Digital transformation is not only about technology or disruption. A true digital transformation is about change – a profound change of business and organizational processes, workflows, models, and even competencies that enables an organization to leverage a variety of technologies to strategically create present and future value for end-customers. While technology is great, an organizations’ end-goal is their ability to continue creating value for their customers, and none of that would be possible or sustainable without a solid plan.
Plan Your Digital Transformation
Initiating a digital transformation is not as simple as purchasing new technology or hiring a developer. Organizations must fully understand the level of effort that will be required to support such a radical shift, and whether they’re prepared to navigate the disruptions to come. A recent study by Deloitte shows that less than half of managers and executives surveyed believe that their organizations are ready.
Preparing for a digital transformation starts with a thorough assessment of the current environment. It’s challenging for any individual or organization to try and fix a problem when they don’t know what that problem is. And even when a problem is apparent, many will struggle to understand why or will not have the resources readily available to achieve their target outcome(s). Being detailed in this initial assessment will provide organizations with a strong foundation that will shape subsequent planning initiatives, and will help to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (or S.W.O.T), including, but not limited to:
- Existing Digital Resources
- Digital Resource Capabilities
- Risk Potentials
- Customer Journey Objectives
- Value Migration Opportunities
Work Your Digital Transformation Plan
The information gathered from thoroughly assessing the current environment enables organizations to define a future vision with a clearer understanding of the gaps between the current state and vision to set strategic goals. These initial goals will not be perfect, as they rarely are, so organizations should expect to identify new resources and processes along the way that will reshape their future vision.
Organizations who understand the gaps and opportunities needed to complete their goals will be able to establish a roadmap where those gaps can be turned into projects and arranged into a measurable timeline. The roadmap is essentially the large project that’s made up smaller projects and tasks. Establishing who will be responsible for each project/task, and when those deliverables are due will help organizations prioritize and maintain organization throughout the digital transformation process.
Defining a future vision for an organizations’ post-digital transformation will be harder than defining the initial roadmap. There are many factors to consider that can affect how organizations’ frame and ultimately map out their visions. Ranging from the human elements such as employees and customers to restructuring Information Technology (IT) competencies to industry and market innovations, these variables are constantly changing which can challenge an organizations’ transformation success if these factors aren’t kept top of mind throughout the planning stages.
An organizations’ roadmap should be the final product of continuous collaboration and engagement with key stakeholders, managers, and IT professionals. Once plans have been solidified, the next step is to get the organizations’ buy-in for final sign-off by presenting the plans to the CEO and executive management, and sharing the information during budget meetings. Organizations should be prepared for pushback, and potentially revisiting those initial plans to incorporate sustainability measures and implementation strategies. In the end, organizations that prioritize and invest their time into these planning stages will be better equipped for success throughout their digital transformation.