Digital transformation has shifted from being a buzzword to a strategy essential for long term success. Business leaders understand that digital transformation doesn’t just touch the IT department, in order to make an impact it needs to be an enterprise-wide effort. 

The businesses that are seeing the best returns on the digital transformation investment, are using it as a guiding principle for technology, culture, and business operations decisions. 

“89% of IT decision-makers feel their digital innovation investments have been “moderately or very successful” by improving their standing in the market and/or their financial performance.” – 2019 Insight Intelligent Technology Index

Whether you are just beginning your digital transformation initiative, or are in the middle of full system overhauls, here are 4 tips to accelerate digital transformation.

4 Tips to Accelerate Digital Transformation

1. Get in alignment

While this first tip might seem obvious, it’s one of the more difficult challenges that businesses going through digital transformation face. As with any project, departments and leaders often have different goals and timeline expectations. Nothing will cause your digital transformation project to come to a screeching halt quite like a board room full of leaders who aren’t on the same page. 

Before you kick off any digital transformation initiative, your first priority should be to get all of the stakeholders in a room and discuss what each is looking to get out of it and when. Marketing may be interested in improved user experiences within a year, while finance might be more interested integrations with business critical systems in two. 

By getting it all on the table at the beginning of your digital transformation project, you can avoid unnecessary conflicts and hold-ups down the road. 

2. Listen to the people

Often, digital transformation is driven by the pressure to stay relevant in the market, shifting customer demands, and growth opportunities. All of these drivers should be at the forefront of your strategy, however, it’s just important not to overlook internal factors. 

Like anyone, business leaders can get distracted by the latest shiny new trend when it comes to digital transformation. But, some of the biggest game-changing ideas and essentials for success will come from listening to your workforce. 

Have you heard your sales team talk about the struggles of placing orders for key accounts while on the road? Does your call center manager wish they could repurpose staff to more value-adding roles? Is your COO insisting that you need to consolidate and streamline systems? 

Not only does this feedback need to be taken into account, but it should be a top priority of digitally transforming your business. Remember, your digital transformation project isn’t just about technology, it’s about instilling innovation into the culture across the enterprise and new strategies are much more likely to be adopted if you listen to what your employees are looking for. 

3. Look to the future

At its core, digital transformation is the evolving pursuit of innovative and agile business and operational models — fueled by evolving technologies, processes, analytics, and talent capabilities. 

For business leaders, this means focusing on more than just today’s problems but problems and opportunities that may or may not happen in the future. A big part of accomplishing this is choosing future-proof technology or modern technology like APIs, cloud-based, and headless. These modern technologies allow for the flexibility to scale with growth and pivot with changing customer demands. 

The other aspect of looking to the future during digital transformation is infusing modern technologies trends into your long-term roadmap. Today, there are many technologies that are disrupting entire industries such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain

Choosing technologies that allow your business to scale with flexibility and take advantage of things like AI and blockchain help you digitally transform to solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems. 

4. Aim for automation

When you think about digital transformation, you think about how you can improve your efficiency and operations digitally. Automation goes hand in hand with efficiency and should be high on your priority list. 

Automating the processes and functionalities of your technologies affects both your internal employees and external customers. Your business needs automation to help standardize processes and integrations, or in other words, become more agile. 

 

Today’s digital processes demand the ability to integrate with multiple systems, scale with growth, and have the flexibility to make updates on the fly. Modern headless technologies ensure true end-to-end automation that’s necessary for digital transformation success.

Digital transformation is the key to continued success in today’s tech-driven world, but having the right strategies in place is key to successfully transforming your business. 

“87% of senior business leaders say digitalization is a company priority and 79% of corporate strategists say it is reinventing their business — creating new revenue streams in new ways” – Gartner

As you map out your digital transformation plan be sure to align with key stakeholders, listen to both internal and external factors, consider the future and work towards automation.

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