How can your organisation build solid fundamentals for digital transformation?

It is beyond question that all organisations are now operating in the new digital economy. The challenge to remain accessible, relevant and profitable to an ever-evolving customer base is gathering pace and complexity and the importance of getting digital transformation right – and sustainable – is paramount.

However it is not easy to achieve digital transformation, as the new working environment is getting increasingly complex. Whilst digital transformation is not a one size fits all there are some emerging fundamentals on how to approach it that are worth noting. These fundamentals include customer focus, acknowledging the on-going nature of digital transformation, ownership from the top, encouraging agile project delivery techniques and delivering back office innovation as part of the program.

Some of these key considerations that should be in scope when planning for a successful digital transformation are explored in more detail below:

Know thy customer

Knowledge of your customer is the foundation stone for any future digital transformation. So what do you need to really understand? The fundamentals include:

  • Knowledge of how they interact with products and services
  • Which platforms are they using now and may use in the future?
  • Are they early adopters?
  • What is their level of satisfaction?

A whole industry is emerging around capturing data to understand the Customer Experience (CX). The key is that once captured, using data analytics to discern market segmentations and trends helps organisations to develop a roadmap of projects to meet the customer’s new requirements. This is a very complex area and is driving the rise of the Digital Information Officer (DIO), which we will revisit in a future article.

It has to be top down

The digital transformation needs to be raised to the corporate level. In many organisations, digital transformation is a bottom-up affair, which creates silos of unconnected activity and leads to both duplication of effort and also gaps appearing in digital offerings. It’s the worst of both worlds.

However, the most critical impact of this lack of a common purpose is the creation of an enterprise architecture that is unsustainable and does not ultimately meet the digital needs of the organisation – now or into the future.

Elevating and then driving all digital transformations from the corporate level will reduce many of the above risks.

It’s never over, even when it’s over

Unlike, say, the traditional implementation of an ERP the execution of a digital transformation is an on-going activity. Due to the constant of ‘’change’’ there is no point at which an organisation can stop transforming digitally, the market dictates this is an on-going process.

Organisations will need to have the right tools and discipline to constantly monitor the effectiveness of their digital operations and have established governance structures to process and manage future changes.

Digital is also for the back office

Whilst the focus should always be first and foremost on the customer there are significant benefits to be gained from the digital transformation of internal processes as well as the customer-facing processes. Transforming internal processes can drive down costs, increase efficiencies and create new opportunities within an organisation for better collaboration.

Create an environment to stay ahead of the game

In the new digital world, the need to innovate is more critical than ever. In business success is often achieved by anticipating the market trends and becoming an early adopter of new technologies.

Use agile delivery techniques and skunkworks where appropriate to try and stay if not ahead of the curve at least keep up with it. Being innovative is critical and we have previously written about the emerging need of creating this innovative environment for your project delivery teams to operate within.

Expand your offerings

Similar to the above point on innovation don’t be restricted to simply continuing to provide your current offerings. Use your new digital platforms to investigate new products and services. Investigate potential new digital businesses and look to leverage the digital platform to reshape your organisation’s boundaries.

Digital transformation is still evolving

Whilst the above list is not exhaustive it does provide a solid foundation of the critical characteristics of successful digital transformation. We would also recommend you read widely on the topic as we here at Quay do. Digital transformation is still in the process of being properly understood by all players in the market.

There are lots of resources out there, some not always accurate, but for more in-depth information we recommend some of the analysis that is currently coming out of Capgemini.

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To speak to our team about how we can help your business deliver better projects, please contact us.

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Quay Consulting is a professional services business specialising in the project landscape, transforming strategy into fit-for-purpose delivery. Meet our team ...