Digital transformation: it’s the new buzzword on the block that every company wants in on. In a recent study, a full 88% of the executives surveyed claimed their organizations were in the process of a full, formal digital transformation. Yet the same study revealed that no more than 25% actually met the standards of digital transformation laid out by the researchers—a definition that was even provided to the executives beforehand.
Simply put, what this means is that everyone wants digital transformation—or at least, knows they should want it—but very few seem to understand what that means. And obviously, you can’t plan an effective digital transformation strategy without knowing what digital transformation really is, and what it is not.
So how do you know if your organization is actually undergoing digital transformation? Here are three key tenets that define what a digital transformation should be:
Innovation doesn’t happen by setting a single team on the task and hiding them away in the proverbial basement. In this “pockets of innovation” approach, comprehensive change is all but impossible, and even minor attempts at change are likely to be smothered by bureaucracy. Digital efforts cannot simply be an add-on to existing programs in today’s market. Executives need to be willing to look at the bigger picture, and reconsider every aspect of their business model.
The new business model is about understanding and working with customers in more depth than ever before. With modern analytics, it’s possible to gain an incredibly detailed picture of what drives customer behavior, and what makes them satisfied or dissatisfied. At its core, an effective digital transformation strategy should be about using this knowledge to create an engaging experience for customers; one that truly addresses their wants and needs, and builds stronger relationships with them in the process.
3. Genuinely transformative
How can a digital transformation be taking place if nothing is transformed? In many ways, this quality of digital transformation comes organically from implementing the two criteria discussed above.
Digital transformation does not just mean investing in more technology or making processes available online or through mobile apps. That breed of digitalizing is nothing new—it was the face of innovation in the late nineties, when the first migration to the Web began. In 2016, digital transformation means making strategic and comprehensive changes throughout the business using new, customer-oriented approaches. Only then is an organization truly transforming into a top competitor for the new era.