Ten Quick Wins for Small Businesses to Accelerate Digital Transformation

How Your Organization Can Create Value And Achieve Its True Digital Potential

04.20.22 by All Covered Experts

How your organization can create value and achieve its true digital potential

Note: This post is adapted from its original publishing by Konica Minolta Europe’s Head of Strategy and Business Development at the Konica Minolta Business Innovation Centre, Milan Lakhani.

Constant and unpredictable change has become the ‘new normal’ for business owners and their employees. In this ever-evolving environment ‘traditional’ operations and models are being drastically disrupted, struggling to compete, or deliver the outcomes they need at the speed demanded. However, there are organizations that are thriving and leapfrogging ahead, and their success is attributed to embracing digital transformation (DX) as a top strategic priority.

So, how does an organization join this small but growing elite group? It begins with defining the DX strategy for the organization, which can seem a daunting prospect. However, by following ten guiding steps it is possible to embark on a program of change that encompasses people, process and technology.

1. Decide who should lead your company’s digital agenda

It is imperative that whoever leads the digital transformation program within an organization has extensive customer-facing experience and skills, with the ability to focus on opportunities for new revenue generation and customer value creation.

2. Create a superior customer service experience

As important as product and price have been in the past, customer experience is just as crucial in determining who wins and who loses. In a digital world, customers are more demanding and likely to switch brands due to poor customer experience. Customers expect easier, intuitive and compelling digital experiences across channels. Mapping the customer journey is one way of defining expected and desired user behavior.

3. Digitize corporate culture

A company’s culture is defined by its values, employee behavior and how things get done. While there is no universal strategy toward establishing a ‘standard’ digital culture, research indicates that it typically has these defining elements:

  • Employees are encouraged to create new solutions by engaging with customers and partners.
  • Employees are empowered to make decisions throughout the company by following guiding principles.
  • Employees can take risks, fail fast, learn and push the boundaries toward continuous experimentation.
  • A focus on short-term planning and quick decision making rather than long-term, detailed plans. The promotion of continuous iteration and improvement.
  • Collective teamwork to ensure shared information throughout the company.
  1. Understand the competition

The practice of regularly assessing the competitive landscape, monitoring and comparing the evolution of their product and service offerings is as relevant now as it was decades ago. The critical difference now is that businesses need to think more broadly when thinking about the competition in the digital age. Whether business-to-business or business-to-consumer, what’s important is that all business centers around people and their experiences.

5. Get digitally engaged

Consider what a digital operating model would look like for the business. Digitally competitive organizations experiment with solutions and processes that drive revenue and help forecast future needs by responding quickly to any identified gaps.

6. Assess employee skills

The pace and success of digital transformation is only as good as the team driving and delivering it. So, it is important to ascertain what new skills (both business disciplines and technical know-how) will need to be hired or trained.

7. Implement new and improved processes

Put your customer at the heart of any process improvements. One of the important process changes necessary to spur digital transformation is Agile Development. Ideally, the intended end user of the product or service should be involved in its development. Their feedback on what is working – or what it not – should refine the functionality throughout the development journey.

8. Manage and communicate change

Digital transformation has the potential to cause anxiety amongst employees, leading to a resistance to change. To negate this, there needs to be a clear plan for change that incorporates training and communications, taking into consideration the differences in people’s position, location, and areas of responsibility. It is better to over-communicate and take corrective action at the appropriate point.

9. Introduce new technology

DX requires investment in new technology. As companies age, they typically have older technology, which tends to be weaved together in a complex web. These have unintended consequences on other technologies, with even minor changes resulting in complexity and unnecessary expense. Ways to address this include:

  • Highlighting the status of current technology, the risks of not modernizing, then defining the future taking associated risks into account.
  • Developing more loosely coupled technologies connected via an ecosystem so that changes to one platform can be made independent of others.
  • Adopting a cloud-first strategy. Cloud technology helps organizations to be flexible and to scale up and back up as needed.
  • Considering retiring old technology.
  • Standardizing as much technology as possible. There may be multiple operating companies or business units in the company, and they may be different enough to justify other technology.
  1. Evaluate digital maturity

Digital Maturity is a measure of an organization’s DX and ability to create value through digital. Knowing their maturity level can help businesses address gaps toward a truly digitally transformed state. Finally, it is never too late to act – only a few organizations are genuinely digitally mature.

Whatever your maturity level, All Covered’s Digital Maturity Assessment will help you understand, explore, and consider your next steps for your digital transformation journey to realize your true digital potential.

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