The digital transformation process is complex and multi-layered, but it comes with the promise of lower costs of day-to-day operations, greater employee productivity, seamless internal and external communication, faster digital product deployment, and above all, improved customer satisfaction. All of these improvements lead to one particular advantage many companies are looking for: a stronger market position compared to their competitors.
The multiple promises of digital transformation make it an enticing option for companies today, but only when done correctly, and with a thorough plan in place. Without a strategy and without ongoing adaptation measures, companies risk endangering their operations, and a slew of processes that digitalization is meant to simplify. Understanding some of the most common mistakes can help you prevent them altogether.
1. Not having a set goal for transformation
Are you moving forward with digitalization for the sake of the latest AI-based tool that has impressed your entire IT team, or are you implementing this business-shifting solution for the sake of establishing a stronger foothold in the industry? Too many companies fail to perceive the technology for what it is: a means to an end, but not the end itself.
Yes, your various digital solutions will enhance the productivity, cost-effectiveness, and service quality of your company, but they’re not the goal of the digital transformation. In order to truly reach your goals, you need to establish and monitor the KPIs for this major transition, and select the appropriate tools that will fit that overarching purpose.
2. A selective approach to cloud migration
No digital transformation can go ahead without allowing a business to utilize the full capability of cloud technology and its immense scalability that allow for seamless business growth, better collaboration, and enhanced security. A common mistake is only moving a portion of your tools and operations to the cloud.
To truly maximize the potential of digitalization, businesses should utilize all-encompassing cloud enablement services that would allow your entire IT and business infrastructure to migrate to the cloud. This particular strategy allows businesses to prevent leaving any of their key applications or processes behind. Thanks to thorough planning, a seamless transition to the cloud is possible without incremental, step-by-step transitions that could lead to missteps.
3. No employee training and preparation
Different stakeholders in this transition will need to brace themselves for changing their roles in the future. This means the technology involved in the transition will not be the only significant factor; your people will most likely need to go through strategic training protocols in order to adapt to the new processes and master the use of various new software solutions, digital platforms, and communication channels, all in the service of a smoother digital transformation.
4. Failing to involve third parties in the process
Although some companies tend to leave out entire departments from the process and only implement digitalization within their IT department, some companies include all of their in-house assets. Yet, they fail to include another vital, external piece of the puzzle: third-party entities that will be affected by the transition. From your vendors, business partners, to your suppliers, there’s an entire network of third-party stakeholders that need to be in the loop.
Since they communicate with your business on a regular basis, they need to know how those interactions will be affected, what their roles will include in the future, and how they need to adapt to the new, digital-based operations. That said, you should establish the necessary protocols for everything, including invoicing, reporting, receipt collection, and anything that will be affected by the transformation.
5. Copying your competitors to keep up
Whether you’ve decided to go with the transition for the sake of greater IT process automation or lower operational costs down the line, you might feel tempted to look into the solutions that your competitors have already implemented, tried, tested, and approved of so far. This is a good strategy for selecting something in line with your industry and business model, but it’s certainly not something you should focus on too heavily.
Remember, every IT operation is different, and as such, it deserves a separate evaluation of the best way to move forward with digital transformation. Sure, take into account your competitors and their strategies, but don’t limit yourself to their application of AI, machine learning, or whatever it is they’re using. Give it your own personal touch to fit the business strategy.
Going digital can mean a slew of different things to your business, but the process certainly involves a few common steps that will help you get through the transition more smoothly without leaving any department stranded or any employee unable to manage the new operation procedures. As you move through your digital transformation journey, make sure the business is ready, focused on the right goals, and armed with the right technology to support such a major transition towards business growth and even more stability in the future.