The Seven Principles/Components of an effective Digital Transformation Strategy

Technology is undeniably, becoming a front runner in numerous business areas, increasing productivity and efficiency. Thereby allowing early adopters a clear competitive advantage. The term “digital transformation” is often misconstrued as a sudden and radical change from one state to another. But it’s better to think of digital transformation as a gradual transition rather than a transformative change.

So, what are the key components of an effective digital transformation strategy? Stick with us till the end to find out.

1. Align the why of Digital Transformation

The terminology “Digital Transformation” is ambiguous because the methodologies carry a different meaning to different people. Often leaders trust that digital transformation leads with technology. However, the reasons behind implementation are simply pushed back. This is a backward approach – and one we`ve witnessed fail many times. To set digital transformation up for success, it`s critical to define the goals of your commercial enterprise and then begin aligning your digital strategy from there.

A great place to start is with your company’s strategic goals and plans for the future 5-10 years. This starts the discussion of digital transformation from a more effective standpoint, much different from starting with technology. To implement a digital transformation, you must identify compelling business cases and clear business value.

2) Prepare for a Change in Culture

The introduction of digital transformation initiatives is bound to impact employees’ day-to-day work. Identifying projects that truly improve employee efficiency, effectiveness, or productivity (at all levels) is important for digital transformation.

Nicholas Leedar, PTC’s Vice President of Digital Transformation Solutions, said, “It’s not technology at the heart of digital transformation; it’s humans.”

It’s not surprising that there is resistance to change and skepticism about the “new,” so be prepared to deal with that setback. Therefore, having a core team of “cheerleaders” who understand the vision behind a company’s digital transformation will be rewarded in the long run. Remember that all changes bring challenges. Leaders need to foster a culture where everyone learns from mistakes and builds on the success

3) Start Small, But Strategic

Digital transformation is an expedition, not an event, and recognizing the first “proof-of-concept” project is important to prepare for future initiatives and gain the support of leaders and teams.

Barry Lynch, the Senior Vice President of Field Services, mentioned, “it’s called transformation for a reason; it takes time; you’re not going to change everything tomorrow.”

For example, A project that can be tested in a single factory showcases initial proof of value and then quickly expand to other factories or plants. This approach provides an opportunity to increase the value quickly.

4. Mapping out Technology Implementation

Creating a clear roadmap using technology for early and future initiators is a key component of successful digital transformation.

Leeder has a failed technology-driven digital transformation formula.

New Technology + Old Operation = Expensive Old Operation

Leeder further explains that “If you don’t change the processes and cultures of the company, your employees are just enabled by expensive new things.” Therefore, the key takeaway is that digital transformation begins with “business strategy.”

Once the foundation is laid in the first three steps, technology becomes the tool or lever needed to achieve the defined business outcomes. Leeder also states that “you need to build the vision- a big, fantastic vision to build the business case for digital transformation.” However, the first steps always have to be simple to produce measurable results.

5) Seek out Partners and Expertise

Strengthen your core competencies by complementing your strengths and finding partners who comprehend your business. Finding partners that fast-track results and drive ideas is fundamental to attaining digital transformation results.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Do technologies and vendors support scaling?
  • Do vendors and teams have a similar revelation for digital transformation?
  • Can they support you with your long-term strategy?
  • How do you integrate with existing technology?

For example: CSG Technologies has a vibrant partner ecosystem to ensure customers have both solutions and expertise to guide them. Strategic Partnerships, like Microsoft, Sonicwall, and ServiceNow, brings forth definitive advantage to our core technologies and our customers.

6) Collection of feedback & Refining of data as required  

Agility is one of the hallmarks of an organization undergoing digital transformation.

Establishing a strategic roadmap is essential, but the willingness and ability to adapt to outcomes is the ultimate path to success.

As the digital transformation strategy unfolds it’s essential to ensure stakeholders are learning from the experience. Hence why a strong feedback loop is a must. Even though, new technologies may come along, their nature should be flexible and agile enough to respond because like Lynch says “you are not locked in a physical box when it comes to digital transformation.”

7) Scale to Transform

As digital transformation evolves, new possibilities emerge for digital to physical transformation. Consider the opportunity to extend horizontally by applying similar strategies to multiple sites and extend vertically by connecting additional technologies.

Transformations look different from company to company, so digital transformation strategies are very important. Overall, it is a personalized roadmap of where organizational changes are most effective.

By developing an effective, clear and robust strategy, your organization can proceed with digital transformation as seamlessly as possible. A digital transformation strategy is like a personalized map that can make a big difference in your business operations. It requires a lot of financial investment, time and technical know-how. To mitigate risk, it is always helpful to have your team led by highly skilled and experienced technical leaders. Connect with us on Facebook here to begin your digital transformation journey.

Matt Parks

Matt Parks

About the Author: President & CEO, Matt has over 20 years building and leading high functioning teams
delivering exceptional results