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Digital Transformation tips for business leaders

by Andrew Henning, Chief Strategy Officer, 20 March 2019

Read Time: 5 minutes

Of the many topics pertinent to senior decision-makers, Digital Transformation is likely to be high on the list. Not surprising, and as reported by Forrester (State of the Digital Business 2016 – 2020) such executives are extremely optimistic about digital and the positive effect it creates. There is clearly a strong commitment from leaders to change within their organisations and a confidence that it can bring success.

However, progress can often be difficult within large corporations as internal pressures and business as usual tasks overshadow future planning and good intentions around transformation. So, if your ambitions are taking an unwanted back-seat, check out these tactical activities to regain momentum.

Become your customer

Plan a session with colleagues to brainstorm the engagement patterns of your customers and/or business prospects. These can be documented as user journeys. Chart the touchpoints and interactions that occur. Where is the process streamlined, and where is it like wading through treacle? How could digital improve engagement? This exercise can help prioritise future review and see where automation could be effective. It can also be complemented by benchmarking exercises.

Where’s your data stored?

Good digital intelligence and subsequent transformation is dependent on a foundation of good data. Using customer personas, you must audit the data your organisation holds on customer groups and segments. Without a data strategy, this is likely to be predominantly transactional. Hence the next step is to brainstorm what data you could request and what value it would bring. Once this is completed, you can design how you will collect the data while maintaing the trust of your customer.

Matching a customers’ needs, expectations and aspirations to the data signals they present will allow the digital experience to be further refined and the customer journeys to be automated and made more contextual.

Review your in-house activity

Technology and the way it’s used changes rapidly. Tasks that required specialist knowledge only three years ago are today much more accessible to non-technical people. This has many advantages for an organisation and can mean that any perceived digital talent shortage may not be as acute. In fact, a team of overworked programmers can gain a new lease of life if a review of their activity is undertaken. What tasks could, with some modification, be delegated to someone with more capacity. This has the effect of allowing your specialists to become ‘special’ again. The transfer is known as Citizen Development.

Be involved

It is important that transformational leaders are fully involved in the process. If leaders are demanding change but have no high-level understanding of the demands and challenges, then progress will be slow.

It is a fact that any middle manager has to prioritise current issues and will find it harder to push new ideas and actions forward. Therefore, senior personnel have a responsibility to prioritise action, and aid their team in achieving transformation goals. This is made easy with greater collaboration and understanding. While any member of an organisation can drive change, it is made much easier with board buy-in and support.

Don’t put up technology barriers

In a business environment there will also be a milestone on the horizon. This may be the replacement of a legacy system, the appointment of a new director, completing a project or a brand refresh. Such milestones are common reasons to delay transformation.

So, it is important that any delay or pause is managed. Transformation is a holistic process and any activity should be absorbed into a plan. In addition, once an organisation has a clear digital strategy, it will enable better decision-making and ensure that future events are less impactful at a business-wide level.

Question all decisions

Transformation is about improvement. So, questioning why things are done in an organisation and importantly why they aren’t, will help shape change more effectively.

Redweb believes that digital disruption is about breaking barriers and putting the power in the hands of customers. Value is then generated from the service you provide above this level of administration. Looking at how your staff function and how their relationship with your customers can be strengthened, will also reveal opportunities for digital transformation.

Finally, whatever stage you’re at on your digital journey, it might be time to get some fresh perspective and bring a digital agency like Redweb onboard. The pairing of a larger organisation with a vibrant independent agency, is a proven way to add impetus and aid the transformation process.

With a committed agency as your partner, you get the tenacity and knowledge to accelerate your digital transformational goals. As Redweb says, “Connections drive change”.

Redweb

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