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10 critical steps for your digitalization journey and business growth 

Digital transformation is not a package you can simply plug and use, but rather a journey, specific to the needs of your business. Taking the right step at the right time is critical for your business growth in terms of efficiency, visibility and profit. 

The digital way

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Photo by Jake Blucker on Unsplash 

Growing entails moving away from a silo-based approach to business. No business is an island, so to survive and grow, businesses must identify opportunities to develop organically and to become brands of choice. Using digital IT tools to grow has never been more beneficial. Digitalization has the potential to make your business known, connected, and successful. 

So what does it mean for a business to go digital? By and large, it means: 

  • Reshaping the processes and the ecosystem the organization goes by 
  • Integrating technology in daily employee and customer experience   
  • Developing a future-proof strategy to stay relevant in a shifting market   
  • Handling dynamic setups and omnichannel experiences 
  • Tapping in multi-source data analytics to improve your products 

The business facets

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Photo by Brandi Redd on Unsplash 

Digital techniques and tools help businesses rethink value management, so that they can monetize and defend it in the short and long run. Value is dynamic, since it gets shaped by several business facets: 

Business model

Embed technology all the way, from your PoC to the Go Live event, and identify revenue sources that can be supported by remote ways of working, delivery, and fulfillment. Solid business models are the backbone of incremental value.     

Customer interaction

Position technology as a key enabler when weaving customer experiences. Make your interactions contextual, relevant, straightforward, and forward-thinking. Involve technology in behavior-driven interactions. Happy customers will promote your brand as a valuable and desired one. 

Operational excellence

Give your employees the technology they need to make a business goal come true. The right technology helps you:         

  • Identify issues before they happen         
  • Spot opportunities in an Agile environment          
  • Work flexibly and access resources at all times          
  • Draw comparisons between methodologies        
  • Automate intelligently for higher sustainability          
  • Speed decision-making and delivery 

Digitalization ensures that you take a phased, step-driven approach to growing and managing growth. Some of the main digitalization paths include: 

  • Data-driven management and analytics   
  • Customer-centric decisions 
  • Cloud storage and computing 
  • System integration 
  • Digital asset management 
  • Web-first and digital-first approaches to project management 

The 10 critical steps 

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Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash 

To make digitalization a reality, there are 10 critical steps you must take. Let’s explore them together. 

1. Identify repetitive, manual, or error-prone processes. 

Nothing kills enthusiasm and engagement faster than manual tasks and processes that are convoluted and frequent. Many times, such activities waste your employees’ talent.

Therefore, it is important that you identify all elements which could be automated, so that your employees can focus on strategies and value fulfillment. 

2. Identify the products and services which are more successful than others and understand why. 

Your suite of solutions should have an internal value meter.   

  • Which products are an instant success?   
  • Which products and updates sell the most?   
  • Why do customers love some products more than others? 

It is important to understand what separates you from the market and what factors drive customer satisfaction: 

  • Ease of interaction   
  • Ease of purchase 
  • Personalized user experience   
  • Real-time help 
  • Multi-device integration 
  • Single-Sign On 

Understanding what makes users click helps you choose the right technology to augment a certain recipe or approach you already have under way. 

3. Perform some tech market research to find the tools that can boost processes, products, and services. 

Your business must co-create experiences and solutions with the help of technology.

  • In general, technology helps you maintain control and proliferate predictable practices of work and research: 
  • Standardize data collection and usage   
  • Streamline common workflows and automate   
  • Estimate time span, bottlenecks, and effort 
  • Build a unified experience around asset sharing and digital asset management   
  • Connect an ideal business model with a customer-driven initiative 

You should assess the strengths, weaknesses, and decay rate of your current technology to draft a remedial and investment plan. 

4. Identify the skill set your employees lack and match it against the desired technology. 

Decide how you can upskill the employees using the needed technologies. Your employees must stay on top of the tools and techniques that will drive your digitalization process. This phase can show how much you need to outsource and how much you can grow internally. In the long run, this analysis helps you adapt the hiring process and the company culture, by making ongoing learning a staple business principle. 

5. Find a digital service supplier and weigh in the pros and cons of custom vs. turn-key solutions. 

Investigate which technology matches your digitalization needs the most. Factor in that: 

  • Turn-key solutions can be a great place to start and solve current business needs, especially if these suites have a mixture of web, cloud, and data strategy in the mix. The cost is usually set, and many solutions give the possibility to develop extensibility around the core capabilities. If not chosen strategically, turn-key solutions can end up looking like an unsustainable patchwork of modules once your business model or requirements change. 
  • Custom solutions are tailored around your unique needs and value proposition. The cost can be higher, but you can rest assured that you will not need dirty hacks to stay relevant on the market. 

6. Draft a budget and a plan to implement the digital assets. 

Choose the eligible technologies for your business, and leverage the cost alongside the pros and cons identified earlier. Take calculated risk into account and draft a digitalization plan in order to transform your business alongside sensible investments. 

7. Adopt an Agile implementation method. 

Rome was not built in a day, and neither will your newly digitalized business. By adopting the Agile framework, you can work in iterations, perform advanced scheduling, and be flexible when it comes to the ratio between business scope and new feature adoption. Work with tasks, work in phases, and review your progress to understand what you need to adjust early in the game. 

8. Deploy each implementation phase and monitor the incremental benefits. 

When you develop incrementally, you can implement and deliver value incrementally. This approach prevents you from making drastic changes that your customers cannot swallow and helps you collect feedback on where changes and opportunities are needed. Use technology to collect customer feedback and adoption data (usage, interaction, errors), and integrate this input back into your digitalized processes. 

9. Ask for employee and customer feedback after each phase. 

The success rate of any implementation depends on how well it is perceived and used by employees and customers alike. Ongoing feedback, focus groups, and usability testing need to be part and parcel of how your technology stack delivers on its promise. 

10. Improve your digital presence based on market requirements. 

Markets change, competitors are rarely dormant, so you must stay tuned to what keeps sales going and products loved. By shaping a digital presence that forges and encourages a constant dialogue with the community, you can build trust and prestige.

A well-balanced digital presence can help you make the right choice in the right context, assess the impact your business has on society, and preserve your overall agility. 

In brief

Digitalization helps businesses regain control over their processes and assets, by delivering value and identifying opportunities faster and in connection with real-life needs.

Digitalization helps you nurture and grow your: 

People

Leverage employee potential and customer relations to redefine how you build and monetize value. 

Products

Focus on delivering salient features that differentiate your approach to user needs from the rest of your competitors. Apply technology to craft products that deliver experiences as well as results. 

Prestige

Create value that makes you stand out, by innovating intelligently and revamping your current product suite with the aid of modern technologies.