Practical Steps to Bring the Digital Transformation

Photo by Mat Reding on Unsplash

Digital Transformation is a trend now and one of the major initiatives COVID-19 has given to the world’s businesses. Either you operate in Pakistan, India, or any part of the world or for any industry, you are bound to enable digitalization in your operations. This is the only mode to survive and remain in the competition.

Industries like IT or technology envisioned would not face any difficulties to implement the digital transformation in their day to day operations. Probably they would already be doing a partial part of their business digitally. But such organizations are rare in the numbers. There is a major portion of the world’s economies who were not even convinced to bring digitalization in their processes until COVID-19 taught them a serious lesson at the start of the unfortunate year 2020.

For instance, COVID-19 first pushed everyone towards a “work from home” culture. Technology giants struggled with their infrastructure part but they managed to make a shift to a “work from home” style of working. Why? Because they were already following work from home thing through remote working. But what about big corporates from different industries like Manufacturing, Retail, Oil & Gas? They lost business & opportunities. Moving to a “work from home” culture would be one part of the digital transformation journey which we discussed just as an example of not reacting proactively while doing the strategic planning.

Since the new year is here and still the world is struggling with COVID-19 impacts, I strongly believe that digital transformation must be a mandatory agenda item in the upcoming annual strategic planning of every big and small organization in the world. I can foresee an addition of a dedicated portfolio this year in each corporate to achieve the digital transformation. If this is the case, and you require a total transformation, here I have a few practical steps to help you make the successful shift.

Understand your consumer

While transforming your organization into digital from a traditional approach, one thing will remain the same. Consumer centricity. Like you established your traditional ways of doing business by understanding your consumer’s needs, you need to do it again in the digital perspective. You can do it by different kinds of research, such as indirect and direct research about your customers.

Plan the customer journey

Once done with understanding your consumers. You now need to focus on their journey with your business. You have one journey already available with you, which is your current journey that customer follows to acquire your product or service. Analyze your current journey and identify which points are not to be altered, which requires a modification to bring value addition, and which can be dropped.

Now come to the new journey, draw it like a story with digitalization rules and best practices aligning to meet the desires of your consumers (identified in the above step).

Execute the transformation

Now you have a customer journey to achieve, it is time to execute it. Executing does not mean, you will start deploying VPNs. You will need to build four basic elements of the digital transformation to achieve excellent customer experience: technical architecture, robust and secure data, business operations, and the model to operate the organization digitally.

Consider these four basic elements as a sub-portfolio and initiate programs to achieve the common benefit, Digital Transformation Of Your Organization.

Keep hitting the short term in parallel

Honestly, the digital transformation journey takes time. It does not happen in months. Businesses attempting the total transformation are strongly being recommended to focus on achieving the short-term modifications in their current practices until they got fully transformed. For example, if you are a traditional retailer and customers used to visit your stores physically to buy your products cannot come due to the locked down. You have decided on moving to a total e-commerce kind of business model transformation. It will take one and a half years. How are you going to survive in this duration? You can quickly make a simple web-based form to receive orders from existing customers until your full-fledged e-commerce store is established.

Get a real leader for this change

The transformation from the current state to the future state is a CHANGE and unlike all the changes, digital transformation requires a great leader to lead the journey. Why?

First — digital transformation is a big change and will face big resistance in adaption. Resistance from both external and internal factors is expected. You need someone to strategize this resistance and turn risks into opportunities or negativity into positivity.

Second — digital transformation is not a one-man show. Since it is changing the total perspective of the organization, you will need multiple innovative and positive people in your team. A leader can be one who must know how to assemble others into units to achieve the best possible results.

Lastly — digital transformation is a strategic objective that can be changed either from top or bottom. You need a leader who can foresee such changes and keeps aligning the digital transformation journey with all the dynamicity around it.

I learned all these practical steps from my 10 plus years of managing digital transformation programs and projects across 2 regions of the world. I hope they will help achieve your digital journey. Do drop your feedback in the comments section below. Clap if you feel that this article created an impact in your life. Thanks for reading me out. Be awesome.

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