Implementing digital transformation (DX) is an unavoidable and never ending process for any company to remain sustainable. We know, when introduced like this, it sounds a bit scary, but we needed to catch your attention!
No matter your industry, you know technology is entirely changing the workplace. You have probably already adopted some measures to benefit from this. Can your customers send you questions 24/7 and get a quick answer through a well-designed and user-friendly chatbot? This is the perfect example of how many businesses have embraced this tech evolution over the last few years. But, of course, it goes much further than simply using virtual bots and training AI.
The most challenging part of the digital transformation process is that it never ends, as technology always improves and develops. This is one of the main reasons why companies fail to execute this digital shift. On one hand, it allows you to optimize many aspects of your organization, which gives you more opportunities to grow. But on the other hand, you need to constantly monitor and update your IT infrastructure because your competitors do the exact same.
Do you want to learn more about the impact of digital transformation and how to develop a successful strategy? Here is key information to help you do so.
What is digital transformation?
“Digital transformation” was coined by McKinsey Global Institute in 2015 and is described as “the process of creating new business models, products and services, processes, and organizational structures to deliver value through digital technologies.”
Simply put, implementing digital transformation enables companies to improve all aspects of the organization, from HR to marketing and facility management operations, thanks to technology. While IT teams are in charge of executing this ongoing strategy, making it work successfully is a collaborative responsibility that involves everyone in the workplace.
The four core areas of a digital transformation framework
Having a framework when implementing digital transformation is paramount to knowing your goals, understanding the steps to follow, and keeping track of your progress. This roadmap can be divided into four categories: people, process, technology, and data (with AI).
People have a huge role when introducing more digital tools and methods in the workplace. First, employees need to understand the purpose of it, adopt these new technologies, and be trained to use them in order to make the most of it. Second, this process also affects how you interact and collaborate with your customers and partners.
The core purpose of implementing digital transformation is to optimize, simplify, and streamline a maximum number of activities and systems in all areas of your organization. How can you improve certain procedures thanks to technology, and what is the best tool to do it? For example, you can use the deskbird app to enable hybrid teams to plan their week faster and promote collaboration.
Technology is the third pillar to focus on when creating a digital transformation framework. This boos to IT is unavoidable for upgrading your digital infrastructure. According to your current digital landscape and your objectives, you must determine which tools have the best value proposition and meet your staff and customers’ expectations.
Data and AI
Last but not least, digital transformation must be carried out based on data and supported by predictive and generative AI systems. Artificial Intelligence is a technology that works in pairs with data. Together, they are a key resource that helps businesses implement digital initiatives, but, most importantly, it enables them to accomplish this shift sustainably and successfully.
Examples of major digital transformation trends in 2023
To give you a few examples of digital transformation, here are the trends that have influenced 2023 so far:
Hybrid work pushes companies to accelerate their digital transformation.
Digitization has increased, which is unsurprising as it is one of the first steps to implement digital transformation.
The cloud transformation keeps convincing many businesses.
AI solutions are entirely reshuffling the world of work and forcing employees to review their ways of working.
Hyper automation is rising as it helps reduce operational costs and create more meaningful jobs.
Organizations are embracing the low-code/no-code approach.
The concept of citizen development opens new doors to digital applications.
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What is the impact and the benefit of a digital transformation process in the workplace?
Boosts user experience from the employees’ side
Not only does implementing digital transformation streamline workflows and boost collaboration, but it also fulfills your employees’ expectations. Again, access to the latest digital tools and solutions is expected when you have Millennials and Gen Z in your workforce. Their user experience can take a new turn with the right resources. For example, introducing hybrid workplace technology like the deskbird desk booking platform enables your staff to reserve their favorite workspace effortlessly when coming to the office. You can also boost the virtual meeting experience by equipping your hybrid teams with VR devices.
Improves user experience from the customers’ perspective
As mentioned above, people are one of the four core pillars of digital transformation. For companies, the goal of this process is to simplify their employees’ but also their clients’ lives. Ultimately, the combination of technologies you implement has an impact on customer experience. Matching their needs and providing them with the solutions they are looking for is fundamental. While the world gets more digital, they expect you to have access to your products and services online easily. Moreover, the younger your customers are, the more crucial the success of your digital transformation becomes.
Facilitates processes and workflow
An optimized IT infrastructure consolidates the entire digital architecture of your business. It simplifies every process, reinforces the operational system, and enhances seamless collaboration, especially with a hybrid work model. This digital shift makes your whole working model more efficient and effective. The best part is that it benefits all departments. It helps HR with recruitment processes, CRE professionals with workspace planning, finance leaders with data analytics, etc. With a well-implemented and long-lasting strategy, digital transformation increases your overall chances of growth and success.
