A step-by-step guide to digital transformation

Most organisations are already on a journey to digital transformation that will change the business, its culture and its market position. Change is set to become the new normal and businesses must find ways to harness it to their advantage.

Change will become exponential in the future because we now have the technology to deliver on big visions, and many of the barriers to adopting this technology have fallen away in the face of anything-as-a-service. Boards and C-level executives now embrace IT initiatives, elevating them to the level of overarching strategy as opposed to being seen only as a tactical tool.

Below are three ways to ride the waves of change for success.

1.Market transformation: innovation through design, data and devices

Businesses must recognise waves of change such as digital transformation and use them to boost market presence. This is more than just customer-centricity; it also requires a fresh look at suppliers, competitors, and regulators to uncover opportunities to create value. There are three key leverage points to consider:

  • Design drives innovation: Use design thinking to improve customer experiences, and deliver innovative, impactful and cost-effective products and services.
  • Data drives insights: Focus on data and analytics to inform the creative process, support implementation and evolve operations.
  • Devices drive connection: People rely on devices for every aspect of life, creating opportunities for organisations.

2. Organisational adaptability through platforms, people and partnerships

Organisations must get better at surfing the waves of change. Building an adaptive organisation requires three leverage points:

  • Platforms: A platform delivers a set of integrated services rather than just integrated technology. And it can grow to provide additional services. Platforms reduce time and risk to delivery of value, and provide a mechanism for compounding ongoing internal and external investments to increase the range of services delivered.
  • People: Getting the right people on board is key to success, which makes it important to evaluate potential new hires for leadership abilities rather than just existing skillsets.
  • Partnerships: Well-chosen partners can supply the skills and platforms that the business cannot or does not want to supply.

3. Cultural resilience through simplification, speed and sustainability

Culture is an organisation’s defining characteristic and will predict whether it can achieve positive transformation. Achieving organisational resilience through culture depends on three factors:

Simplification: This creates focus and minimises complication, chaos and cost. To drive simplification, ask more questions to eliminate misunderstandings.

Speed: It’s important to move at a tempo that is appropriate to the market, the organisation, and the wave the organisation is riding. It’s important to get faster and better at the things that matter to the success of the business.

Sustainability: Organisations should build a culture that considers both the short- and long-term when engaging with the marketplace, developing people, deploying platforms and choosing partners.

To successfully achieve digital transformation, businesses must develop the necessary aptitudes and attitudes to recognise and seize opportunities, while coping with failure or setbacks along the way.

Clarity is key for digital disruption. It can’t be a one-off event. Disruption needs to transform markets, organisations and cultures for a better future.

Tom Hayes, regional director, NSW, UXC Consulting

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