Transitioning Businesses Into Technology

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Businesses Transitioning Into Technology: Issues

Short-term view challenge, culture challenges, aligning business and IT challenges, and data challenge, are some issues that managers of established private businesses face when transitioning into the technology-based business model.

SHORT TERM VIEW CHALLENGE

  • Also, Graham states that many business managers neglect to plan for project fatigue when they near the end of their digital transformation initiatives.
  • The CEO of Epilogue Systems claims that if business managers neglect to plan for project fatigue, then once the company staff reaches exhaustion, and the external influences are gone, the end-users are left to adapt to the changes when the organization reaches the go-live date.

CULTURE CHALLENGE

  • According to Melissa Henley, changing culture will always be more challenging than changing technology, and that is why business managers must proactively address the changes needed to instill a digital culture.
  • Henley believes that digital transformation impacts every business area; therefore, it is necessary for business managers and team leaders to co-ordinate their teams and work together.
  • Also, Henley argues that business leaders must be proactive in creating a digital culture, including changing existing technologies and systems that impede change, to effectively lead the digital transformation.

ALIGNING BUSINESS AND IT CHALLENGE

  • John Mullen argues that fear of the transformation process impedes many business managers from transforming the company successfully. The North America CEO at Capgemini believes that organizations need leadership that promotes the risk-taking; managers need to change their operations and embrace an evolving innovation culture.
  • John Mullen explains that "It's imperative that organizations gain alignment between IT and the business. It is no longer possible for the CIO and the IT organization to operate separately from other C-Suite leaders."
  • John Mullen claims that if business managers integrate the technologies by retraining their employees to understand new skills, businesses can achieve digital leadership.

DATA CHALLENGE

  • Nikita Shamgunov explains that there would be data infrastructure challenges for business managers in the transformation process. The MemSQL CEO believes that the key to the success of the digital transformation process is when business managers provide innovative technology and the right infrastructure to scale up these innovative applications.
  • Nikita Shamgunov claims that there would be data information management and security challenges for business managers in the transformation process. The MemSQL CEO believes that the centralization of data will be essential to ensuring that the digital infrastructure of the enterprise is scalable without losing the consistency and safety of data management.

RECOMMENDED TOPICS

  • Current trends of Business digital transformation.
  • Future trends (2020) of Business digital transformation.
  • Examples of how digital transformation has impacted business performance.
  • Digital transformation technologies.
  • Digital transformation challenges for small and mid-size businesses.



Part
02
of two
Part
02

Businesses Transitioning Into Technology: Best Practices

Successfully implementing digital transformation is a challenging process that eludes many businesses. Making sure that management is on board, empowering employees, clearly communicating, having champions, and considering the customer can go a long way to helping achieve technology integration.

Facts & Figures

  • In a recent McKinsey study, over 80% of their respondents indicated they had undertaken efforts to digitally transform. Fewer than one-third actually succeed in improving the performance of the company and sustaining those goals. Their study indicated that the best practices that lead to success falls into the categories of leadership, capability building, empowering workers, upgrading tools, and communication.
  • The smaller the organization, the more likely their digital transformation attempts are to succeed. Large organizations with more than 50,000 employees are 2.7 times more likely to report failure with their attempts.
  • Companies that are successful in their attempts tend to employ more technologies than others, especially technologies like AI, IoT, and advanced machine learning.
  • The International Data Corporation estimates that 40% of all technology spending will go into digital transformation initiatives.

Management/Leadership

  • Having the right leadership is paramount. Around 70% of the teams surveyed in the McKinsey study indicated their top teams changed during their transformation, usually with new leaders that were more familiar with the technologies being implemented.
  • Less than one-third of respondents feel they have an engaged chief digital officer (CDO). Those that do are 1.6 times more likely to have a successful transformation.
  • Seek to find committed leadership. Leaders that are committed to making the technology changes a success. Companies where their management is committed and involved actively during the transformation indicated a 1.5-1.7 times better chance at succeeding.
  • On the topic of being committed, they must agree and be aware that the commitment is long term. They can't start like gang busters in the beginning and then let it fall by the wayside.
  • Management should strive to map out the changes in a way that is understandable. The goals should be clear along with every single employee's responsibility towards achieving these goals. To not have everyone fully informed and in the loop can be disastrous.
  • Management should be laser focused on communications during this process. Everyone must be kept up to date with what is happening, what is required of them, and what is going to happen. Let employees not only know what changes are coming and have happened but why they are important.
  • Managers should communicate with a sense of urgency, indicating the importance of a digital transformation and how it will make the business more successful for customers and employees.
  • Communications should just not be in person, the manager should use the technologies they are trying to get the employees to use to communicate effectively during this process. Consider using platforms that let communication be interactive like an internal social media platform. Encourage feedback from all involved.
  • Part of this communication should include setting up accountability for the goals that have been laid out for the employees.

