Enterprise evolution: Four steps to digitally transform your business

If you’re feeling left behind by the pace at which businesses around you have embraced digital, don’t fear! It’s not too late to adopt a digital transformation plan.

Operational change is a scary prospect for any business. But once you look around and realize your competitors are embracing a digital-first approach, it’s time to think about how you will work to catch up. Below are four ways to make your transformation smoother, creating long-term results.

Take a business-first approah

When you begin to consider a digital transformation, it’s easy to be either overwhelmed by the technological options on offer or overly keen to engage with cool tech that’s not vital for your business, resulting in decisions with a short-term focus. Taking the time to figure out what your goals are and putting the actual needs of your business first will get better results from the transformation process. 

It’s important to really interrogate the needs of your business here, and to make sure your transformation answers the most immediate of these. Engage thoroughly with your teams and consider bringing in a change-management team to help facilitate this process. You won’t always get an accurate picture of how things are really running from people too close to the process to see the bigger picture

Empower your employees 

The new digital landscape is all about increasing efficiencies, so make sure that during your transformation you take the time to get to grips with the capabilities of your team. Harnessing the skills of your employees is a great way to quickly move your business forward. If you have in-house experts with unrealized talents, turn the spotlight on them!

Running in-house training sessions isn’t just a great way to upskill your employees, it’s a great way to engage people. Your team will feel appreciated when you recognize their talents. Plus it’s a wonderful way to think about other services or offerings you could include in your business. When you know who your digital gurus are, ask them to feed in on your change strategy. We bet you’ll be surprised with the value of the thinking on display.

Adopt a proces 

Finding the right process and wholeheartedly adopting it can make all the difference when digitally transforming your business. Finding and adopting a framework gives your transformation structure and helps to you set goals and signposts. One commonly used methodology is Agile. For businesses that need to make a quick change or ‘pivot’, using Agile can have huge benefits. Exploration and experimentation is an important part of Agile, and a vital part of a digital transformation.

Read more about adopting an Agile methodology.

Enable continuous learning

Transformation is a long-term process and, once you begin, it’s important to keep the change happening. New innovations are constantly emerging and it’s important to recognize which ones will become beneficial to your business. If learning becomes a business priority from the top, employees will be empowered. Make learning a visible priority in your organization. Giving access to appropriate and relevant conferences, publications, websites and resources is key, but don’t forget to introduce some structure here. Can time be set aside for reading and digesting these resources? Can a presentation element be introduced to team meetings? Can management of the company social channels be moved away from marketing and posting be made more collaborative?

Moving to a digital-first approach involves working in new ways, open collaboration and a commitment to ongoing learning and improvement. The challenges of the transformation will be rewarded with an invigorated, connected business style, equipped for the future.

Resources/further reading

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2015/03/09/5-things-to-do-when-you-lead-a-digital-transformation

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/debra-walton/four-tips-for-agile-thinking-and-sales-success_b_5989368.html?ir=Australia 

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/agile-project-management.htm