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6 Tips to Spearheading Your Next Digital Transformation

July 17th, 2019 by admin

According to IDC, 40% of all technology spending will go toward digital transformations, with enterprises spending more than $2 trillion through 2019. But what exactly is that money funding? Things like integrated CRM, marketing, and customer service platforms are often a focus of such an initiative. Re-platforming on new technologies is critical when your business has outgrown its current setup. Forrester Research recommends a disruptive approach to transformation that includes everything from incremental improvements to moonshot approaches. Here we drill down into digital transformation strategies and offer some tips to make your next big move a success.

Defining Digital Transformation

Man's finger pressing down on a tablet overlaid with a blue-tinged digital grid and hexadecimal numbers in columns

Digital transformations occur when an organization needs to rethink how their business uses technology, people, and processes to get things done. When you realize the multi-platforms, you had used ten-years ago can now be replaced by one all-inclusive work center that will speed and maximize efficiencies across the organization, it’s time to pack up and move on over to the new, more robust solution. But often there is fear and anxiety around making such a big change. These kinds of large changes are typically undertaken in pursuit of new business models and new revenue streams, driven by changes in customer expectations around products and services or to simplify business processes and fix inconsistencies or errors.

Companies often embark on digital transformations to counter the potential for disruption from incumbents and startups. A great example of this is Uber’s takeover of the transportation sector, forcing everyone from taxi companies to car rental providers to figure out how to incorporate similar ride-sharing or other on-demand services, including bikes and scooters, into their business models.

Due to fear of being outmaneuvered by more efficient and tech-savvy competitors, companies are seeking to accelerate innovation, experimenting with new digital services and capabilities to supplement existing offerings or to slide into adjacent markets of beef-up their current offerings.

Leading Your Digital Transformation with Confidence

To meet shifting customer expectations, many CIOs are aligning with key executives or an outsourced IT partner like ICX to make this business-critical technology changes a reality. One of the first things companies should do before embarking on a digital transformation is answer the critical question: What business outcomes do you want to achieve for customers? Once you have a clear framework for your business case in mind, you can move forward to the strategic planning phase.

Digital Transformation Tips

Be bold when setting the scope. Successful digital transformations are 1.5 times more likely than others to be enterprise-wide in scale. Create a multi-phase plan to implement everything you want and create a realistic timeline and budget to get the company across the finish line.

Focus on a clear set of objectives. Whether you’re transforming an existing model or starting from scratch, leaders must reach a consensus on the best path to pursue.

Embrace adaptive design. The days of upfront investment requirements and rigid KPIs are over. Adaptive design enables technology departments to pursue monthly or even weekly tweaks to the transformation strategy, including reallocating talent on different projects as-needed. Create a compartmentalized back-end infrastructure so you can pull down and modify pieces as business goals shift without taking down the entire workforce.

Be agile in execution. Be ready to make some mistakes and learn from them on-the-fly. That is how you will overcome the inevitable unforeseen challenges to make the transformation happen.

Disrupt yourself. Successful digital transformation requires preemptive changes rather than reacting to competitive pressures or disruptors, so be proactive and look at where you are today and what challenges are being brought up by various departments. Then, plan to get ahead of these challenges by disrupting the status quo today. Do not wait for it to fall apart tomorrow to act.

Change is critical. Regardless of the businesses’ goals, budget, timeline or infrastructure, having a strong bias toward change is critical. Change is what fuels growth and innovation, so as the CIO or technology leader of your organization, take the need for change as an opportunity to do it better.

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