Digital transformation, in its simplest form, is updating the way you work to remove the need for paper.
Digital transformation is at the top of everyone’s agenda as of late with companies starting to understand the importance of a robust digital toolkit and infrastructure while transitioning, and in some cases, struggling to adapt to a remote workforce.
At Level Up, we’ve been working on digital innovation and transformation projects since 2015; it was actually referred to as ‘Digital Business’. Here what we wrote back in 2015 on Digital Business as it was coined then.
What does it mean to digitally transform?
Digital transformation, in its purest form, is updating the way you work to remove the need for paper. Thus, the digital part. The transformation part comes from how an organization updates its people, processes, infrastructure, applications, and services to remove the need for paper and the leverage the new data being created.
The generally accepted phrasing for Digital Transformation is the use of new, fast, and frequently changing digital technology to solve problems. It is about transforming processes that were nondigital or manual to digital processes (Wikipedia).
These business-changing technologies range from revamping or replacing legacy systems to implementing new cloud-based collaborative workplace productivity tools, hyperautomation with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools, and customer-facing AI-driven chatbots.
Digitally transforming your organization allows you to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances and lays the foundation for keeping you ahead of the technology curve. When executed correctly, digital transformation creates measurable business value and adds resiliency to your organization at scale.
Through our experiences with digital transformation and being a company born of the digital era, we understand what it takes to successfully transform and stand ahead of our competitors in an increasingly digital and remote world.
Our successes (and failures) exploring and implementing emerging digital transformation tools and processes has led us to these three critical considerations for a successful digital transformation journey:
1. Keep Your Companies’ Culture at the Forefront of Decisions
It’s important to keep what makes you – you! Especially when going through a significant transformation. This is why keeping your companies’ culture at the forefront of your transformation journey is so important.
As companies transition more and more to working remotely, culture must not suffer. When employees are working outside of the office, it’s easy to lose sight of the culture that made your organization successful in the first place.
Implementing instant messaging tools like RingCentral and Slack, as well as hosting virtual events with tools like Zoom or Webex will help your employees continue to feel connected outside of the workplace while helping reinforce your company culture.
The benefits of a digitally enabled, remote workforce are becoming increasingly relevant to organizations, and the remote work trend will continue to rise because of a companies ability to recruit and draw from a larger talent pool, take advantage of lower overhead costs, and provide workers with the right tools to be more productive.
All of this drives direct business value and helps maintain a strong company culture that is a vital element for any thriving business.
2. Leverage the Cloud
Prior to the COVID outbreak that forced companies out of the office and into a remote workforce, a majority businesses had not taken any steps to prepare for remote work capabilities, and many more were drastically underprepared. This has left IT departments overwhelmed and feeling the burden of getting their business back up and running efficiently.
Beyond a global pandemic shaking the foundations of how businesses operate, it remains vital (now more than ever) for companies to get ahead of the technology curve and invest in disruptive digital technologies and scalable digital infrastructure to stay competitive.
The cloud plays a key role in keeping your employees engaged and operating efficiently. Implementing a tool like Gusto vastly improves the onboarding process of new employees, making recruiting and HR tasks much more efficient depending on your size. Utilizing cloud content management tools like Contentful, gives your organization a central api driven content repository that can be leveraged across channels from marketing to support.
Whether you are trying to add resiliency for your future or looking for immediate impacts to deliver value and overcome challenges, a digital transformation strategy is necessary for taking your company to the next level.
3. Select the Right Partner
This is perhaps the most critical aspect of your digital transformation journey. This can mean the difference between a successful transformation or a waste of valuable company resources, time, and money.
When searching for and selecting a partner to transform your organization, it is essential to find a team of experts that has explored & implemented new technologies and has transformed themselves
Someone that can break down what digital transformation is, to it’s purest form to help your entire organization understand the objective at hand.
You need a team that has explored, identified, built various digital tools. A team that fundamentally understands what leads to success through their own failures. A team that can help guide you in the right direction and avoid the pitfalls of the trailblazers.
But beyond selecting a team with the right knowledge and experience, you also need to select a team willing to take the time to be truly invested in your companies’ long term success and understands your unique processes and desired outcomes (*cough* Level Up Development *cough*).
Partnering with the right team of innovation experts is one of the wisest and most sound investments a company makes. Going through a digital transformation is a journey, not a short sprint, so you want a partner you can trust, and that will be with you for the long haul.
Those are three key considerations we recommend for anyone looking to start or have just started a digital transformation journey or already on it.