The term “digital transformation” has been used to describe anything from creating a fully responsive mobile website to developing a social media strategy, but in reality true transformation needs to involve much more than just the end product. You must enhance your digital customer experience while also driving agility and efficiency through digital operational excellence. This is a tough challenge. Few firms have made the transformation, and many more will stumble along the way.
In an article recently published in Forbes entitled, “7 Essential Steps for Your Business’s Digital Transformation,” author and expert, Barry Libert, writes:
“It is increasingly clear, that the spoils of value and growth are going to digital platforms and networks. Companies with outdated business models—asset builders that make and sell physical things, and service providers like consultants, doctors and lawyers—are quickly being supplanted by companies that use the tools of the digital age, such as technology, apps, networks, social media, crowdsourcing, and more.”
So how can your business join the digital revolution?
Here’s Libert’s 7-step system!
1. Adopt an exponential mindset: digital and network-based businesses are structured and managed differently than your traditional business. The board and executive management team will need education to gain comfort with the new mindset required to build, operate, and grow a digital business.
2. Build and recruit digital capabilities: the same talent and infrastructure that powers your company’s current operations are not likely to be suitable for a digital, platform and networked future. You will need employees with new skills like machine learning and data science. Your infrastructure will also have to be adapted to provide the tools your employees need to grow into a digital world.
3. Create a broad digital roadmap: small-scale digital initiatives don’t form a cohesive, strategic roadmap. Start with a clean sheet and create the digital roadmap your company needs to succeed, regardless of which projects are already underway. Don’t be afraid to kill or deprioritize projects that aren’t aligned with a new business model.
4. Inventory company "assets" and activities: there are likely already passionate employees at your company who have already begun small-scale digital initiatives. You probably also have valuable intangible assets that you don’t actively manager or measure. Inventory everything, assess its fit with your future digital strategy, and reallocate resources from uncertain projects to strategically important ones.
5. Apply business model, design thinking, not just product or service design thinking, to create your future business model: all too often, we think we can build and grow a digital business by selling the same products and services to the same customers via the same channels with a few minor tweaks. Adopt a design thinking approach to design your new digital business model that meets the needs of today’s digitally savvy customer.
6. Build digital assets: many “traditional” businesses often possess or could easily access valuable digital assets. Figure out which ones your company could build, partner, or acquire, and begin transitioning from purely physical assets to more valuable and scalable digital assets.
7. Adjust the org structure—start small, then go big: the changes above will require changes to your organization’s structure. While politics or talent gaps may prevent you from making major shifts, make the changes you can make, no matter how small. As momentum and comfort builds, you can add the bigger changes later.
and human capital to the transformation agenda.
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