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Digital Transformation Strategy — Learn to Swim Before Diving In

Jun 5, 2023

With the world moving faster than ever, digital transformation is key to staying competitive. But despite almost 90% of business leaders saying that a digital transformation strategy is a priority for them, less than 30% of all digital transformation efforts actually succeed in improving business processes.   

If digital transformation is so important, why aren’t many businesses reaping the benefits of their digital transformation strategy?  

A lack of strong leadership and a clear vision can sink digital transformation before it ever really begins. Business leaders need to develop a robust digital transformation strategy and IT leadership team before diving into the deep end of digital transformation.  

Read on to learn more about the importance of a digital transformation strategy and how you can keep your digital transformation vision moving forward. 

Digital Transformation Strategy — Learn To Swim Before Diving In 1

The Leadership Gap in Digital Transformation  

Digital transformation touches on every aspect of your business, from the everyday processes that run your operations to your customer experience. That’s why digital transformation requires a strong strategy and even strong leadership skills to implement.  

Too often, digital transformation is relegated to just another line item, when it should be part of your core business strategy. When you push digital transformation to the side and try to implement it piecemeal, you may find that your IT team is troubleshooting and running into friction implementing new technologies.  

Many IT departments treat digital transformation as a responsive strategy. Especially during the pandemic, businesses scrambled to implement new technologies that enabled hybrid work without taking the time to envision a thorough digital transformation strategy.   

Just adding technology without taking into account your existing technology suite and IT maturity can result in security threats, inefficiencies, and frustrations for your employees.  

Without strong leadership, there is also no clear vision to digital transformation, which can lead to employees not believing that there is a benefit, or not understanding why they’re doing what they’re doing.  

Lead the Way with a Digital Transformation Strategy and Team 

Leadership is essential to a strong digital transformation strategy.  

The first step is deciding who will lead your digital transformation strategy and initiatives. This should be someone who is not only tech literate, but business literate as well. They should start with understanding what the desired outcomes of digital transformation will be.  

Desired outcomes should connect directly to overall business goals. Some outcomes of a digital transformation strategy can be:  

  • Reduced mean time to recovery  
  • Improved customer experience 
  • Improved B2B integrations  
  • Improved security posture  

Defining desired outcomes isn’t enough, however. A digital transformation strategy needs to include clear metrics for achieving these outcomes, including how you will measure success.  

It’s up to the digital transformation strategy leadership team to communicate with all internal and external stakeholders the importance of digital transformation and how it will generate revenue and contribute to business success.  

In addition to garnering support and buy-in from stakeholders, a digital transformation team also needs to take stock of their current IT maturity, talent team, and resources. Digital transformation initiatives should be assigned to teams based on their skill set and operational maturity. In doing so, a digital transformation team starts to emerge.  

Many digital transformation leaders will find that their current IT maturity does not support their digital transformation strategy. In this case, a managed service provider (MSP) can step in as a digital transformation partner and provide expertise.

Digital Transformation Strategy — Learn To Swim Before Diving In 2

How Leaders Implement a Digital-Focused Company Culture  

Leading your organization through the deep waters of digital transformation means making sure that digital transformation is part of your corporate culture.  

Invest in Policies, Not Just Tech  

Investing in technology is only a small part of a successful digital transformation strategy. Beyond shiny new tools, you need to provide digital-first policies that will help your employees get invested in digital transformation.  

Communicate early and often about your digital transformation strategy, including clear benchmarks for implementing different parts of the strategy, and clear direction about which teams will be affected by what changes. The goal is to make digital transformation as friction-free as possible for employees.  

Build Digital Literacy  

While digital transformation strategy comes from leadership, it’s up to every employee to implement digital transformation by using digital tools effectively. This means widespread, ongoing training in new tools.  

No change is too small to potentially slow down an employee’s day. Even something as simple as working with a new email client should come with training so everyone feels confident in using the new tools. Build training tools early, before widespread implementation, so you can have a smoother transition.  

Make it Okay to Fail  

Digital transformation is a process, not an event. And as a process, there will be times when either leadership or employees fail.  

Build in to the implementation timeline failure points, especially if your transformation is especially complex. Don’t punish employees for using tools incorrectly — instead, create learning opportunities to improve.  

Create a Feedback Loop for Your Digital Transformation Strategy  

As a continuous process, building in room for feedback is critical to a successful digital transformation strategy.  

Create ample opportunities for employees to provide feedback on changes and systems. Because not all employees may feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, set up some automatic feedback loops. These will also help later, when measuring desired outcomes.  

Overcommunicate and overdeliver the outcomes of your digital transformation strategy, and provide opportunity for employees to impact change if they choose. An MSP can help you resolve any hiccups in your digital transformation strategy quickly and effectively.

Every digital transformation strategy needs a strong leadership team to succeed, but not all organizations have the in-house resources to lead the way in digital transformation. Often, leadership teams dive right into digital transformation strategy without swimming first in the waters — understanding what resources they have available to actually implement their strategy.  

DYOPATH can be your digital transformation partner. Offering both MSP and MSSP services, we can help you grow in complex IT environments and navigate increasing cyber threats.  

Schedule a Call to learn more about how we can be your digital transformation strategy partner.