By Tobias Foster
A digital transformation is something you may consider for your company and this is a necessary move given the development of technology. The fast pace of innovation in the tech industry has given rise to the necessity of companies updating their structure to suit innovations.
However, as much as digital transformation is becoming a key component in transforming how businesses operate, it only has a success rate of 30%. However, this low success rate should not deter you from your goals of aligning your company culture with the future.
The process is not simple, but by taking certain factors into consideration, you will be able to successfully lead a digital transformation process in your company.
1. An Understanding the Challenges of a Digital Transformation
Digital transformation has two main challenges, which are adoption and sustainability. In reporting the unsuccessful transformation, it has been found that employees may have difficulty adapting to new policies.
The second challenge is sustaining the new technology due to a lack of interest or follow-up resources and support. With digital savviness being a general demand in a world that is dominated by all forms of technologies, traditional industries have found themselves having to make these changes too.
Digital transformation is also affected by the capacity and size of a company, and smaller companies are likely to succeed.
2. A Handle on the Elements of a Digital Transformation
Digital transformation entails adopting new technology, and this means that an organization requires a shift from archaic and paper-based practices. Digital transformation relies on finding the right and relevant resources to save time and adequately use AI to improve operation.
Furthermore, the transition needs to have a bulletproof strategy against teething issues and adaptability. The client should also not be affected by the change. The implementation is highly complex, which is why it is so intimidating for many companies and the failure rate is so high.
However, the leading people in implementing the technology are key to making the transition smoother. With people at the helm who know how to use and implement the technology, it becomes easier for the entire company to adapt. People in key roles need to become ambassadors of the new company culture and an organization needs to designate roles such as Chief Digital Officer to sustain new systems in digital transformation.
3. An Ability to Build Staff Capacity
Staff is the most important element of the transformation as they are central and will use the new technology daily. This means that you either need to create new job roles for integration or train existing staff to become Integrators and/or technology innovation managers.
This allows the company to deal with the transformation in a much simpler way and easily integrate new ways of working. Essentially these new roles will assist in creating a better understanding among staff for what is required of them through micro-management.
4. Adequate Funding for the Transformation
A budget is necessary, naturally. However, an insufficient or miscalculated budget may result in immense challenges that include incomplete transformation.
In determining the budget, various aspects have to be considered, such as the cost of new software and changes in salaries. Success is more likely with adequate financial resources and it becomes easier to oversee a well-funded project for managers.
5. An Empowerment Strategy
Rather than imposing new changes to staff, allow them to ask questions and empower them through training to adopt new methods of working. Assuming that the staff does not know much can be a mistake, thus you need to assess existing skills and decide on what will be needed from staff going forward.
A digital transformation also comes with a renewed attitude of accommodating change and learning new skills. Your employees should not see this as something that is a burden but rather a new way of working that will make life easier for them and take the company to the next level.
A successful digital transformation entails encouraging new behaviors through formalities such as training and testing systems. Employees should also be given room to ask questions, share ideas and share their opinions on the new system and how it affects their job.
6. Engaged Leadership
Digital transformation requires leadership that encourages change and positively engages staff to measure the likelihood of success. This means that people need to be delegated in key roles to ensure that the transformation goes smoothly and according to plan.
Employees might still be attached to old ways of working and effective leaders need to motivate them by showing them how to effectively use new technology.
Implementing changes requires a lot of risk and employees need to understand that a new system works to their advantage too. Digital transformation managers should also devise a strategy to introduce new tools daily or weekly depending on the desired pace.
7. An Ability to Make Information Accessible
If an employee is struggling with something, they should be able to get immediate assistance from a manager or through a manual. However, it is more effective to deal with an individual rather than a machine or a list of FAQs.
Frustration with the new technology may lead to low morale among staff and they may hesitate to use the new technology. However, the role of leadership is to devise strategies to limit frustrations.
Lack of information can lead to costly mistakes and create tension in the workplace. People might begin to panic about losing their jobs with automation and it is the role of development managers and innovation managers to help employees understand their roles.
8. Frequent Communication
Communication is a highly critical matter when it comes to digital transformation. Little communication may leave employees feeling alienated and unable to understand what is going on. Remember, the employee is at the core of a successful transformation and their opinion matters.
The role of leaders in transformation is to ensure that everyone is on the same page through frequent workshops and checking with employees to ensure that they understand what is required of them.
9. A Way to Reimagine the Workplace
The workplace has been immensely transformed by technology, and a digital-savvy culture requires a collective reimagining of the new workplace. Managers need to become pioneers of the new technology by encouraging its use and phasing out the old methods.
As a company, you need to understand how day to day roles are affected and what roles might change in the future. Perhaps, you might even need to create entirely new jobs to accommodate the transformation. It is also critical to implement relevant training for employees and leaders to create a sense of harmony going forward.
Generally, a digital transformation can be considered an entire upgrade from one system to another and this cannot be easy for organizations. The implementation carries a great amount of risk and the best way to handle these new changes is by ensuring that your company is ready. Conduct a full assessment of your capabilities to handle changes and work towards holistically making the shift from analog to digital.