Don’t Want Your Transform Program to Fail? You Need a Digital Transformation Framework
Change is constant in the business world, and the concept of digital transformation frameworks has become a permanent fixture inside the walls of companies from large enterprises to small players.
Digital transformation is about using digital technologies to improve business operations, and over the years we have seen examples of businesses embracing the trend with varying degrees of success. As time went on, it became clear that establishing a digital transformation ‘framework’ gave businesses a much better chance of executing digital adoption strategies that had the desired impact.
In this blog we’ll introduce you to some of the most trusted digital transformation frameworks and help you understand how to choose the one that best suits your business. But first, let’s talk about what a digital transformation framework actually is.
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A digital transformation framework can be thought of as a go-to guide to navigate your business through the evolving digital landscape, and changing markets and consumer habits. It is designed to be a reference point underpinning all your digital transformation projects by keeping you focused on the core goals.
You might be thinking, why do we need that? After all, isn’t innovation all about flashes of brilliance and individual genius? Well, when you consider that 70% of digital transformation programs fail, according to McKinsey Research, it’s probably not a good idea to rely on those “Eureka!” moments and establish a serious and measured approach.
By putting a robust framework in place, you are giving your business the best chance of overcoming challenges such as resistance to change, aimless digital leadership, and poor collaboration. A digital transformation framework is designed to put innovation front of mind and make the adoption and use of digital technologies a core corporate strategy as the company pursues its business goals.
So, let’s get into the steps required for creating a digital transformation framework:
- Set digital transformation objectives: At the foundation of your framework will be the company’s core digital transformation goals. These won’t be targets related to adopting certain technologies (like “adopting big data”), but rather more business-focused objectives like enhancing the user experience and improving profitability.
- Understand what you can digitize: In today’s digital-first world, customer experience has taken center stage when it comes to succeeding in your market. Many businesses have products and services that require complex methods of customer delivery, and your framework will need to assess how digitization can streamline and improve how you do that.
- Consider where processes can be optimized: Businesses require people to do things to keep running, and that’s why they hire staff. With the advancement of digital technology, many of those manual, time-consuming tasks can be automated or streamlined, reducing headcount or freeing up staff to do more value-added tasks.
Any good digital transformation framework will have a strong focus on how the business can operate more efficiently.
- Think about possible new business models: Digitization opens the door to new business plans that wouldn’t have been previously accessible to your company. Your framework should cover the possibilities that digital technologies present to build on what you already have and enter new markets.
Once you have defined your digital transformation goals, the framework should include a roadmap for how you will achieve them. By its nature, a transformation strategy should be business-wide and not focused on digitizing one specific team or process.
This way, you ensure your entire business is pointed in the direction of digitization and that systems and operations will remain aligned. With this in mind, here is a look at how the different ways your roadmap might take shape:
- Create digital operations, then focus on customer value: This roadmap works when customer expectations are not overly intense and your product is a physical asset or a service that is easier to sell. Focusing first on digitizing operations by automating processes makes the most sense if these attributes apply to your business.
- Add customer value with digital engagement, then introduce digital operations: Businesses that are required to deliver an exceptional customer experience to attract and retain customers should focus on digital engagement first and make digital operations a secondary concern.
They need to think about how they can make their customers’ lives easier with digitization by better serving their needs, as well as connecting with them emotionally online to drive loyalty.
- Establish digital operations and engagement in parallel to bring customer value and efficiency: If you’re confident your business has the resources and cash available for a two-pronged attack on digital transformation, your framework can treat operations and customer experience with equal weight.
In this situation, you can design your back office and front office IT in a complementary way, maximizing efficiency while ensuring the highest possible customer value.
When you have an idea of what your digital transformation framework will look like, you need to start thinking about how to create a culture that will make best use of the framework and create an ecosystem of partners to bring digital transformation to life.
Nurturing a digital culture requires ongoing training and cross-functional communication, as well as clear leadership that champions a digital-first approach.
When it comes to partners, there are a few key ones to keep in mind:
- Digital consultants: Depending on the level of IT talent you have in-house, IT service providers can be an invaluable resource for companies putting together a digital transformation framework. They have the ready-made expertise to help you understand which digital technologies and strategies will reap the highest rewards for your business.
- Technology vendors: You will need technology to make your digital transformation happen. It’s important to establish relationships with vendors so they can help you build the most effective solutions.
- Training providers: With so many emerging technologies disrupting the business world, it makes sense to enlist the services of training providers that can empower your staff with new skills and knowledge related to digitization. These courses can get deep into new technologies or be more focused on the business considerations of digital transformation.
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Now that you have a high-level understanding of what it takes to create a digital transformation framework, it’s time to start putting your strategic plan into action. The first hurdle you are likely to face is convincing your leadership peers that such a framework is required.
To overcome this, point to examples of where frameworks have made a difference and present a compelling business case. You might choose to be proactive and put together an informal framework in your own time, starting with small-scale projects so you can bring proof points to show the value that a framework brings.
This will help you to overcome the focus on immediate results and resistance to technology investment.
Whatever stage you’re at with the digital transformation journey, Netsurit has seen it all and we’d love to help you with your business transformation framework. Get in touch today to learn more about how robust digital transformation frameworks help put businesses on the path to success in the digital world.