Factors and Stages of Digital Transformation
As I mentioned in one of my first articles, What is digital transformation?, The evolution of society and technology go hand in hand, and is affecting companies. To all types of companies, large and small. In this article, I want to emphasize the different factors and stages of digital transformation.
Digital transformation stages
The digital transformation is a great challenge for companies, especially for the big companies, where processes are much slower than in SMEs.
1st Stage, Immobilism
There are many companies that think that digitization will arrive automatically, and that having a web page is enough. In this stage the companies continue the same as before, same processes, same business model and same behavior. Nothing changes for them.
2nd Stage, Consciousness
Sooner or later the company realizes that it is necessary to take a step forward for the digitalization. Either because new sap has arrived at the highest levels of the sector, or because the competition has taken a step forward. In this case it is important that the entire company realize the importance of this process. An important factor is that the digital transformation must follow a descending procedure. That is, it must start with the CEO up to the employees.
Social networks have changed the way of understanding communication between customers and companies. People want speed before their doubts and it is no longer valid to send an email and have them respond within 3 days. The immediacy has given social networks unimaginable power 10 years ago.
3rd Stage, Definition of the digitalization strategy
A responsible team is created to manage and direct the digital transformation of the company. For this it is important to take into account 3 factors:
Leader: it is important to have a person immersed in the digital and business world. Not everyone can manage the changes that lie ahead. We must not forget that the future of the company depends on this process.
Resources: it is essential to make a strong investment in this section. When we talk about resources we talk about tools that facilitate communication, courses about agile methodologies and different courses to achieve greater efficiency in the processes.
Investment: As I said before, you should not skimp on expenses when it comes to achieving an effective digitalization at all levels.
In order for the company’s digitalization strategy to be more successful, it is important to set short and long-term objectives. The ultimate goal will be nothing other than to improve the customer experience as much as possible. This experience becomes the reason for the change.
4th Stage, Transformation of the organization and Human Resources
As I said before, the process must be downward, so the first stages of digital transformation must start at the top of the companies, and the human resources department. We all know how are the processes of selection in large companies. Slow, heavy, long and in many cases not very successful.
5th Stage, implementation of the digitalization strategy in the company
Once the digitization strategy has been planned and approved by the council, it is time to start it. The digital transformation involves the automation of processes, which will cause our entire team to have more strategic notions. The best way to achieve this change is with the completion of specialized courses in the tasks that interest us. From more general aspects such as agile methodologies or new communication tools, such as SLACK, to new techniques to increase productivity.
6th Stage, Culture of change
One of the most important factors and stages of the digital transformation is this last stage. Once the first 5 stages of the digital transformation have been completed, the last one begins, which should never end. The company has changed, both its way of working, and its mentality. The necessary roles and processes must be established so that innovation within the company is constant.
Digital transformation factors
Once we have talked about the different stages of digital transformation, it is time to talk about the most relevant aspects and factors of the digital transformation. Without these the whole process mentioned above will not have a happy ending.
1º Key factor of the digital transformation. vision
The process of digitalization of an organization only succeeds when there is a change of vision in the direction of it. It is the CEO and the entire board of directors the engine of this process. Therefore, it is necessary to rethink the business vision, and transmit it to the entire organization. The success of this cultural change of the company will be marked by the commitment of the managers.
2nd Key factor of digital transformation. People
The digital transformation is not a technological change, but it is a new global perspective, a change in the culture of the company. After all, companies are employees, people, hence the importance of these in any process of change within a company.
Human beings are somewhat reluctant to change, especially if they are not obligatory. That is why it is so important to let them understand the importance, opportunity and advantages that the digital transformation will offer to the company. It will be important to create less vertical structures within the company, encourage collaboration and the delivery of different digital materials, among many others.
On the other hand, it will also be important to incorporate specialized personnel in the change process into the team. A CDO (Chief Digital Officer), CTO (Chief Technology Officer) or CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). To get that great talent it is fundamental, as I mentioned above, that the human resources department change.
3rd Key factor of digital transformation. lient
The consumer of today has nothing to do with that of 5 years ago, and surely it will not resemble the one in 10. Digital interaction is mandatory in 2018, the multi-channel presence. If this does not exist, or is not well optimized it can cause discomfort in our clients.
It has to focus on the customer experience. This requires the use of CRMs, with which we will study and meet our customers. In addition, they must be present in the appropriate social networks, and give them a good use.
4th Key factor of digital transformation. Metrics
To finish with the factors and stages of the digital transformation, I will talk about the metrics. When planning and carrying out a strategy, it is essential to measure the results. We must take into account the results we want to achieve and the investment we are willing to make. We will have to select a series of Kpi’s in which to focus and we will have to draw up a scorecard with the most important information. Some examples of these metrics can be: quality of service, response time, percentage of new tools used …
As we have seen in this article, digital transformation is not synonymous with technology as such, but is synonymous with customer satisfaction, the employee and the company itself. There can always be other factors and stages of digital transformation, but I stress the most interesting and useful ones, at least for me. This process is an important step for the company, so it is necessary to trust a digital transformation expert. I trust, along with the article of introduction to digital transformation, that this article will help those people or companies that have not yet taken the step of digitizing the company.
See you in the next article!