Digital transformation is a substantial change in the way an organization delivers value to its customers. It involves a rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people, and processes in the search for new business models and new sources of income, led by changes in customer expectations around products and services.
The implementation of new technologies in companies to improve their business operations and satisfy customers was already vital since before the pandemic. For the past years, companies had been embarking on the journey of digital transformation to counter the potential for disruption of both established and new companies, but with the pandemic, digital transformation has become even more important, and has accelerated at a highly rapid pace – expected in years- in just a few months.
The above has led Information Technology (IT) leaders to change the priorities of their strategic roadmaps, and are adopting cloud software, including video collaboration, as well as implementing machine learning software (ML) to help manage how products flow through supply chains.
Such implementations individually do not facilitate transformation. How these tools and other solutions interconnect throughout the entire structure of the company is what constitutes the organization’s real digital capacity, and reveals its business priorities. For this reason, digital transformation requires collaboration between the different departments, which allows combining their business philosophies with the development of the applications.
Despite all these advances and changes, a significant number of executives anticipate that their current business models will be economically viable only until 2023, and they know that their companies must continue to innovate and develop new digital models to keep competing efficiently in the market.
In order to achieve a successful digital transformation, here are some suggestions that companies should follow:
- Align digital transformation objectives with business goals. IT leaders must know and understand the problem that the company is trying to solve and align their objectives with the result the company seeks to achieve.
- IT is no longer the department that is called only to repair damaged services, it must work together with the rest of the company to create the necessary solutions that offer value to customers, it must be a co-creator.
- Choose strategic partners to accompany you in your digital transformation, such as a specialized consulting firm, because IT leaders need support to meet digital requirements in order to achieve the expected results, and to reduce the time they begin to generate commercial value. Choose those with proven experience and whose values and philosophy are in line with yours.
- Redesign the business and its products around the outcomes that generate value for the customer. This could include using cloud software to accelerate change, and embracing digitization to drive operational efficiencies and to respond to changing customer expectations.
- Train employees in digital so that they are in tune with the use of the new technology to be implemented. While emerging technology and renewed processes are crucial, the right skills on staff are essential for any digital transformation.
A digital transformation process can fail or be delayed for a number of reasons, such as lack of connection between IT and business goals, lack of employee engagement, poor operations, even poor leadership; but it is often seen to fail because of wanting immediate change, with not adequate transition between the legacy system and the new one, with the main purpose of reducing costs as a business driver, by the pressure to show results, creating false expectations about what can be done, when it can be done, and how quickly it can be done do.
Digital transformation has become a necessary disruption for every company today; understood as a fundamental change in the way of creating value for customers. This is not a function of IT alone; it must involve and commit all the departments of the company as co-creators of solutions.
With the accelerated pace at which technology is advancing, companies must constantly keep innovating and developing new digital models, and keep up with the current changing context, this is why it is advisable to have strategic partners that support not only with technology, but with processes, transitions, trainings, and start generating value in optimal time.
Information and processes are digitized, people are transformed.