The 6 fundamental steps of the digital transformation

The 6 fundamental steps of the digital transformation

Corporate culture should be innovated before innovating technologies. The ideal digital transformation process requires more than the simple digitalization of procedures and mechanisms. However, first of all, people’s mentality and pace should change. Technologies are in continuous evolution: now we have AI, the 5G technology is coming soon, who knows what else the future may bring.

If people, starting from managers and reaching down to all employees, are not properly trained to adapt to such changes, all efforts are going to be pointless. Businesses run the risk of being too fast or too slow and may miss the right moment to invest in one innovation or another, making  all the wrong choices.

Big money and a lot of time are wasted due to the lack of a sensible technological culture. And companies operating in a market which is getting more and more cut-throat, may not be able to keep up with emerging competitors who are more knowledgeable with regard to the new trends. And once you have fallen, getting back on board could be a serious challenge.

It is enough to take the retail sector and its fight against e-commerce as an example: there are plenty of cases in which traditionally powerful brands have become weaker and weaker holding very little appeal for consumers. Reinventing one’s identity while you are losing ground is more difficult than changing when there is still room to maneuver to avoid falling off the cliff. ( The ascent and descent of Gap, one of America’s most loved brands ).

Six steps to take

If the digital transformation is aimed at increasing and improving the business, activities must continue to flow smoothly. Notwithstanding the need to change people’s mentality  and the introduction of a new techno-culture, there are a few steps to be taken to carry out a digital transformation which can be tailor made on the basis of the specific exigencies of each organization, preventing unwanted stops or the risk to slow down business.

1. A thorough corporate analysis

Before taking action, a careful analysis of one’s own company along with its real needs and targets shall be carried out so as to be able to select the right technologies to be implemented to develop the business potential.

2. Developing the vision

Having an overall vision of the targets to be achieved, allows companies to avoid mistakes due to rush. Indeed, sometimes, technologies are chosen following an emotional drive, with the consequent, inevitable mistakes. Being well aware of the global project may help managers to correctly segment targets and needs and adopt the right technologies with the right timing for each case.

3. Risk analysis

Every transformation brings about some risks in terms of money invested, financial return, etc. Assessing them before starting up the digital transformation process prevents bad surprises and allows people to cope with such risks better thanks to a higher awareness.  

4. Carrying out some tests

Before applying new technologies to the whole business, you’d better test them for a while in one or more sectors. Preventive tests enable employees to be familiriazed with them and to identify the cultural and technical issues which they will have to face. Thus, once  such technologies are implemented across the whole organization there will be no unexpected trouble and activities will go on as usual (What is a digital transformation strategy?).

5. Updated feedback

Asking, asking and asking. During the testing stage, receiving feedback from those who have been working with the new technologies implemented is crucial. The analysis of such feedback will allow you to work out some possible solutions for the problems arisen so as not to face them after the general introduction.

6. Adopting technologies and post-implementation analysis

Once tests are over and feedback has been analyzed, you will be able to implement the new technologies selected across the whole organization. However, feedback from employees and customers shall be monitored continuously to avoid bed surprises and stick to the right direction, implementing such technologies only where needed.

Which technologies do you think may suit your business and why? Tweet  @agostinellialdo.

To find out more about the digital world, you may read my latest book entitled: “People Are Media” 

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