A Bain survey of more than 131,000 customers across 22 countries found that banks were regularly losing customers for years, due to poor digital transformation efforts. The restrictions imposed by COVID-19, has forced many companies to fast-track their digital transformation initiatives.
Institutions not considering digital innovation prior to the pandemic had to immediately embrace digital initiatives in past months, in order to find new ways to meet customer expectations, while others not having the capacity to adapt, were negatively impacted. Digitizing your operation is hard work. It requires assessing almost every area of the business, especially sections that will impact positively on your customers. Taking the step towards transformation might not be convenient at the beginning, but it will provide tremendous results for your business in the long term. Digital Transformation (DT) can provide efficiency improvements, and more revenue opportunities. Here are 7 steps for sustaining your enterprise DT efforts:
- Have a dynamic but effective Digital Transformation Strategy: To successfully compete and be ahead in the market place, a structured digital transformation process is required and a strategy will aid the implementation of your transformation plan. The dynamic transformation strategy should integrate the current state to the desired long-term plan. It should connect purpose; people (employees and customers); customer-facing processes (including products, services and partnerships), and technology (especially emerging technologies and their impact on the business) together, and establish the vision, plan and the required actions to realize the end goal.
- Communicate Expectation: There is need to convey the overall vision and future expectation to all stakeholders, to get the needed support and ensuring that the tasks to be done are divided into an explicit and comprehensible roadmap. Successful digital transformation requires gradual completion of tasks on each of the components of the whole project under consideration.
- Assign an accountable collaborative leader: Digital innovation may require cross-functional team efforts, and having a single accountable leader with project-wide mandate, budget, and resources, will enable the transformation process to align with the changing environment. Otherwise, situations of confusion and avoidable strife might happen when many people are in-charge. For instance, digital efforts might be duplicated and the process for transitioning to a new system might be difficult, especially when everyone is not on the same page.
- Transformation of every area of the organization into Digital: True digital transformation considers every part of the organization. It involves applying an extensive approach by implementing suitable and scalable modern technologies all over the organization, in order to identify and maximize opportunities for new business models. Assess what IT capabilities need to be changed or improved, to ensure that business continuity and technology resiliency are not compromised with the new demands. Identify where external partners will be needed to supplement skills and capacity gaps, and fast-track your engagement with them.
- Must be Customer-centric: Successful transformation focuses on the customer. For instance, it provides the platform for product improvement from customer feedback, testing the product to see customers’ responses and putting a strategy in place to increase product acceptance and demand. Continuous observation of customer engagements with your services, to identify their preferences, especially via online platforms, will enable you to respond accordingly. Evaluate the architecture of the entire value chain – front, middle, and back office – to ensure your transformation initiatives stay aligned with your revenue streams and customer needs.
- Having a Culture of Innovation: Organizational leaders are to encourage a culture of innovation within the company. This will enable teams to explore and test new ideas and continue to modify approaches to arrive at an innovative outcome. Assess virtual workplace technology demands, such as videoconferencing and collaboration tools, to ensure your workforce is effectively enabled, while articulating the values that underpin key decisions, especially hard decisions, that impact employees’ lives. Focus on transformation initiatives that allow you to boost the capabilities of your workforce, with an emphasis on new digital capabilities and employee engagement.
- Consistently re-examine your transformation roadmap: Constantly re-examine your transformation roadmap and make it better. Modify as necessary, while focusing on your strategic objectives. Identify opportunities to scale up investments in automation technologies, to extend the capacity-constrain of your workforce, and stay committed to the broader transformation initiatives that really make a difference in your business.