3 Steps for Seamless Digital Transformation in the 21st Century
Digital transformation marks a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people and processes to fundamentally change business performance
- George Westerman, MIT principal research scientist
Let’s face it – digital transformation will be key in navigating the increasingly complex business terrains of the 21st century. In acknowledgment of that, businesses are hopping onto the train of digital transformation, one after another, in hopes that it will speed up the attainment of business goals. However, it can be a bumpy ride for many. So before you hop on as well, here are a few tips to make your trip a little smoother:
1) Training is essential
“Digitalisation will create more work”.
This is usually echoed by older employees who are intimidated by technology or are fearful of losing their rice bowls upon migration of analogue business processes onto digital ones. However, that does not mean that they should be left behind by the digitalisation train. In fact, bringing them along your journey will enable them to stay connected and relevant to your business. To achieve this, training by professionals is key as no amount of technology and revamped processes is beneficial unless the people using them are equipped with the right skills to utilise and innovate.
2) Manage expectations
Digitalisation and automation is typically associated with increased efficiency and time savings. However, many fail to take into account the time needed for people to familiarise themselves with new digital tools during the initial stages. This phase may also be plagued with technical issues, but that should not put your digitalisation efforts off. Past this stage, if the digital transformation is implemented successfully, your business may then reap the efficiencies that come along with many other advantages.
Another source of apprehension that management teams often face is the fear that digitalisation will not achieve a level of efficiency that is worth the effort of migrating from previous long-standing, analogue business processes. But as the saying goes, the first step is always the hardest. Management teams need to embrace and drive digital transformation initiatives within their businesses. At the same time, they need to be realistic and take that first step in digitalisation even it only streamlines their current processes by 50% - this can be further enhanced over time.
3) The solution should be agile and scalable
Regardless of whether your business has already started its digital transformation, all businesses need to analyse and evaluate how digitisation could affect them in the short and long run, and what actions to take thereafter to adapt. One important step is for businesses to strategise on how digital transformation can meet their future goals. With that in mind, a digital transformation solution should be formulated to accommodate changes in the business, such as modifications in business model, size and capabilities.
And that concludes our list of tips. Digital transformation is fast and furious – meaning that putting it into action is going to be an uphill task. In pursuit of your business goals, do remember that digital transformation is not meant to be one of them. Rather, it is a continuous journey that requires constant monitoring, adapting and innovating.