The current health crisis greatly disrupted the global economy. Corporate offices in many countries suddenly became home-based offices. Economic activities nearly shut down due to the pandemic.
But today, the same crisis is creating a new environment – one that challenges the skills and knowledge of IT professionals.
This is an opportunity to provide services related to processes, reporting, customer records, and efficiency.
Digital channels are now the primary and, for some, the sole model for customer engagement. It is now also the primary driver of productivity in automated processes.
According to a study by McKinsey, the pandemic has accelerated digitalization in many enterprises and businesses by at least 7 years.
This is foreseen to change the course of many business models in unpredictable ways. So, how will IT professionals keep things on track and prepare enterprises for the new phase in their growth?
Digital transformation is the key
It’s clear that the disruptions in the work environment can only be addressed by accelerating digitalization in the enterprise. Specialist solution providers are helping many enterprises address the disruption and maximize the impact of digital transformation, providing easy-to-deploy solutions that are agile and scalable.
As often explained, digital transformation (DX) implements modern technology as the trigger of radical change within the enterprise. DX expects leaders in the industry to rethink their operations and business strategies to steer their business towards continuous growth.
State of urgency
Suddenly the world changed due to the health crisis. With the digital environment becoming more prominent as the world grapples with the pandemic, it becomes apparent that it is time to further the use of technology and bring forward digitalization plans and strategies that may have been put on hold.
It is now necessary to survive and thrive. Digital transformation is one of the key drivers to keep businesses growing.
Corporate leaders, IT professionals, and other stakeholders should take on new roles and leadership opportunities. You might consider some of these ideas.
- With the sudden shift to virtual interactions and operations, it is an opportune time to learn more and adopt the technologies in running business processes and operations.
- Normally, enterprises will consider the risks when testing new technologies. But with the state the economy is in, the need for heightened use of technology becomes a priority. Now it is more important to experiment and find the best solution, while observing the effects, such as user experience, and the rate of conversion, satisfaction, or engagement.
- More enterprises will need to focus on automation and remote workforces. Businesses must continue to operate and they should remain productive to ensure growth. Thus, it’s time to focus more on automation, as we do not know when the situation will go back to normal. It is prudent to believe that maintaining remote workforces will become part of normal business operations, for a few more years, at least.
- Learn to handle difficulties and turn them into opportunities. Digital solutions will help you identify difficulties in the implementation. Understand how to use predictive analytics to adjust your resources in response to the current needs and improve your future performance.
- The digital market is getting crowded. Thus you need to be a few steps ahead of your competitors. The market can be volatile. Therefore it is vital to review customer, marketing, and industry data quickly. You need to be in the center of things and continuously evaluate the changing needs of your stakeholders and your customers. Establish a single data source to collect information about every stakeholder – your employees, customers, supply chains, channel partners, including the different ecosystems wherein your enterprise takes part.
Combining digital transformation strategy and technology
It is no longer effective to merely go digital to achieve business transformation. What enterprises need right now is to establish a digital transformation strategy.
Such a strategy, for many companies, is a way to transform their business and streamline their processes.
Businesses are using technologies to improve their interaction with employees and customers, and at the same time, deliver a high level of customer experience.
Planning is very critical right now. It is something that you should not overlook. According to a study by Gartner, for instance, the lack of a digital transformation strategy is one of the biggest obstacles preventing a company from reaching digital maturity.
Building a digital transformation strategy
For an enterprise that is new to digital transformation, a digital transformation strategy is a critical document. It contains the outline of the enterprise’s digital initiative and business objectives. Its development involves several vital steps.
- Assessing your business
This is the first step that you should not miss. Ensure that you do a detailed and thorough assessment of the current status of your business. In this first assessment, include your enterprise’s strategic objectives, key performance indicators, and the significant opportunities for growth.
- Research your industry sector and competitors
After completing your business assessment, figure out how you stand against your direct competitors. You should also learn how you stand within your sector. Determine if your competitors are also planning to do digital transformation and what solutions they will deploy. It’s vital to learn the new tools and technologies your industry implements. Moreover, it’s vital to the development of your digital transformation strategy to fully comprehend the market and pinpoint the opportunities that will contribute to your business growth.
- Give priority to digital initiatives
Since every digital initiative will vary in scope, resources and ROI, rank their priority according to their value, impact, and approximate effort. Test the viability of the digital solution you want to implement with smaller projects using the essential features you need.
- Map out the delivery plan
Your delivery plan must include the direction for each digital initiative, the required resources, and the guidelines for measuring the results. Essentially you should identify all the development and delivery processes so you can develop the standard practices applicable to the entire enterprise.
- Develop a budget plan
Allocate sufficient budget, because this is one aspect that prevents many enterprises from implementing their digital transformation.
In creating a DX budget, ensure that you factor in the anticipated delays, as well as the availability of new technologies that will necessitate changes in your DX investments.
- Build a resource plan
When you undergo digital transformation, your resources not only include technology. You need human resources as well, and you will invest in their excellent skills and mindset to deploy your DX strategy. Assess your available human resources so you can assemble your DX team. You may need to hire new talents to ensure the attainment of your company’s digital initiative.
It won’t work without digital leadership
You have your digital transformation strategy and you have the resources. But your plan will not work if you do not have a leader to see its implementation. Your business will not grow if everything is on paper. So what do you do?
Rank the initiatives according to priority and set reasonable time frames for the modifications and future changes to take effect. Identify the people within the enterprise who will be responsible for completing the tasks included in the DX strategy.
Each employee should support the initiative and have a clear idea of their particular tasks and the steps they should do to gain measurable results.
You must create a digital transformation strategy amid market uncertainty to ensure your continuous growth. Be realistic in assessing your business and in identifying the growth opportunities.
Facilitate the transition with a robust digital transformation platform that is scalable and flexible that will respond to market shifts.
Realize that the growth of new processes will affect your digital transformation, so prepare to tweak and improve your strategy as you adapt and change your methods.