Creates more room for innovation and agility
With digital transformation, the creation of new products takes a new turn. The testing phase, for example, is not as expensive. Therefore, teams can experiment with fresh ideas that would have required much more budget and time than before this digital shift. This advantage makes room for more innovation and agility in the workplace. This is a win-win for everyone as companies can let their talent shine, employees feel less restricted in their jobs and are more engaged, and customers have access to better products.
Makes your business future-proof
Among all the benefits of implementing digital transformation in your workplace, the most important reason to do it is that your business will likely have a hard time surviving if you don’t. The future is digital. Employees want a modern work environment with the latest technologies, and customers expect you to be digitally on point. If you’re not tackling this challenge, there is a high chance your competitors are already on it. So, where do you start? We give you the main steps to follow to proceed to a smooth and efficient transition.
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How do you implement digital transformation successfully?
Remember that digital transformation is a collective process
IT professionals are in charge of the whole company’s digital infrastructure, but the success of the digital transformation depends on everyone’s commitment. The IT team needs each department to share feedback about recurrent process issues to find the gaps to fill. They can, therefore, look for the best digital approach to solve them. However, this isn’t enough. It then takes everybody’s effort to use these tools appropriately to get the most out of them. For example, IT can put the best cyber risk management strategy in place. But if people don’t follow the hybrid workforce security policies to avoid losing personal and company data, the purpose of their work is half gone.
Surround yourself with the best IT professionals
We have shared the core aspects that should appear in your digital transformation framework. However, each organization has unique needs. Therefore, it is crucial to surround yourself with a group of IT experts who can meet those needs. Two choices are possible here. You can hire new talent or upskill your current staff. Either way, your IT team has to be able to develop the best plan to fill your technological gaps and be ready to tackle the challenges of digital transformation.
Create a clear long-term strategy based on adding value
Implementing digital transformation requires a clear roadmap with a lot of value propositions. This enables you to stay on track, be aware of the next steps, assess your progress, and reach your goals. Your strategy should consider your current blocks, the solutions to overcome them, the potential challenges you could encounter and how to fix them, and the KPIs to measure your improvement. Most importantly, you must think long-term and remain flexible. The world of technology constantly changes, and your plan must be agile to adapt to any unexpected event.
Keep scaling in mind
A well-thought-out digital transformation can help your business thrive and expand. Therefore, you must remember this and develop a scalable digital transformation model. As your company grows, your operating methods must still address your workforce’s and customers’ needs. For example, if your organization plans to go global in the upcoming years, take this into consideration. It means more people will work from different locations and time zones, making seamless workflow systems a necessity.
Collect and make decisions based on the right data
Data is key in a digital transformation process and in making appropriate decisions in general. But the more you collect data, the more complex it becomes to examine all this information. Looking at the right data is fundamental to making impactful choices. The good news is that technology like data-driven AI tools can help you gather, sort out, and analyze data to make predictive decisions.
Some people can get overwhelmed when more technology is introduced in the workplace. Training employees about why and how to use these new tools is fundamental in getting them on board with this inevitable shift. Upskill those who lack some tech competencies so they can continue to do their job properly (and even better) while embracing digital transformation. Another key is to use executive language that they can understand and drop the IT jargon.
Get your customers and collaborators onboard
Switching to a more digital approach is inevitable to future-proof your business. Yet, this future might be darker if you don’t consider your customers and collaborators in this process. If, on the one hand, you optimize procedures to make their lives easier, but on the other hand, they don’t understand how it works and feel frustrated, it’s a failure. As onboarding your staff is crucial, so is onboarding your partners and clients. Therefore, anticipate any question or issue they might encounter and be as available as possible (which means all the time if you team up with AI 😉!).
Analyze the budget dedicated to implementing digital transformation in your workplace
Unfortunately, digital transformation is neither easy nor cheap. It takes time, a skilled team, and money. With more companies implementing technology in their business plan, IT budgets have drastically increased over the last few years. However, organizations must have a long-term financial strategy to be able to keep up. This process takes much longer than a few weeks or months. It never ends. Yet, it is an essential investment to help you stay in the game and thrive in the long run.
Keep track of your progress by measuring KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Lastly, regularly track your progress to determine if the digital solutions you implemented are working. What is important to measure? First, you need to know the adoption rate of these new devices and resources. Second, you have to analyze if these technologies are helping team members to collaborate more easily, be more productive, and have a better employee experience. Third, you must have a clear idea if these tools are adding value to the business from a financial point of view. Other KPIs can be measured according to your goals. For example, you can track your digital transformation’s ROI (Return On Investment), organizational agility, or CLV (Customer Lifetime Value).
Implementing digital transformation is no longer an option for the professional world. While it can be complex and requires effort, companies have much more to gain than to lose in introducing more technology and digital solutions in the workplace. Thanks to more effective and streamlined workflows and practices, you boost your user experience (employees and customers). By building a long-term strategy, you create a business model that embraces the current trends and is future-proof.
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Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.