Is transformation a real objective or just a buzzword for your needs?
No matter which area of your business you want to digitally transform, you must have a clear idea of what you expect from that transformation and the steps needed to achieve that transformation.
This is what this blog will focus on. By asking yourself the following 5 questions, you can begin to see the transformation journey ahead of you and identify opportunities for digital transformation.
Question 1 - Why do we need transformation?
As mentioned in our previous blog posts, digital transformation can be a disruptive process to your business. Thus, if the transformation will not benefit your business or your customers in a noticeable, positive way, it could cause more problems than if you had not transformed at all.
A purpose for the transformation must be identified before you even begin the costly process of digital transformation. To identify possible reasons why you need to transform, start by uncovering the challenges your business faces and the barriers to success you have encountered in the past. Now see if you can match those challenges and obstacles to a technological solution. These challenges can be anything from day-to-day tasks, marketing, sales initiatives and data collection.
One of the areas where we advocate digital transformation is marketing. Marketing can take time to uncover data about your leads. You have to create marketing materials, send them out and then monitor them for a positive response or lack thereof. With marketing automation, this process is greatly assisted by tools and technology that help your team accomplish more for less effort. In this case, the answer to "why" would be to create better and more efficient marketing processes and free your marketing team to focus on less repetitive tasks.
However, marketing is just one area where the technology may assist. Certain applications are designed for your sales team, and others may assist finance, for example. Whatever the reason you uncover, identifying the challenges that expose the need for digital transformation makes it easier to create further goals and metrics to define your process's success.
A helpful indicator for this would be to use KPIs to define your success. Technology that helps you get closer to achieving a specific KPI would be a strong case for answering whether you need digital transformation or not.
Some professionals may struggle to find KPIs that best fit their objectives. To this end, we suggest using the "how" process. Here is an extremely basic example for a business that wants to achieve more sales:
- What do you want to accomplish?
- More sales.
- How do you get more sales?
- By getting more leads
- Approaching more customers
- Converting more leads to sales
- What are the KPIs for those?
- Lead generation rate.
- Sales efficiency - the number of prospects addressed.
- Lead conversion rate.
Once you have the KPIs that relate to your desired business strategy, you can begin to examine if the figures indicate whether you need to change or not.
Question 2 - What do I need to achieve to transform?
Now that you have identified why you need transformation, you need to understand what it will take to achieve it. In many instances, the answer to this question is a new tool or application. Other companies may need to gain a solution and train employees on how to use that solution.
Whatever needs to be done, it's critical that you set metrics and objectives you can use to evaluate your performance, your team's adaptability and the success of your new solution. If you have multiple challenges, you should come up with at least one goal for each of them to be accomplished through the transformation. Once you have these goals and objectives you must set timeframes to fully evaluate the success of your new solution, should you decide to digitally transform.
In our previous example of marketing automation, the goal would be to send out more marketing materials - perhaps double - and achieve more marketing related activities. The metric that could be used to evaluate this would be the number of marketing campaigns launched throughout the year after adopting the new technology and the amount of success they bring in at the end of one year.
Once you have identified these metrics and objectives, it will become easier to identify which tools and applications you will need to achieve the transformation.
Question 3 - What do I need to change to meet my objectives?
After understanding what you want to achieve and what that success looks like, it's time to find the tools and technology you need to achieve it. Some of these may be transitional solutions that help you leverage a better position to achieve more permanent change, while others may be new capabilities (transformation) of your business and become permanent fixtures themselves.
The digital transition is the automation of existing processes without changing the fundamentals of that process. It more often than not involves technology integration rather than replacement. Companies that adopt new digital automation techniques or deploy new applications that simplify current processes are digitally transitioning rather than transforming.
Digital transformation refers to more sweeping changes, reengineering processes to take full advantage of new technology that takes more time to implement. While a company in the digital transition process may concern itself with optimising processes with new approaches and tools, a digitally transforming company will seek to replace the processes and the thinking behind them completely.
Digital transition will be less disruptive than transformation, but the transformation will often have longer-lasting effects. Marketing automation will be the tool to assist your marketing team. Still, the other changes you require may include implementing a Customer Relationship Platform (CRM) to help you gather the data you need on your customers. Marketing automation may be used to automate some communications, but you will need to consider a CRM to reap all the benefits of the new platform for true transformation. Implementing a CRM will also require complete changes to your processes, organisation-wide, which is something to consider and evaluate seriously.
Question 4 - Who will be impacted by the transformation?
As with all long-term transformations, you will need to make a few changes to your internal business processes to support your new application or tool. Many of these changes involve a shift in company policy, tweaking the process for general activities, or even creating a new department.
The changes you plan to implement and how radical they are all depend on the kind of transformation you intend to introduce. The key to identifying what aspects need to change to support the transformation is to single out the internal processes and departments that will be affected by the transformation.
In the case of introducing marketing automation, your marketing team would most likely be the most affected. However, you may find that your sales team is also affected by changing the way they interact with the resources that marketing provides for them. They may have to adapt their approach and style to suit the new technology.
The most important aspects of preparing your employees for change are communication, involvement and training.
Companies with senior executives who communicate with employees across all levels of the organisation are 8 times more likely to achieve transformation success than those who don't employ it. In enterprise-wide transformation, this goes up to 12.4 times where senior managers communicate continually with staff.
Due to this, we recommend the following:
- Use clear communication on transformation objectives.
- Show that leadership is embracing change.
- Provide regular and easy access to information.
- Show the visible difference in day-to-day work for employees.
Demonstrating that front-line staff will make or break the transformation is essential to changing the team's mindset towards a collaborative attitude. Employees need to know where they fit in and be engaged in the change to buy into the transformation.
- Letting employees actively use and suggest improvements to the new systems.
- Show recognition of employees who embrace the change.
- Keep all employees updated on changing developments.
- Involving employees wherever possible during the transformation.
56% of HR department heads believe that having professionally certified employees positively impacts their organisation's profitability. With certification also offering benefits to employees both in their day-to-day roles and future careers, future hires look for this as part of a learning and development package to demonstrate that a company is investing in them and their future.
This can be provided in:
- Text-based learning.
Question 5 - What systems and processes will be made redundant after the transformation?
Digital transformation may cause some of your current processes or roles to be redundant or obsolete after the switch. It's essential to identify these processes before beginning the stage of digital transformation. It would help if you repurposed what resources you could and discarded any processes that no longer fulfil a purpose in the company for efficiency.
When dealing with employees who oversee these processes, the transformation should enable new roles and responsibilities that these individuals should be encouraged to take on. Before beginning the digital transformation process, the employees of the affected processes should be consulted and advised on the future of their role.
The real question is… how?
The key to successful digital transformation is preparing your organisation and yourself for the task ahead. Identifying which tools would best serve your interests and which would offer essential competitive advantages without disrupting your operations is the crux of introducing lasting changes to your company.
Here at Demodia, we use 3 simple steps to help you digitally transform your business for the best results possible:
- Book your consultation - This is a free meeting to review your current tools, systems and goals.
- Build your digital tool set - We explain the process and guide you through the tools you'll use. We also support you and help train you to do it yourself.
- Grow your business - Watch the new business roll in through the right tools and applications.
Contact us today, and let us guide you to accomplishing more for your organisation through digital transformation.