How Your Business Can (Smoothly) Undergo a Digital Transformation

There are two powerful truths about digital transformation in business. The first is that it’s no longer an option, and digital transformation is essential to remain competitive in today’s market. In fact, Forbes found that companies that employ digital-first strategies enjoy a 25% increase in revenue. The second is that, for those who have not yet completed (or even started) an organizational transformation to digital processes, UI, and business culture, it’s not too late.

Best Practices in Digital Transformation for Businesses

While most companies have at least started a digital transformation, it can be challenging to navigate this complex process, and there are plenty of pitfalls. Here are some industry best practices to empower companies to take on this vital task.

1. Embrace Change and Approach Digital Transformation with Imagination

Embarking on a digital organizational transformation is more than just digitizing processes, but instead renovating the way a company does business, provides its services to its customers, and operates internally.

Can customer service reps also monitor social media posts in addition to their phones or inboxes as a method of responding to customer problems? Do marketing staff or analysts employ innovative big data strategies to monitor bounce points and lead captures? A big part of digital transformation imagines what a business can do with available technologies in totally new and innovative ways.

2. Understand the Difference Between “Going Digital” and Digital Transformation

When asked about their companies’ digital transformation processes, some business owners will report “We’ve done that – all our documents have been converted to digital and stored in the cloud.” While digitizing documents is a key stage in a digital transformation journey, it is not the defining factor.

For businesses stuck on the digitization stage, one proven tip is to ask how new technologies can change the way a company does business – rather than merely improving upon existing processes with digitization.

3. Focus on the Customer at All Stages of Digital Transformation

For businesses who don’t know where to start, or who get stuck somewhere along the way during a digital transformation, it’s key to focus in on customer experience.

“Every digital transformation is going to begin and end with the customer,” said SalesForce co-CEO Marc Benioff. Optimizing workflows, regardless of where they are in an organization, should all contribute to overall better customer experience.

Implementing New Methods and Improving Workflows

The services and processes in a business model before and after a digital transformation can likely look very different. However, how can businesses get there? The method of implementation will vary from company to company. Here are some good workflow improvement ideas and guidance for initiating a digital implantation plan:

  • Establish responsibility: There is no required position for project leadership, such as a CTO or Chief Digital Officer. However, ensure that this person understands the purpose, goals, and strategies.
  • Set goals and benchmarks: Digital transformation is data-driven by design. Whether it’s a marketing goal or analyzing internal IT tickets, make sure these goals are measurable over time.
  • Communicate with employees: When a change goes live, don’t forget to collect feedback from users. Changing business culture relies on empowering staff to suggest ideas and make decisions.
  • Specify to the customer experience: For every new process or workflow, ask the question “how will this improve the customer experience?” Continue asking this for every iteration.
  • It’s possible, if not likely that businesses will encounter some internal pushback from somewhere within the organization during a digital transformation process. This is normal! Part of shifting a business culture towards innovation is overcoming the very natural discomfort around change. When encountering roadblocks, empower those who are uncomfortable with the authority to communicate their experience and concerns.

Businesses Don’t Have to Do Digital Transformation Alone

Businesses are experts in their field of work. This means that it’s okay if an organization doesn’t specialize in digital transformation. Today’s market has created excellent conditions for partnerships in business technology. Outsourcing strategic planning and road mapping for digital transformation can help a company discover opportunities and new methods of doing business.

At Smile, we work with organizations to transform their processes from the ground up. Our assessment process involves hardware, software, and business data audit, but it doesn’t stop there. We talk to company leadership and employees personally to discover how business culture and processes work day-to-day. This helps us to learn where the most significant and most fruitful opportunities for digital transformation exist for every client.

Ready to book an assessment with your Smile representative? Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive organizational assessment and start your digital transformation journey.

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