WHAT IS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION? How can it help my business?

We hear the buzzwords Digital Transformation time and time again. By now most of us in the business world know this means the adoption of digital technologies to improve processes. We often think that if we just say we are implementing a digital transformation strategy, our processes will automatically become more efficient and therefore provide a better value to the business or customers. But in the scheme of things, the ideas of digital transformation are vague. Rarely are digital transformation efforts productive and many companies haven’t done it all that well. Overall, digital transformation is many things, but should primarily focus on, as i-Scoop put it, “responding to the changes that digital technologies cause in our daily lives, individual businesses and organizations, industries and various segments of society.”

Successful digital transformation solutions

In this age of technology, there are multiple ways to digitize even more solutions and it means more than just going paperless. In fact, the past few years have seen a boom in digital transformations making customer interactions easier and safer. Some examples of these changes that have gained popularity and momentum include:

  • QR Codes for restaurant menus
  • Video conferencing for meetings
  • Virtual tours of real-estate
  • Digital visualization tools for furniture sales

These are customer-focused solutions that have been successful because of an immediate need to change interactions with customers. These new technology adoptions have led to greater external-facing convenience and have added value by removing barriers to customers and potentially reducing costs for the business. Customer experience optimization and innovation can be a key driver to leading business model transformation; however, digital transformation is a journey that strives toward optimization between front and back end office operations.

Digital Transformation isn’t just about the customer

For enterprise companies, digital transformation may actually be internal facing.
Often internal-facing digital transformation includes elements such as:

  • Operational agility
  • Culture and leadership
  • Workforce enablement
  • Digital technology integration

These frameworks mean rethinking internal strategies, culture, and processes. For example, transferring legacy systems to a more robust and better functioning cloud-based system, make it easier to update and change applications in response to user demands. This may mean implementing RPA and AI systems that can automate simple human actions, or deploying low-code/no-code platforms for business people to create needed workflow applications. Digital transformation, if not implemented with the correct framework, can often be difficult to execute.

In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, 70% of digital transformation efforts fail. This isn’t because people aren’t trying, or companies aren’t willing, but there is more to enabling digital strategies to succeed. Implementing digital transformation is much more like a change management process rather than the simple implementation of software.

Digital Transformation is About People, not Technology

Digital transformation means rethinking how your business or organization works. From the top down you must look at places where you can be more agile, find ways to rework old operations, and experiment with new processes. It looks different for every business making it even harder to nail down what exactly you should be doing. Executive-level support and senior management flexibility will help to reform the mindset of your employees and change a stagnant culture to becoming more experimental. The Enterprisers Project also mentions that IT’s role has fundamentally shifted to becoming the primary driver of this business innovation and likely you will also want them involved in these discussions. Key things to remember:

  1. Create a Business Strategy
  2. Leverage Your Employee Talent
  3. Recognize the Fear of Being Replaced
  4. Be Experimental

The business strategy should have the intent of creating more efficient or effective solutions. This also promotes an understanding of the human element within your business. Your employees know what is being done and where they are hitting roadblocks, and they can help define what needs to be fixed. You will need employee collaboration and skills to change the culture of “this is the way we’ve always done business” to “we want to empower ourselves to make improvements in the business.” Bringing a collaborative mindset to creating solutions should be something that everyone can get on board with.

If you’re looking for some easy steps to get started in digital transformation with the business people in mind, consider looking into a citizen developer program. Empowering your employees to become citizen developers can make the digital transformation process easier and provide guidelines to help keep alignment within your business. Using low/no-code platforms and tools can make process innovation and improvements easy for business people to understand and implement. The citizen development framework can also help IT structure a program that will ensure secure implementation.

If you’d like to learn more about citizen development and how that might fast track your digital transformation journey, TrackVia can help. As a PMI Gold Tier Certified Citizen Development Technology Partner, we can help get your team into the PMI Citizen Developer Foundation course and discuss the opportunities for starting your company off on the right path.

Learn more about our PMI Gold-Tier Certification and how we can help your business get started with a Citizen Development program. Or if you’re ready to get started on your digital transformation, let us help get you there.