01.13.21Agile Organizations Business Strategy
READY FOR A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION?
To ensure you’re selecting technologies that will deliver the outcomes your business is seeking, rely on the insider knowledge of your internal teams.
Technology has the ability to generate previously unimaginable outcomes for organizations. And through digital transformation, it can be strategically infused into key areas of business to solve problems, create opportunities and outpace industry competitors.
Digital transformation can be a large, industry-disrupting evolution or it can be a collection of smaller initiatives that incrementally change the way you operate across your business. Whichever path your company ultimately chooses to pursue, finding success along the way is going to rely on a dedication to changing the way you work and leading with strategy over technology.
To help you navigate the beginning of your digital transformation, we compiled a few best practices for getting started.
START WITH A STRATEGIC FOUNDATION
While emerging technologies are key to digital transformations, they should not be a starting point. Your digital transformation should be guided by a broader business strategy with concrete goals that are set to drive greater business outcomes. To help you start formulating your strategy, here are some key questions you’ll want to address:
- What are the key business goals of my organization?
- What changes are occurring within my industry or customer segments?
- What key outcomes do I want to achieve through digital transformation (e.g., greater automation, operational efficiency, product innovation, etc.)
- Which business goals will a digital transformation support?
- Which areas of my organization have the greatest challenges and/or needs?
- What will success look like and how will I measure it?
- Who will own this endeavor and who will have a seat at the table?
The answers to these questions will ultimately set the stage for the type of change you want to make within your business, which will (as a result) inform your technology needs for achieving your end goals. Keep in mind, the “right mix” of technologies will vary from strategy to strategy and company to company. Which leads us to our next point — there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution.
SOLVE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
While cost- and time-effective up front, off-the-shelf solutions often miss the mark when it comes to making a digital transformation within an organization. The reason for this is because they haven’t been adapted to serve your business’s specific goals and customer needs.
To ensure you’re selecting technologies that will deliver the outcomes your business is seeking, rely on the insider knowledge of your internal teams. No one else will have a better grasp on industry opportunities, customer needs and operational challenges than the people who are in the thick of it day in and day out.
And if you decide to bring in a third-party technology consultant, advocate for a collaborative process — one where your internal team’s insight is heard and considered during the discovery, selection and development of a technological solution.
HELP YOUR TEAM EMBRACE THE CHANGE
Some organizations can become resistant to a digital transformation if the employees feel like a new technology threatens their position at the company — especially if the news comes as a top-down directive. To help your team overcome these fears, it’s important for everyone to have accountability.
Your internal teams are the beating heart of your business, and there is no digital transformation without their cooperation and collaboration. Include your team in the planning process and allow them to help define how the digital transformation will take place (i.e., how the tools and technologies will be implemented). Leave the door open for them to explore ways in which they can integrate technology into their current workflows. And finally, trust their insight on what will work and what won’t. After all, they’re more in tune with the daily operations of your business and success will be more likely if they feel like they have a say (and ownership) in the matter.
KEEP THE PROCESS AGILE
Remember, the last question you should ask when formulating a digital transformation strategy: “Who will own this endeavor and who will have a seat at the table?” It’s an important one.
The process of digital transformation needs room for trial and error and rapid prototyping, which requires an agile organizational structure that the typical company hierarchy often can’t support. When you’re innovating, changes happen fast. And when those changes have to be run up the decision ladder every time, bottlenecks are inevitable — impeding progress and creating unnecessary roadblocks.
To stay agile, empowering your teams to make decisions without the need of upper management’s approval is key — as long as those decisions are still working toward achieving business goals. Having this type of autonomy will allow your team to explore ideas, test technologies and work out the kinks before a new technology is fully adopted. Making room for an iterative process will also lead to early progress and results.
Ultimately, a digital transformation will require the courage to try, fail and try again. But as long as you begin with a solid strategy and clearly defined goals, you’ll be one step ahead. For more information about jump starting a digital transformation, give us a shout.