Profitization, tech-democratization, & employee upliftment. If you still don’t follow what digital transformation means, let us explain in simple words.
So what does digital transformation mean?
As the one liner goes - It is the tactful deployment of new age technology to create user-centric products that gets everybody hooked to your brand.
Today, business owners have sufficient tools at behest to sneak peak on their closest rivals. Naturally, the ones to excel, in most industries if not all, are those who offer the most digitized levels of services. There’s a method to this madness and the organization that is the first to recognize the do-good factor of incremental progress, powered by analytics, wins the race.
The digital part of this enterprise self-improvement pushes for product specifications that centers around a recurring theme of intuitive action, interconnectivity, and gratification. These are the client-side results of a digitized product, likewise there’s a business-side that should encourage the teams creating the product to switch to data analysis, design sprints and a lean product development philosophy.
The transformational part relates to self-adjustment. Change drags uncertainty and insecurity into the fray and makes employees, unfamiliar with digital transformation, to question the approach. Provided such anxieties are put to rest and the company culture gently nudged in a new direction, digital transformation cannot pick up.
The thing about digital transformation is that it revolves around designing the perfect user experience,UX. The task may appear herculean at first, but it is best to undertake each step of your evolution thinking whether it would please that finicky user or not. When you blow the trumpet for DX initiatives, make sure you stay fastidious all along the way.
The fact that business profitability is directly linked to customer satisfaction needs constant reminding. Stay on course to stretch your limits and develop user-friendly specifications that don’t just consolidate brand identity but wins hearts. You don’t need second guesses to surmise that the users are addicted to the digital element of life.
Take the ESPN Fantasy Sport App, for instance. We outlined earlier that being intuitive is a key characteristic of a digital product. Well, what features could the users of a fantasy sport app desire, or take for granted. Simple, a cleanly organized dashboard that displays crucial stats all in one place. Since it is the least of expectations, the navigation should be self-explanatory, and that is exactly what you get with this app.
If user expectations and new age products both lie in the digital realm, and you want to excel at both, then a reincarnation of your business-self is what you need direly.
We cannot possibly consider a Ted Talk on this subject without stoking digital transformation myths. Actually, the variety of information on the internet tends to overwhelm users into believing fiction, not facts. But since you are here, we’ll jump right into the mix and dispense all doubts whatsoever on this matter.
Nope it isn’t. DX is an intuitive exercise that empowers its believers with an instinct to renovate customer experience. Those who get good at it often acquire the ability to predict what future-trends around UX would spell out. But that requires putting yourself in the shoes of different personalities, because that is what constitutes the general audience. DX has more human-aspects to it than most people agree it does.
It would be apt to use the term identity renewal. By nature, DX could visibly alter official surroundings and hence give rise to this myth. Yet, it need not be my way or the highway approach. A rejuvenation of your company culture would pursue an all-in approach towards subscribing to new tools and enterprise software. In other words, DX is just an upgrade for older business processes.
Not entirely. Project stakeholders mistakenly believe unless they introduce new flagships to the market they’ll be forgotten. May be all that your current product line needs is a digital makeover. Modern customers will turn to the most feasible product, the definition of which is quite subjective. But if you’re a legacy business you already have the vote of mass appeal, and all you need now is a digitized version of the product-offering to stay relevant.
It is relatively straightforward to pursue DX if you have a toned down list of priorities.You need guidance as to what formulates the chief components of DX and an ordered approach to lead you towards the same path.
You don’t know what you don’t know. So how do you create a DX strategy for the first time?
Simple. The priority list should consider imbibing those epochal trends that dominate your industry in the present while far-sighted enough to leave implementation room for future developments. To make it simpler you can run a breakdown analysis of this broader view by dividing it into 3 questions:
Finding such simplistic yet consequential answers will have you chart your way through murky waters.
Those jumping onto the bandwagon in a hysteria to be a “digital” company have paid dearly. The course of transformation is dominated by the duality of customer experience and business outcomes. The first is the consequence while the latter is the cause.
The concept of Digital In Digital Out (DIDO) should set the tone for delving into such technological investments that enable the business to connect with customers on leading digital platforms. New revenue streams would unfurl, and business models realigned to multiply returns.
These are the enablers that determine how effective the transformation is. The following factors need child-like care and attention so the company continues its march towards an effective transformation.
Technology is the easy kill. Buy, install and implement is all there is to it. The problem lies in opening up clogged mindsets. Knowledge workers must be made to see the bigger picture of the need to upskill. If that much is clear, the older employees wouldn’t mind the thick stream of new hires you would need to fulfill digital milestones.
If something doesn’t smell right, it's probably because someone is busy sowing the seeds of doubt instead of leading from the front. All those singled out to manage the teams must stay wholly committed in making s**t work. Hurdles will come by, and it is easier to let loose, but that’s when blind faith will act as the beacon and probably save the day.
It is safe to assume that the majority of investors and business owners recognize the formidable productivity gains they can absorb with digital transformation. Yet loggerhead situations arise due to umpteen factors that could include cash crunch, lack of roadmap foresight in decision-makers, and worse a clueless workforce that is expected to execute orders without realizing the consequences. If the ultimate DX experience is to be achieved, then the following 10-step process shall do you good in hitting the right milestones timely.
