Today, we probably hear the word ‘digital’ at least once a day. From digital technologies to digital media, digital marketing, and digital transformation, it’s safe to say that everyone wants to go digital.
While the rise of the Internet of Things and smartphones significantly contributed to this move, the recent Covid-19 outbreak accelerated the need for digital transformation like never before.
As business owners and organisations scrambled to update their legacy technology and keep their services running, one point was painfully obvious — they just weren’t prepared to digitalise their offerings.
And so, to overcome this hurdle, today, businesses across the globe are investing significant resources and capital to drive rapid digital transformation, because ‘’the future of business is digital and automated’’ (The Scalers, 5 Digital transformation Trends For 2021 and Beyond).
However, much of these efforts have produced disappointing results. In fact, recent research conducted by McKinsey showed that only 16% of organisations reported their digital transformation as successful while the others were unable to improve performance in the long haul.
And so, in this piece, we present some actionable steps that you can implement to digitally transform your business. From rethinking the tools and technologies you use to redesigning processes, we’ve covered it all.
- Creating the right digital strategy
Sometimes, digital transformation fails because companies pay too much attention to technology and don’t focus enough on creating the right digital strategy. The reality is that technology is only one part of the equation, and digital transformation requires a holistic approach.
The first step in your digital transformation journey is to create a clear and coherent transformation strategy through which you hope to digitise your offerings. This begins with formulating a digital vision at all levels, from the senior management to the last employees, middle managers, and external collaborators.
The ideal digital strategy involves rethinking the business model and maintaining a culture of constant adaptation of products and services to keep up with the ever-changing market trends. By doing this, you can target what you’re expecting to change, what outcomes you can expect, and then deliberately design for that. It also includes changing the internal structure in all functional areas of the business, such as HR, finance, operations, marketing, and communication.
- Datafying your processes
Datafication is the process of transforming social action into quantified data, in turn, making a business data-driven. It starts by collecting new data from various sources using IoT devices, creating detailed customer profiles, and making your workplace, processes, and products smart. This process allows all the previously invisible aspects of your organisation traceable so that they can be observed, analysed, and optimised.
Today, the numerous technologies that we have at our disposal make this process easier and cheaper. Using low-cost sensors, cloud computing, and connected devices, you can capture data consistently across different products, processes, and workplaces. And apart from offline customer touchpoints, data can also be collected through online or social media interactions.
When you start datafying your business, the best way to do it is to start small, with simple processes or products that are relatively easy to datafy. Once those are done, you can focus on more complex processes.
- Analysing data
Once you’ve datafied all your processes and stored them in a distributed manner, the next step is to analyse the data using advanced analytics. In some cases, the data collected can prove to be the factor that gives businesses a competitive advantage. And thus, it is essential to use descriptive and predictive analysis to help understand the environment and context of the organisation.
Use the data collected to create comprehensive analytical models using different data mining techniques. While decision-makers and stakeholders will primarily be involved in this process, it’s a good practice to share the insights with more members of your organisation. This leads to empowerment, which will result in a shift in power and culture. Also, in data-driven businesses, the real decision-makers are employees who either face the customer on a day-to-day basis or are directly involved in creating the service/product. And so, involving those employees can prove to be beneficial.
- Automating your organisation
Once you’ve analysed your data, the final step is to automate your business processes, augmenting all your customer touchpoints with smart technologies. In addition, you can also better understand the overview of collected and used data. And this is where AI can be invaluable. The end goal of the digital transformation process is to generate reliable and unbiased AI that results in increased productivity and efficiency.
Once you have successfully automated your processes, it will directly affect the future of work in your business. AI will be more used to augment workers than to substitute your employees.
To wrap it up
To digitally transform your organisation, you should datafy your processes, collect and distribute data, analyse it using various data mining techniques, and use artificially intelligent algorithms to automate your business processes. This will transform your business into one that is ready for the data-driven future ahead.