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If you are like most companies, you already have a digital marketing strategy in place. And, like most companies, you probably feel the pressure – both internal and external – to embark on a digital transformation. If you have already started along your digital transformation journey, you likely still have a long way to go.
Yes, digital transformations involve a leap. A leap in terms of resources, know-how, and frequently even a cultural shift in your approach to business because a digital transformation is new, it’s complex, and it can be challenging. Yet the upside can be enormous. Having a digital strategy is simply not enough in today’s competitive environment. With digital transformation, you have an opportunity to redefine goals, reinvent business models, and improve speed and reaction times, to say nothing of the customer experience.
The rewards of digital transformation are high, making it an attractive and often necessary leap to make. Plus, there can be severe risks associated with not going through a digital transformation. A successful digital transformation can have a huge payoff and, according to Bain & Company’s research, digital leaders outperform the competition in every industry. However, if yours is like many companies, you have never gone through a digital transformation and you wonder if you can make a success of it, translating the energy and time invested in digital transformation into meaningful improvements in performance and increased revenues and profits.
The recent Bain survey cited above of 1,000 companies across different industries found that:
“Most leadership teams understand the opportunity but underinvest [emphasis added] in the broad changes to the business model and culture that enable speed, learning and agility.”
We agree. In our experience companies who approach us often underestimate the investment – financial, time, or otherwise – that’s needed. Our value is lies in helping corporate leaders make sure they analyze their situation correctly and plan accordingly …. so that they not only survive the transformation, but use it to thrive.
With this in mind, you might be asking: What are the ideal levels of investment in terms of resources and staffing? Every business will need to analyze its own financials, but below are some critical thinking points you will need to address:
- Successful transformations are usually driven from the top down and strategic alignment at the top is a must. C-suite executives need to lead the change. Soft skills such as vision, and mind-set are as important to digital transformation as tech competencies in leaders.
- Envision the digital future of your company. Think about how your company can take advantage of the possibilities that new technologies provide (rather than blindly implementing new technologies). Understand how, by unleashing these tools, you can create a stronger, more agile, more resilient company.
- Establish clear and specific strategic goals and link them to financial projections. This will help quantify the incremental value of digital transformation to your company.
- Identify the KPIs and metrics you will use to measure progress and success.
- Determine the skills and competencies you need to accomplish your goals and identify whether those capabilities exist in-house, can be hired, or must be found externally through consultants. Quantify how much it will cost to acquire these skills.
- Create collaborative, cross-functional teams that will orchestrate your digital transformation initiatives. These teams should include both mid-level management and front line employees, they should have the authority to design and scale the digital initiatives, and they need to be held accountable for meeting strict deadlines.
- Communication is everything! Create a thoughtful way to engage every level of your organization. Pay close attention to corporate culture. Don’t underestimate how your workforce may resist these changes. Clarify why a digital transformation is right for your organization and help them understand how it will improve the business. Use two-way, open communication to avoid alienating your staff.
A digital transformation can be a complex undertaking. Yet the risk of not going through this transformation can derail the future of even some of the best companies. Having a digital strategy is just not enough anymore. To take your organization to the next level, begin by analyzing your situation and financials to find the right investment levels to make in terms of resources and staffing. We offer you a guide for the issues you will need to consider.