Establish Clear Goals

  • Digital transformation is a complicated process. Standard operating procedures should be modified to include the new digital practices.
  • Establishing clear goals and objectives from the start assists in this process. It is imperative to have a baseline and to consider what the business wants to ultimately accomplish with these changes. A baseline also gives the team a way to measure their progress towards their goals. Understanding the end goal, the big picture, can let one see the smaller steps that will need to be implemented to achieve the goal.
  • Think about how you will know if you have met your goal and how you will measure return on investment. Establish KPIs and get baseline data captured early on in the process.

Empower & Engage Employees

  • With 27% of leaders citing resistance as the top challenge they face in implementing new technology, keeping your employees on board is a top priority.
  • Employees must be engaged from the beginning, as they are key to the success of a digital transformation. This kind of change will need a workforce that is open to change. The best way to do this is to engage them from the start. Be clear about the changes that are coming and how it will affect everyone. Let them voice their concerns and be transparent in the process. If technology will phase out a job, be honest, do not hide that fact. Instead, acknowledge it and reassure the employee that the person is not being phased out, just the job, and that there will no doubt be other jobs that need to be filled due to the new technology.
  • Keep them informed and let them know they will have the necessary tools that will enable productivity. This might also involve a change in responsibilities for many workers so their job better reflects what the goals of the company are in regard to digital transformation. Businesses that do this are 1.5 times more likely to have a successful transformation.
  • Engage them with the tools they need to collaborate during these changes. This way the management team can use their combined knowledge to increase productivity and assist in the success of the digital transformation. Think about tools that make information easier to access. This alone doubles the chance of success. Implement digital self-serve technologies for employees and business partners.
  • These tools will most likely require them to work in new ways. Change is hard for anyone, so empower them with all the training and tools they need to be successful. A quick way to fail is to make vast sweeping changes and not educate your workforce in how to adapt and succeed. This leads to frustration and will be felt in ripples across the business.

Designate Champions

  • With any business there are likely to be people that excel at adopting and implementing technology. Make these people champions of the change. They are some of your best assets in this process. Let them assist in fostering the capabilities among colleagues.
  • These champions can lead the way. As has been said before, change is difficult. Your champions can assist in launching campaigns that surround how much a technology has improved or made their job easier. Keep them, and their digital success, front and center.

Customer Experience

  • A business is nothing without customers. Therefore, keeping customer experience in the forefront during a digital transformation is imperative. Customer satisfaction with things such as reaching out to support during or after a purchase should not be ignored. If your new technology makes it more difficult for the customer during their journey, is it worth it? Think about what you can do to improve their experience. Should an automation tool be added to improve their experience? Should customer service be easier to access? If that is the case, then an automation tool should be added.
  • There are typically three phases in the customer journey, awareness, consideration, and decision. These should all be considered when implementing any changes. Collect data that enables you to see their frustrations and journey. Analyze the data to see where you can make the process better for the customer.
  • Involve your customers in these changes. Get an idea of what their frustrations are in the customer journey. This will help you make changes that improve the bottom line.

Additional Research Paths

  • What digital tools like self-service tools are the best to adopt?
  • What is the best data to use when setting up a baseline and for KPIs during the digital transformation process?
  • What new roles have been created to facilitate the digital transformation?
  • What are the most effective technologies to employ?
  • What are best practices for the SMB when attempting to digitally transform? Are there certain areas that are harder for SMBs than for larger businesses?
  • How important is systems integration in the process?
  • How important is automation?
  • Should a business seek outside help?

Research Strategy

  • To obtain best practices, we combined research from industry leaders on best practices and analyzed it to see what topics were talked about the most. These topics that were mentioned the most were included in our key findings. Additional topics that there was not enough time to cover have been listed in the Additional Research Path section.
Sources
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