Top 6 Digital Transformation Strategies
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Top 6 Digital Transformation Strategies

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By: Nihad Hassan
March 9, 2021

The topic of digital transformation (DT) has occupied news headlines for a while. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the matter to a very urgent status. DT integrates technology into all aspects of business operations, enhancing customer experience and increasing work operations efficiency. To be successful, DT adopters should change their business culture to cope with all the needs imposed by implementing digital technologies in work operations.

No matter the size of an organization, DT can bring tremendous benefits for any organization working in any industry by improving data collection, increasing customer experience, increasing profits by lowering operational costs, achieving competitive advantages, fostering digital culture, and improving productivity.

When implementing DT, an organization should first analyze its needs and current business culture, then move to identify the objectives, possible risks, and the impact of implementing the new technologies. For example, a DT strategy could be concerned about improving existing services and increasing the number of customers while spending the least amount of money necessary on advertisements.

The impact of cybersecurity on DT is evident: a recent Altimeter survey found that IT leaders include cybersecurity among their top considerations when it comes to DT, ranking it as their second biggest investment priority (35%).

This article teaches how to develop a general DT strategy that helps any organization implement new technologies effectively and with minimal risk.

Top 6 digital transformation strategies

Analysis of current company culture An organization needs to first consider the prevailing culture inside the organization. For instance, the term' business culture' describes how an organization does its business, what services and products are offered, and how people (both employees and customers) interact with the organization. All these factors determine the effectiveness of transformation. For example, let us suppose an enterprise wants to integrate Bitcoin payment into its payment options; how will this impact customers and employees? The same example could be used when introducing artificial intelligence and machine learning into business processes: how will this affect employees' work?

Understand and document the risk There is a risk when adopting anything new. For instance, enterprises understand there will be a risk when adopting new technologies. Although many of them document the risk, they fail to draw a concrete strategy to mitigate and handle this risk over a long period. For example, adopting 5G is the highest trending DT technology, as it boosts internet speed, bandwidth, and security. However, there are different risks associated with implementing the 5G technology, including using 5G components manufactured by untrusted enterprises (e.g., China), which may be equipped with malicious software to steal users' data. Another risk is the predicated new vulnerabilities introduced with the 5G technology. One vulnerability is that 5G technology is based on the 4G technology, which suffered from many security vulnerabilities in the past.

Run pilot tests After analyzing the technology and documenting the risks associated with it, it's time to run a pilot test to see how the new technology fits the organization in a production scenario. The best strategy is to adopt the new technology to one department or business process (e.g., customer support) instead of releasing it to all departments.

Get Feedback During the pilot tests, employee feedback is collected to see how the new technology works in a real production environment. The feedback can be collected using surveys or through direct meetings with affected parties.

Implement the new technology After analyzing pilot test results and fixing any drawbacks in implementations, it's time to implement and integrate the new technology into business processes. An organization must push the new technology to all departments and business processes, not just a few of them; this ensures the new technology has officially entered the business process.

Continual monitoring Continual monitoring is an essential element in any digital transformation strategy. It is essential to continue monitoring the impact of applying the new technology into business processes and see how people perceive it (e.g., employees, customers, third-party providers, and any affected party).

Most organizations realize after implementing DT that more steps must be taken. Let us suppose a company integrates artificial intelligence into its customer support process. There will certainly be an immediate improvement in customer services. However, after a while – and based on customers'/employees' feedback - there could be a need to update the implementation, such as automating more steps or removing the automation of other steps.

Summary

In today's information age, DT becomes a must for any company to survive and remain operational. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated DT technologies' adoption from several years to just a few months. However, for DT to be effective, there should be a strategy to follow. This article gives a road map to implementing digital transformation most effectively while keeping business operations working smoothly.

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