Our last post detailed steps one through four of the digital transformation strategy; this post reviews steps five through eight. Following this strategy is the best plan to ensure your digital transformation process gets and remains on track.
5. Organizational Change
Because the transformation process involves every system and worker, the strategy to achieve it should determine how it will impact each stakeholder and nurture their capacity to move forward as the change occurs. Ergo, leaders in charge of the process should consider each of these sub-steps as they proceed:
- Recognize that change begins at the top and that the leadership panel must be the role models for their workers and also be accountable to each other and the enterprise to enhance the likelihood of success.
- Set a uniform schedule of digital workplace rules so that all employees follow the same standards, guidelines, and governance and best practices.
- Identify the new skills and abilities that will be needed in the digital workplace and offer the training required for workers to become competent in those activities.
Digital tools literally do the work differently, and high impact work – the non-routine, non-automated effort – stands to gain the most productivity when combined with more agile, collaborative and responsive digital tools. Consequently, using those tools often means the complete re-engineering of current business practices.
Many managers follow their “customer service” best practices when devising the changes to workflow patterns that they anticipate for their workers. Such an “employee map” clarifies where and how their employees will experience the new systems, giving transformation designers the data they need to reduce challenges as much as possible.
Corporate information isn’t simple anymore. Instead, data analytics takes linear data inputs and integrates that information with other relevant information to extrapolate insights and provide critical, actionable conclusions. The new information processing systems, then, also require more sophisticated retrieval, storage, and usage capacities. Entities looking to maximize their data through the digital transformation process might consider adopting one or more of the following information management strategies:
- Develop a whole-enterprise data sharing system that facilitates easy use by multiple departments, synchronization of information across all sectors, as well as mobile accessibility that keeps all workers connected.
- Design “insight engines” to match departments, systems, or sectors, so that each worker within those sectors can access both the data and its analyzed insights as needed.
- Add machine learning and artificial intelligence to data banks to automate functions and stimulate connections. Contextualized content that is informed by data entries from across the enterprise can offer recommendations or advice and support so workers can move forward faster and easier.
- Make data retrieval and usage more natural and more user-friendly, which also elevates its value. Virtual reality techniques can engage more deeply than simple images, and personal dashboards tailored to jobs and expectations keep individuals on tasks within the larger project scheme.
It is not happenstance that technology is the last of the eight steps. It’s only after management explores and understands the first seven segments of the digital transformation strategy that they are ready to identify the technology that can do the work. And when they are looking for that final element, they must be sure it addresses these five critical domains:
- The overall IT system and structure – it’s how they will run the business;
- The customer’s experience – it’s how they engage with their community;
- The hardware, consoles, and devices – it’s how they connect with the physical world;
- Intelligence – it’s the foundation of their success, and
- The ecosystem foundation – it’s how stakeholders, workers, colleagues, and customers experience the entity as a whole.
The digital transformation process can be daunting. However, by following these eight steps and keeping the five technical requirements at the forefront of the planning process, any company can achieve it.
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