It’s not Transformation, it’s Progression

Digital Transformation is a hot buzz word, it sounds cool, as a concept it conjures up images of self-drive cars and robots, elaborate AI and sleek offices with no paper. Thought of in that context digital transformation also sounds unachievable and or irrelevant. The reality is less scifi, in fact we started our digital journey with the first email we sent. So the term 'digitl transformation' can put people off acting on what should be part of the everyday in business.

The actual definition of digital transformation is a little more mundane, it is ;

'the process of using digital technologies to create new, or modify existing, business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements'.

Or put even more simply: Keeping up to date

And I would say we all have applied this process to some degree in our businesses, even if subconsciously.

In fact I feel the term transformation is redundant. It is more a case of progression, as I said, keeping up to date.

However [ and this is a big 'however' ] With so much changing and with new digital products coming on line continuously the simple act of saying up to date can become a challenge unless you formalise the process.

Digital Progress Review

The business that stays on top of digital opportunity are those that have embedded the digital review in their planning.

The review technique that has gained most traction is to consider digital in the following 5 categories 

  1. Customer Experience
  2. Operational Agility and efficiency
  3. Culture and Leadership
  4. Workforce enablement
  5. Tech integration

When reviewing each category consider the following

1. Current performance / user feedback

2. Opportunities for improvement

3. New products on the market

4. Competitor activity / industry trends

5. Possible changes over the next 5 years

Avoid the pitfalls

It is often said the ideas are easy, implementation is the hard part. Digital offers so much it can be easy to get carried away with the idea but the end result is a fail. There are some common pitfalls to avoid.

1. Short term investment strategy

Some decision makers place too great an emphasis on savings rather than growth when calculating ROI on a tech investment. Understandable as savings are more tangible, growth is speculative. However, this approach can seriously hamper the mid and long term success of the business because of poor short term tech choices.

2. Under-estimating the challenge of change

Some people love change, others view it with fear and loathing. As a lover of change I find it hard to empathise with the change haters – to my detriment. When considering any change, for customers or your own people, never under-estimate the work required for adoption. Whatever you think you need to do, you will need to do more.

3. Risk exposure

What happens if one of your systems fail? Do you have a team member who holds the keys to the business? Digital has left some businesses very vulnerable, indeed, in some cases, hostage to poor systems and or individuals with critical knowledge. Whenever you adopt any tech or install any system always ask yourself the questions

1. Will the product I am adopting progress with my business

2. Can I find the support skill set easily

3. Is this the right decision for 5 years’ time.