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The Digital Opportunity: How To Digitally Transform Your Business

Continuing from our last piece on the importance of digital transformation for businesses, in this blog, we give you a general step-by-step guide you can use for undertaking digital transformation in your business, based on its unique context. As mentioned in the previous article, digital transformation focuses on using technology to bring business processes, tools and channels together into a more integrated, seamless and connected whole. 

Digital transformation is accessible to virtually any business, and it offers vast benefits; greater scalability, value-delivery, cost-efficiency, business resiliency, and the ability to create new products and business models. So without further ado, here’s how you can get started with sharpening your competitive edge and elevating the growth of your business through digital transformation.  

1. Find Where Technology Can Offer Value to Your Business

At the heart of digital transformation is change. There are both problems in the present, and desired goals in the future that technology can assist with. You can begin by asking yourself these questions: 

  • How is our current technology limiting our business and its current capabilities?  
  • How can technology enhance our business’s ability to achieve its future goals?  
  • How can we improve productivity and efficiency across the business? 
  • How can we add more value to our customers, with the help of technology?  
  • Can we expand our offering and business model? What technology would be needed to do that?  

By asking these questions, you can bring together a picture of how technology can be applied to enrich your business, and take it from where it is now, to a desired future position. 

2. Setting Clear Objectives

With a picture formed of how your existing technology and services can be improved, you can begin defining objectives that bridge technology with your goals. These objectives will orient the criteria your business uses for implementing new technologies that help you to achieve your goals.  

Pin down what’s most crucial for your business to achieve within a timeframe, this could be organised by quarters, 6-month periods, or yearly plans for example. Your goals should be measurable and serve as a north-star that you can wrap your transformation initiatives around. 

3. Assess Your Technological Territory and the Wider Technology Landscape

Now that you’re clear about the overall limits and improvable areas of your current technology and how that relates to your goals, you can begin defining what tools, services and processes you can improve, and what solutions are available for making it happen.  

For example, a business may see that some of its tasks and processes can be automated. This may already be possible within the software and systems that they use, or a new software such as Microsoft 365 may be needed to implement these processes in a more automated and integrated way.  

By scoping where technology can add value to your business and searching for solutions that can bring these improvements to life, you can begin planning projects to roll out new technology in your business. To help you to find out where improvements can be created, you can work with stakeholders across your business for ideas and suggestions. This engagement will also contribute to a more seamless and positive embrace of new solutions further down the line.
 

4. Plan Your Digital Transformation Projects

This step entails planning the practical implementation of technology projects in your business as part of a wider IT strategy. These projects should be milestoned, measurable and involve all stakeholders. This does not have to be a rushed endeavour, but rather, should be implemented in a measured and careful way.  

There are a number of aspects to consider in your planning: 

  • Stakeholders: who will use and/or be impacted by the project and new technology.  
  • Implementation team: Who will be accountable for implementing the project. What roles will they have?  
  • Milestones: Break the project down into milestones and tasks, and map dependencies between them.  
  • Technology: What technologies are needed for a successful implementation? How will they work together and operate within your workflows?  
  • Objectives: For each milestone and the project as a whole, define success criteria that you can use to assess the outcomes of the project.  
  • Resourcing: The budget, timescales, people and resources to be allocated to the project.  
  • Training and onboarding: making sure your business is aligned with the new technology.  

Map your projects together into a wider strategy, prioritise what should come first. We would recommend starting small and building up from there. Starting with the low-hanging fruit that will deliver quick, impactful benefits for your business. This could look like implementing a chatbot on your website, automating simple processes, or adopting a new software that is readily available online and integrable with your existing workflows and other current software.  

5. Implement with Care

With clearly defined project plans, your business can move ahead with implementing them in a measured and careful way. This way, you can avoid over-extending or disrupting your business with a more fast and furious approach.  

Take care to set out project reviews across the timeline of the project to enable discussion of its progress, and to address issues that arise throughout the process. It’s not always easy to find everything that could cause a hitch in a technology project, so ensuring that your project is delivered in an agile and responsive way can better empower its success.  

6. Onboarding

A shiny new digital system is only as good as the people using it. Invest in training your staff and ensure they understand not just the ‘how’ but also the ‘why’ behind these changes. When they see the value – be it an easier process, better customer insights, or improved collaboration – they’ll be more engaged and proactive. 

7. Post-Project Review and Lessons Learned 

Review the project’s successes and celebrate them with your team. Identify the causes of setbacks and formulate them into learned lessons that you can take into future projects. Digital transformation is a continuous process that can always be improved,  

8. Continuous Alignment and Monitoring

Create mechanisms and measures for assessing the effectiveness of the new technology after it has been adopted. Set out dates for evaluating performance, and making any necessary tweaks or alterations to your new systems. After each project, review your wider IT or digital transformation strategy to see if it needs to be adjusted.  

Final Thoughts 

As you set out on a digital transformation journey, you can expect it to be like sailing at sea. There will be times of calm waters, as well as more turbulent periods where things become more uncertain and testing. While change always will create some measure of uncertainty and disruption, effective planning can help you to maximise opportunities while minimising risks.  

You can implement digital transformation projects internally, outsource them to some managed service providers. Alternatively, use a blended approach that leverages a mix of your internal skillsets, and external resourcing and expertise. We believe any business can implement digital transformation projects successfully, but also understand it can be a smoother, faster and more seamless process with the help of experts that know the territory.  

Whichever way you choose to go about your digital transformation journey, we hope that our guide has given inspiration and helpful guidance that can empower your business’s success.  

Netplatforms: Transforming Businesses with Technology 

Is your IT not delivering the best for your business? Struggling to find and implement technology that empowers your business’s success and growth? Netplatforms can help. We’re IT support providers that go beyond expectations. We not only help businesses to create efficient, reliable and secure IT environments with our expertise and proactive support, we also help them to access new tools and technologies that help them to achieve market success. Want to see what transformative IT support can do for your business? Get in touch today! We’ll be glad to hear from you, listen to your challenges, and provide actionable insights and guidance for your business.