The digital transformation of companies underscores the great contradiction of the digital economy: businesses are interested and willing to get on the digital bandwagon - but they’re not sure how to go about it.
In this post we try to resolve the stalemate by providing 8 questions whose answers are guaranteed to offer companies pointers on how to get their digital transformation right.
This post is also available in Spanish.
Table of contents
Digital transformation is a process that affects the whole organization. But there are always some areas whose digitization is more strongly correlated with profitability than others.
It is therefore important to determine what these areas are to give them priority when starting the process of digital transformation and set the budget accordingly.
Customer journeys comprise all possible interactions between a company and its customers. In retail for example, the customer journey spans from visiting a physical store to making an online query, formalizing a purchase using a mobile device or activating a discount coupon.
It is vital to map out these paths step by step, because digital transformation largely revolves around adjusting any customer-company interaction to make them as fluid and logical as possible.
What's a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is a diagram or multiple diagrams showing the steps made by customers when they interact with a company. It starts from the moment they buy a product online, and even includes assessing the quality of customer service by phone or when customers launch a complaint on social media.
The goal of a customer journey map is to help identify gaps that may impair the customer experience. These could be any of the following:
Source: TechTarget’s Salesforce Resource.
Successful digital transformation requires collaboration and communication across departments. And in fact, as mentioned in the previous section, the customer journey map aims to detect the miscommunication that negatively affects customer experience due to gaps that may arise during interactions with the company.
Answering the question of whether or not collaboration across departments exists is key to driving successful digital transformation for the simple reason that it will indicate where to strengthen the communication in order to improve customer experience.
Companies that carry out successful digital transformation often implement agile methodologies beyond the IT department: when soft launching any product, they seek out customer feedback constantly to improve and refine it before the official market release.
This way they mitigate the risk of launching a product that nobody wants in a way that endless planning based on inaccurate market research studies never could.
The budget is often the greatest enemy to the progress of digital transformation for two reasons: firstly, because they often fall short. And secondly, because the return on investment is not measured.
Therefore, the company does not know with any accuracy which aspects of the digital transformation work and which does not, meaning that the company budget cannot be adjusted accordingly to continue investing in those actions that work or to extend the implementation of a new tool or process across the whole organization.
6. Are ideas that challenge the status quo allowed?
If you want the digital transformation of your company to succeed, you must give a voice to your employees, both those who know the business inside out as well as any new additions, especially those native to digital technology or new employees with other areas of expertise.
Both digital natives and professionals from other sectors are well placed to identify areas for improvement in your company, precisely because they are not familiar with all its operations as yet, nor do they take them as a given.
It is therefore essential to have mechanisms in place that allow everyone to question the status quo of the organization or sector. This can be easily done by creating places where all employees can think aloud or write down their suggestions to advance in the digital transformation process collectively.
7. Are employees empowered to act?
To propose ideas freely, employees must feel empowered to lead initiatives. It is essential that they feel the respect and confidence of their superiors to either lead or contribute with their own initiatives within a department or team.
Empowering employees means to make them feel capable of doing things inside but also outside of their remit. Otherwise, it is likely that their attitudes prevent them from implementing any change or adopting any new tool or working methodology.
8. Are you coordinating all your digital initiatives?
Even companies that have responded correctly up until this point risk seeing all their hard work going to waste if they cannot answer the following: are all digital transformation projects and initiatives in your company being developed coordinately, or at random?
Given the need to digitize companies as soon as possible, initiatives and projects should be launched in parallel and, of course, guided by an appropriate business strategy. But if these projects are not coordinated, nor take into account how they interrelate with each other, they can not be implemented in a coherent way across an organization and the digitization process will fail.
While these eight questions comprehensively address the challenges of digital transformation, we allowed ourselves the luxury of one last question.
9. Are you giving your employees the tools they need to be as efficient as possible?
Given that the success of any project is ultimately a matter of timing, it is essential to have high-performance teams to implement digital transformation right and quickly. And for that two variables are key: knowledge and technology.
On the technology side, the million dollar question is how to automate repetitive tasks and free up time to devote to think on the strategy, on how to improve tasks processes, on actually improving data interpretation, project coordination, communication with customers, etc.
Signaturit is a tool that automates the document signing process, transforming it into an agile task and also eliminating paper consumption.
Should you wish to optimize your company’s internal efficiency and dealings with customers, try Signaturit today: register here and experiment with all the features on offer for 14 days free of charge.
This post is also available in Spanish.
|Note: This post is based on the post published by McKinsey titled "Nine questions to help you get your digital transformation right", by experts Karel Dörner and Jürgen Meffert.|