A Roadmap for Digital Transformation
Many organizations begin discussions about Digital Transformation from a technology lens. E.g, “I would like my business to be a cloud-enabled, leverage microservices architecture, or enable the field staff to improve productivity through mobile solutions.” The issue with this? What they achieve is only a technology transformation rather than the digital transformation. It will soon become obvious that the results obviously do not meet expectations, and the transformation will be a failure. When it comes down to it, digital transformation is much more about transforming the Business more than it ever is simply transforming the technology.
Digital transformation should be approached in the context of profitably addressing a white space, creating new markets where none existed before or capturing new customers whom the business never served before or are currently underserved. With this thinking, technology becomes the enabler for delivering the service; not the pivot for the transformation.
Here are a few key principles for creating a true digital transformation:
What is the organization’s purpose? What is the impact they want to create? This can be a great anchor to measure any solution or technology as the transformation moves from concept to solution.
The theme of transformation:
What is the theme of digital transformation? Is it to drive innovation? Is it to improve productivity, reduce cost, increase quality? These need to be fully discussed and determined. Without it, you will soon realize that your transformation has only resulted in a brand-new technology and fully lacking the business benefits.
When you begin the transformation journey, be open to new business models. Because along your journey you may introduce new services, serve new customers, etc. Do not force your existing business model to fit these new services because it may eventually fail. New innovative services may require new business models.
What are the parameters on which the industry competes today? How can you chart a new competition curve that can potentially disrupt the current competitive dynamics? Does your transformation help you achieve that disruption?
What is your current value proposition? What is the value proposition you aim to deliver? This can be seen in the context of purpose. Do you want to create economic value, social value, environmental value?
Customer Journey Mapping:
What are the steps that a customer goes through today to consume your product or service? Reimagine this journey in a “digital first” world. The objective should be to reduce friction and enable customers to buy in the least amount of time.
Finally, empathize with your customers both current and future. Developing customer empathy helps you look at your business in a completely new perspective, ensuring you deliver a top-notch customer experience. Keep these topics in mind and let them serve as touch points to ensure that your digital transformation plan truly transforms your business and not just your technology.