiency of various business areas across engineering, manufacturing, and customer service. But DX in itself is a broad business strategy. Today, devising a roadmap for a successful short-term and long-term digital transformation by focusing on business outcomes rather than hinging on technologies has turned into the foundation of all companies with every shape and size worldwide.
Every business organization is reaping desirable results from DX efforts, such as improved efficiency, maximized revenue growth, and reduced operational costs. The recent study by International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that despite the challenges presented by the CoVID-19 pandemic, the worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies and services is set to rise in coming years. The study finds that 92% of companies are already in hot pursuit of digital transformation.
However, as per the recent Wipro Digital survey, more than one-third of business executives point out the lack of a solid digital transformation strategy as a significant barrier to tapping into the full digital potential of a business.
The Importance of a DX Strategy in Successful DX Integration
For an enterprise, devising a digital transformation strategy is crucial because it brings forward an efficient, measurable, and coordinated effort toward achieving key business goals. With the help of the latest technologies, any enterprise can take up digital transformation initiatives. However, without the strategic and collaborative mindset of the team, it is nearly impossible to achieve DX success.
Digital transformation initiatives and strategies vary for different enterprises. So, here we put forward seven essential steps and best practices as a guide to help your enterprise to develop a successful DX strategy from the bottom to the top.
1. Put business values and goals first
Different people take digital transformation in different ways. For example, business leaders often believe that technology leads DX, and the business values and goals should be based on that. But, unfortunately, this approach is regressive and prone to failures.
To devise a successful DX strategy, the right place to start is by identifying your business goals and building up a strategy from there.
A clear sense of business needs, values, and strategic long-term and short-term goals put your enterprise’s digital transformation in an entirely new and efficient position rather than trailing the latest technologies. In addition, it can trigger a discussion at the C-suite level that can speed up the cultural shift that should go hand-in-hand with successful DX.
Digital transformation is not a one-time project or initiative. However, it can strategically position your company for the future. Therefore, building up the DX process from business values and priorities solidifies its foundation.
2. Get ready for cultural shift
Humans, not technology, are the center of digital transformation. Skepticism of new things and resistance to change is human nature. The support and enthusiasm from the C-suite are critical to addressing this issue and bringing an efficient cultural shift in an enterprise.
Moreover, beyond the C-suite, developing a collaborative mindset across the value chain from information technology (IT), operational technology (OT), design, sales, and marketing also helps execute a successful digital transformation strategy.
Keep in mind that any DX efforts will have challenges along the way. So, business leaders must nurture a culture where everyone learns from mistakes and achieve success.
The rolling out of digital transformation initiatives will affect employees’ daily work. Therefore, identifying DX projects that genuinely improve the efficiency or productivity of workers at any level is a pivotal element of successful digital transformation.
3. Make a small but strategic first step
Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. Therefore, the crucial part of a DX project is identifying the first proof-of-concept (POC) project. It is the POC that will set the stage for future DX initiatives.
Digital transformation takes time, and you’re not going to change everything overnight. So before embarking on a DX project, look out for quantifiability and advanced time-to-value of the project—the two critical characteristics of the right project.
For an enterprise, the first DX initiative is critical to bring value and ensure the strategy’s long-term success. However, a business organization should also take the proper steps and time to identify an efficient way to jumpstart its DX efforts.
4. Meticulous selection of the right technology
It has been proven that carrying out old operations with new technology leads only to costly old operations. A successful DX doesn’t start with technology but with a unique business strategy.
But it doesn’t mean to ignore technology altogether. On the contrary, technology is imperative to help an organization achieve the desired and planned business outcomes. Some of the fundamental technologies to attain digital transformation include the Internet of Things (loT), digital twin, robotics, cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and additive manufacturing.
Your enterprise may already have some of these technologies. But some remain the missing pieces preventing your enterprise from realizing real business value. A clear roadmap for implementing technology for initial and future DX initiatives is an essential building block to its success.
5. Partnering and seeking expertise
The right technology with the wrong partner would turn any initiative into a disaster. Likewise, there will be struggles and failures if the people helping your enterprise don’t possess the right experience, knowledge, and background in your area.
For example, while a spot solution can seem like a great short-term technology solution to a departmental problem, it can lead to long-term issues across an entire enterprise. If it is not the right technology or solution to scale across the enterprise, it can bring more problems and complicate whole business processes.
The success of DX lies in picking out the right partners and expertise to strengthen your enterprise’s core competencies by understanding your business. It can also accelerate results and smoothly drive DX initiatives forward.
6. Learning and refinement
Before moving ahead with digital transformation in full throttle, an enterprise should clearly define key performance indicators (KPIs) for each project. In addition, business leaders should ensure that every team member is aware and accountable for what needs to be done for the project’s success.
Creating a solid feedback loop with stakeholders ensures everyone learns from the new experiences, updating, adjusting, and improving as the digital transformation strategy unfolds. Agility is one of the hallmarks of an enterprise undergoing a digital transformation that ultimately paves the path to success.
7. Embrace scaling and transformation
When your company begins to reap benefits from your digital transformation strategy, leverage this success to accelerate the momentum and gather collaboration to implement follow-up steps and long-term strategy successfully.
Digital transformation looks different at every business, which makes DX strategy so significant as a personalized roadmap for business success.
DX Will Define Enterprise Success
Industries and businesses evolve. Therefore, digital transformation—the convergence of physical and digital entities—will continue to be a crucial part of every business strategy to remain competitive, bring efficiency, and differentiate products and services.