Unless the flag-bearers are excited about DX, the prospective followers won’t be. Get your cheerleading shoes on and begin singing loud what DX means for your company.
The decision to transform must extend beyond the often verbose mission-statement of the company and be presented as a breakaway path to new frontiers. Evidently, KRAs would be redefined, inter-departmental shufflings activated, and new project guidelines introduced. You cannot expect all this to wrought positive results unless everybody involved buys into the philosophy. Take everyone onboard from top to bottom and left right and center.
There is always scope for improvement. Look closely at your immediate competitors and analyze the areas where they are ahead. Subsequently, reverse engineer the digital tools and techniques that should enable your advance towards closing this competitive gulf. This back-propagation must challenge individuals to burn the night lamp and propel where the company hasn’t been before. The objective is simple, have a moonshot so you are at least among the stars.
Networking technologies, the internet along with automation will move in tandem and continue getting sophisticated. To reach for the low hanging fruits and acquire (only) enough resources to make do for the present would be akin to shooting yourself on the foot.
What happens when the predicted digitization trends of the upcoming time materialize? Wouldn’t you then re-enter the ineffective loop of burning only as much cash that keeps you afloat in the industry? Big things might have small beginnings but they need appreciable expenditures and that is why we recommend following a 5-year plan and piggie-banking corresponding monies accordingly.
Take-off With High Hopes
The prior steps were all about preparation. Now that you have warmed up for a marathon, it is time to bring in a swing in the step for every new lap that you undergo.
A Lighthouse Project is a small-scale big picture undertaking, much like a minimum viable product. Teams working in Agile settings know the significance of such tightly deadlined design sprints that aim to solve a smaller piece of a much larger jigsaw. With initial results, you can iterate changes that let you hit the eye of the needle every single time. As a result of this, Agile Methodology is immensely practiced in the mobile app industry.
Lighthouse projects are low on risk and high on rewards, so even if the outcome isn’t what you expect, it’s’ alright. Since you work in beast mode you’d discover one of the 10,000 ways your product wouldn’t work (to paraphrase Thomas A. Edison).
We mentioned earlier that job responsibilities would go through a whirlpool of change. But a team is only as good as its leading authority. In other words, for employees, this could be a first-ever experience of transitioning onto data-driven processes and digital enterprise tools. As their key performance indicators are realigned, these very people should not be judged by their ability to render seamless change management.
It is wise to bring in a new face, someone seasoned in facelifting the DX quotient of an enterprise. CIOs are adept at this role but a new distinction has risen for the one who is born to carve the digital transformation roadmap for companies, namely the Chief Digital Officer (CDO).
Once the CDO/CIO begins enacting the prescribed workflow, new hires will show up. In a fast track environment, such niche hires could birth unease on the side of already overwhelmed employees who are now forced to upskill. Make no mistake, this is ground zero for your digital business transformation. If loyal employees sensed they are being replaced, which they are not, attrition would hit the ceiling breaking the spine of your operations.
CDOs should make it their life’s mission to prevent a confidence-loss between the existing workforce, managerial enablers, and the incoming professionals.
You don’t want cracks appearing in your progress towards a digital transformation in business that is sure to improve customer experience (CX). Base your push to digitize workflows on the need to reinvent the CX. Those higher up in the company’s pecking order should ensure to present the new approach of speedy development as a precursor for progressive change.
That doesn’t mean to browbeat people with a non-digital mindset to bend to your wishes but reasonably pointing towards the road for adopting digital technology in business.
Expand your Digitalisation Strategy
In an ideal scenario, a business cycle of 18 months should paint the picture clear for you. If you take these steps to your heart, results will follow. A follow-up plan must zero-in on immediate to-dos that further the scope and impact of your digital strategy and transformation.
Once the benefits of digital transformation begin to accrue, it's time to put your foot down the accelerator and hit higher levels of team productivity, inter-person collaboration, and finally profits. The objective is to build on the success of what worked in the aforementioned steps, with an aim to achieve superfluous results against your previous efforts.
Demarcate focus-areas that as an effect of digitalization strategies, have had an immediate impact on the core of the enterprise. The shortlisted sectors should be re-targeted for optimizing output and prioritized over those whose ground results lie in the distant future.
The long list of organizational capabilities begins from talent, brand identity, and accountability and stretches to leadership personnel, learning opportunities, and customer connectivity. In view of your digitalization strategies, you would fare well in some, while average in others. The idea is to develop capabilities, either out of the ones mentioned or new ones, that position you as an out-n-out market leader in creating a digital transformation strategy framework.
The lean startup ideology has become somewhat of a gospel for companies mulling digital transformation business benefits. It has redefined mobile app development. The thought of abandoning the rigid SDLC model one has stuck hypnotically to and subscribe to a new software development ideology fatigues many. But cross-industrial experience shows that adaptive planning, continuous testing, and relative estimation, in short, an Agile mindset is the closest ally of digital transformation. You might as well do it now than live to regret not taking it up.
Mobile App Daily is one of the largest aggregators of the app industry. We offer not just a curated, but an insanely refined repository of IT solution providers and top app development companies whose ability to offer digital transformation consulting is off the charts. If you liked what you read, then prepare for a feast, as this is just a prelude to what the enlisted digital businesses can do for you. Check ‘em out now!
Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.
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