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When the world is moving toward all things digital, businesses cannot remain immune to reality. In fact, the mature ones are looking at integrating SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud) technologies in their quest for achieving business transformation. Others are focusing on addressing discrete business issues by integrating singular digital technologies. With digital transformation, businesses are aiming at streamlining their workflow/processes, enhancing productivity, reducing waste, responding quickly to customer feedback, and increasing ROI, among others. However, about 70% of digital business transformation initiatives do not succeed to meet their objectives. So, before understanding why such staggering figures for failure, let us learn about digital transformation.
What is enterprise digital transformation?
It is about transforming all aspects of your business by integrating digital technologies to deliver value to the end-customers. Here, enterprises do not always follow the well-trodden path but innovate and experiment to stay up the competition curve. Digital business transformation may require the legacy systems to be overhauled and migrate all resources to the cloud. It makes any enterprise
agile, responsive, and productive. For example, a middle or large enterprise may go for digital transformation
implementation by integrating its processes with the ERP software. This way, the management of the enterprise can track the movement of resources across the value chain and respond quickly to any sudden requirement.
To a large extent, digital transformation solutions can deliver the following outcomes.
Better customer experiences: As processes get streamlined and bottlenecks are removed, the inherent glitches present in the product are identified and mitigated quickly. Thus, with a quality product that keeps on improving, customers derive better experiences.
Operational agility: In a robust digital transformation strategy, activities like shift-left testing are introduced in lieu of the traditional waterfall model. As quality testing takes place alongside development, the process agility increases.
Cultural change: Aspects like quality and security are often given short shrift over more pressing issues like faster time to market. However, with the adoption of Agile and DevOps - a result of digital business transformation, the employees across sectors need to change the way they work, especially when it comes to upholding aspects like QA and security in the value chain.
Enabling the workforce: The workforce could work even remotely by accessing the cloud-based resources of the enterprise, anywhere and anytime. This can address issues related to absenteeism, system latency & downtime, or geography.
Integrating digital technology: Arguably the core requirement of any digital transformation consulting, integrating advanced digital technologies can make the IT architecture agile, secure, and seamless.
To drive a digital transformation strategy successfully and achieve the desired outcomes, enterprises can follow this process.
As per business needs: Businesses can implement transformation depending on a host of factors. These include changing customer preferences, market trends, business forecasts, automation, Capex, the advent of technologies, or rising operational costs, among others. It is important to understand your specific business needs as the journey can entail massive changes and disruptions. So, before opting for transformation, businesses should be clear about their destination lest they end up getting stuck.
Identify the risks: Any digital transformation initiative can involve risks, which if not factored into the scheme of things, can leave an enterprise high and dry. These risks should be properly documented and tracked over a period of time.
Know the requirements: It is important to involve all stakeholders in the digital transformation process and be realistic about the outcomes. Some of the considerations can include:
The destination of data and information: in-house, cloud, or a combination of both
Risk management implications
Technology requirements such as mobility solutions, cloud, or AI and ML, among others
Importantly, if the digital transformation strategy is too radical to implement and takes the users away from their comfort zone, it may create a fair share of challenges.
4. Pilot testing: Once the risks are documented and the process thoroughly analyzed, a pilot test run should be conducted. This can give a fair idea of the type of challenges or qualitative changes brought about by the transformation exercise. Also, any issue with pilot testing will not impact the whole value chain but a small 'manageable' segment.
Developing a strategy for business transformation through digital technologies and initiating a culture change should not be complex or time-consuming to implement. The focus should ultimately rest on fulfilling your business goals and addressing your challenges.