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How to Successfully Embark On Digital Transformation As A Non-Technical Business Owner

Key Points:

  • Digital transformation is the top-of-mind leadership objective for many businesses.
  • The concept has bounced around boardroom tables, company meetings, and nearly all organizations over the last decade.
  • However, many businesses still view digital transformation strategies as a way to differentiate themselves and curve a competitive edge.
  • During the pandemic, digital transformation was just a side effect, but today it’s the driving force of the market.
  • While Covid drove unplanned digital reinvention, businesses today have the opportunity to make intentional changes.

Business models are changing across all industries, with their leaders turning to tech to grow their margins and engage customers. Many organizations are burning with a desire to adopt massive digital transformation. However, most companies lack a clear strategy to make the adoption a reality.

Although most business leaders have a rough idea of where they want to go digitally, they don’t have clear roadmaps. In too many cases, they cannot drive the massive adoption of digital transformation.

To help clear the clutter, we’ll address some common digital transformation issues to help business owners, CIOs, and IT leaders evolve with the market and deliver ever-increasing value to customers.

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Digital Transformation At Its Core

Digital transformation will look different for every organization. However, the term generally describes integrating digital technology into all areas of your organization to change how you operate and deliver value to customers.

Even though ticking off tasks on your to-do list is extremely satisfying, digital transformation is an ongoing journey and goes beyond the simple one-and-done checklist. You might have precise tasks leading up to the digital transformation launch and check them off, but the benefits of digital transformation come with a long-term commitment to the process.

You Must Transform Digitally to Compete In The High-Paced Consumer Market

Digital transformation is undergoing massive adoption. While the process isn’t necessarily new, the urgency to adapt to the changing landscape is pressing.

Dating back to the 1940s, the corporate world has continued to evolve by adapting to tech advancement. Today, however, digital transformation isn’t an option for any business. The world is digital, and it isn’t going back.

Organizations are using technology to:

  • Reinvent their business models
  • Address critical societal needs
  • Create new areas for market growth
  • Solve global issues around climate change, food security, health, and inequality

In the 21st century, every organization is expected to be a digitally powered company, or you’ll lag behind your competitors.

Many Lag Behind For Believing Digital Transformation is Implementing Random Tech Stack

Only 14% of companies are digital leaders. Many are left behind because company heads believe that digital transformation:

  • Is a multi-layered process
  • Solely rely on technology
  • Difficult to implement

If anything, digital transformation is less about tech tools and more about restructuring organizational structure. Digital transformation is a clear strategy that includes objectives, and scopes, developing team structures that allow collaboration, and investing in a flexible work environment.

The process involves transforming businesses that operate in the analog world into organizations that can survive and thrive in a metaverse world.

Practices in Digital Transformation

According to a recent study by Deloitte, 85% of businesses that massively adopted digital transformation during the pandemic cannot figure out their overall digital transformation strategy and progress.

While there is widespread agreement on the importance of digital transformation, there’s less clarity on what organizations can do. An excellent place to start is familiarizing with common practices organizations execute when launching digital transformation.

1. Elimination of Manual Steps in Repetitive Processes

The best place to start digital transformation is anywhere you have repetitive or routine processes. Map out your current business processes and find those you can replace with powerful digital tools.

For instance, healthcare, construction, and utility providers can utilize workflow automation software to streamline many paper-based processes that often slow down work speed. With real-time data processing capabilities, the software can help organizations do more with less by transforming tasks that initially required several workers to complete.

The same applies to document co-authoring solutions. Instead of workers manually converting digital information from one format to another, they can co-author documents to:

  • Improve transparency
  • Allow dynamic interaction
  • Eliminate error-prone reconciliations and format conversion
  • Save time by allowing real-time collaboration rather than waiting for sequential edits

2. Picking the Right Technology

The technology your organization invests in determines the success of your digital transformation efforts. Transforming with the wrong tech can cost your organization since you’ll heavily rely on technology to make decisions.

Instead, you can gradually replace legacy systems and align technology to your business goal. Regardless of the tech you settle for, ensure the following:

  • The technology enhances customer experience
  • You match technology against established process
  • Your technology is easy to use for your internal users and suppliers
  • The tool speeds up processing throughout all areas of your business
  • Your technology allows rapid project delivery without sacrificing quality
  • The technology can adapt and scale against potential business growth and market dynamics.

With daily tech advancement, you need to look beyond the buzzword and ensure that what you’re adopting adds value in the near and long term.

3. Investing in Flexibility and Experimentation

Staying on top of the digital curve will call for changing course at a moment’s notice. To do so successfully, you must know when to pivot and when to experiment with new solutions.

You need to train your team to embrace flexibility.  Your employees should be ready and willing to adopt new strategies, open to experimenting with new processes, and be prepared to evolve to help your business find growth, even in uncertain periods.

Don’t Leave Everything to Your Tech Team

For many business owners, it’s tempting to leave digital transformation to your tech team. However, most tech departments focus on keeping the lights on and are busy with tasks.

Your IT team might lack the capacity for big-picture future planning to drive digital transformation successfully.

Instead of overburdening the team, you can support them by bringing in an external partner to:

  • Support them
  • Advocate for them
  • Help them communicate with every stakeholder

If you don’t know who to turn to, you can seek implementation from your CIO. If your CIO has limited capabilities, you can consult a specialist digital transformation advisor to educate your executive and board members about technology.