Digital transformation (DX) describes the process of moving from an analog world into the age of digitization. A "digital transformation strategy” lays the foundation of this process on the one hand and provides a guide through the digital transformation of your company on the other.
This blog post takes a closer look at digital transformation strategies and presents you with seven principles to develop a sound digital transformation strategy.
No digital transformation without a digital transformation strategy
A digital transformation strategy outlines how you can overcome challenges that emerge when fusing the human, physical, and digital worlds.
A company's digital transformation is a holistic process that affects almost every area of the business. A DX strategy is akin to an ongoing, broad-based business strategy. So you need to re-evaluate your digital transformation strategy at regular intervals and adjust it if necessary. That will ensure your digital transformation unearths more agility, innovative products and service offerings, and operational efficiency.
The seven success factors of a digital transformation
To put your company's digital transformation on a solid, long-term foundation, these seven steps will help.
- Define needs and goals
Probably the biggest success factor for a digital transformation is a shared understanding. What is digital transformation all about? And why is it so important? The most common mistake made when developing a digital transformation strategy is assuming that technology determines the DX. Instead, first define business goals and needs, then determine the best technology to achieve them. A successful approach will align the transformation strategy and technology with your company's strategic goals for the next few years.
- Digital transformation means change
Every employee must be prepared for change. This is the most important of all digital strategy steps. Change is always accompanied by some degree of uncertainty and skepticism - especially if the targeted goals and their justifications are not sufficiently communicated. Remember that the heart of a digital transformation is people, not technology. Identifying projects that will increase your team's efficiency while making everyday work easier is an essential part of the DX Strategy. That might also mean replacing legacy software and training your employees for new software.
- Small, actionable goals get you started
Any informed change is a journey, not an event. This also applies to the digital transformation of your company. To avoid losing motivation on this long journey, it helps initially to focus your digital transformation strategy on short, achievable goals. If a DX project shows success after a short period of time, the entire DX transformation gains momentum.
- Plan tech implementations
When you apply old or even redundant workflows to new technologies, you end up with old workflows that cost a lot of money unnecessarily. But that only happens if your strategy is based on technology, not your business strategy. In the beginning, only invest in technologies without which DX is not feasible in your business. A roadmap that identifies technologies for initial and future digital strategy actions will help greatly.
- Select expertise carefully
There will be phases in the DX where you will not proceed without external expertise. Sounding out the right partners in advance is one of the most important success factors of digital transformation. Rely on experienced experts who know your line of business and strengthen your core competencies.
- Build in feedback loops and enable adjustments
Define KPIs (key performance indicators) for each project so each team member knows which success factors must be met. Set up feedback loops so lessons can be learned from mistakes and experiences. KPIs and feedback loops enable you to continuously adapt and optimize your digital transformation strategy.
- Digital transformation is a work in progress
With the seventh digital transformation step, your company's DX is already in full swing. Use the initial results and successes to give the other steps of your digital transformation strategy a boost. Additional opportunities open up during the course of a DX to improve connections between people, products, technologies, and processes. Take advantage of those new connections to evolve your DX strategy.
Digital infrastructure and tools and the digital transformation strategy
For many companies, their digital transformation strategy impacts a variety of local digital infrastructures. For example, even in globally active companies, digital infrastructures end at the front door of individual locations or business branches. Each branch uses its own programs, systems, templates, etc., which work locally but are not compatible at an international level. An enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy is therefore difficult to implement.
This is where tools like our empower® solutions offer a remedy. The empower® MS Office add-ins enable simple, location-independent sharing, editing, and saving of documents and templates. In addition, empower® ensures the uniform appearance of your company, reduces your team’s workload, and facilitates the implementation of your digital transformation strategy.
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