One of the biggest challenges with digital transformation is that it is difficult to track progress as there are moving targets. This forces businesses to make changes to key performance indicators. In order to shift focus from previous metrics to newly set targets, it is important to understand how IT supports your business and its objectives?
This pandemic has shown that survival was the name of the game but as the dark shadows of pandemic start to vanish, we might see a shift in digital transformation goals, metrics and strategies. Here are seven important digital transformation lessons this pandemic taught us and how you can take advantage of them in the future.
7 Digital Transformation Lesson This Pandemic Taught Us
Here are seven lessons we learned by implementing digital transformation during this pandemic.
1. Put Your Business Value Chain In The Limelight
Jay Upchurch, CIO at SAS points out a mistake businesses make when implementing digital transformation. He says, “Some companies jump into the middle of the value chain to drive transformation. But doing so can add pressure upstream and downstream in ways that cause needless confusion and tension.”
If you implement digital transformation in a single department, this would put extra pressure on other departments. For those who want to achieve positive business outcomes, it is imperative that you understand every step of your business value chain to nullify the negative impact on the business. If you don’t do that, you will end up losing control and the negative impact will resonate throughout your organization like a ripple effect created from throwing a stone in water.
2. Eliminating Technical Debt Won’t Cut It
Another common mistake businesses make is considering paying off technical debt as digital transformation. Both of them are two different concepts. Despite this, we see most businesses use this term as a funding tool to replace technical debt. If you are still using the legacy system, replacing them with newer, more advanced systems is necessary but is not a digital transformation.
If you are really serious about digitally transforming your business, you need to focus on changing your business processes and improve business engagement even if they have to change the target digital marketing framework they serve. Businesses who count the number of legacy systems retired and migrated to cloud as the measure of success with digital transformation struggle in achieving business goals.
3. Transparency and Accountability is Crucial
Sometimes, both IT leaders and businesses know the right metrics but they fail when they are asked to apply them. Whether they are financial, operational, customer-centric, employee engagement, growth or risk-related metrics, they struggle to implement them or enforce them effectively. As a result, they can not ensure transparency and hold people accountable for their actions, which leads to their downfall. When choosing the right metrics, make sure they are measurable and relevant.
4. Don’t Limit Agile Process To IT
One of the biggest lessons that this pandemic taught businesses is that having a contingency plan is a must. Digital transformation is all about giving people access to tools they need to complete their job efficiently. This does not mean that you should always invest in the latest and greatest technology such as the chicago dedicated servers but focus more on bringing iterative improvements and enhancing the efficiency of your organization.
That is where adopting agile methodology can come in handy. Agile can offer you tons of advantages that other traditional methodologies cannot. It can not only help you improve the quality of your products but also give you complete control. Moreover, it gives you more flexibility to make changes while minimizing the risks. By implementing agile, you can also improve customer satisfaction.
You can get all these benefits especially if you can implement agile throughout your organization and not just limit it to your IT department. Companies get so obsessed with tools that they even start ignoring their people and impact of digital transformation on key stakeholders, which leads to their undoing.
5. Digital Skills Do Matter
As businesses pivot their strategies due to this pandemic, companies who put their employees and customers first wins at digital transformation. Business leaders need to draw a comparison between digital skills their staff already have and digital skills they need to thrive in future. You can even outsource talent from third parties especially if the talent shortfall in your industry is a major issue. Businesses can also invest in polishing the digital skills of their current employees with training and development programs. Test the knowledge of your employees with assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of the training and development program.
6. Track The Ecosystem Value
If you are a business who loves to form business partnerships then, digital transformation will provide you with a ton of opportunities. You can even tap into new markets which you have not explored in the past. This would only happen when you forge long term partnerships with popular brands specializing in their respective niches. Keep an eye on the revenue you are generating from their ecosystem with the help of your partners. If your partner ecosystem is delivering business value, your partnerships are fruitful and if it does not, you should reconsider other partnership options so as to gain from partnerships instead of losing. More Tech blogs, Take a look at ExportHub Blog
7. Prioritize Cybersecurity
Integrating cybersecurity is no longer an option, it has become the need of the hour. There has been a surge in the number of cybersecurity attacks and the complexity of attacks are also growing, making them hard to detect and prevent. This means that businesses don’t know how to respond to emerging cybersecurity threats especially if they don’t have an incident response plan ready. Regulations and acute talent shortfall problems are making life tough for businesses. Then you also have to justify your cybersecurity investments by showing a positive return on investment in order to convince board members to pass your cybersecurity budgets. You can overcome all these challenges when cybersecurity is deeply ingrained into your organization’s fabric.
Which is the biggest digital transformation lesson this pandemic taught you? Share it with us in the comments section below.
Featured image: blogs.worldbank.org