an employee enjoying digital transformation

Signs of a lock-tight digital transformation strategy

A well-written digital transformation plan aligns a company’s business and digital strategies. When strategies align, organizations can:

  • Enhance customer journeys
  • Decrease the time-to-market
  • Improve productivity
  • Achieve better planning

While most companies understand the benefit of better alignment, they often lose sight of it. That’s why organizations need to ensure that their digital transformation strategies are tightly coupled with their business strategies. Losing sight of the alignment can happen when environments change overnight. Here are a few ways to ensure that your digital transformation strategy is locked tight.

Achieving alignment.

Deploying new technology doesn’t lead to digital transformation unless the culture surrounding it changes. To achieve lasting alignment, focus on the following:

Once people understand the value of aligning business and digital strategies, they are more willing to embrace change.

Customer experience.

Companies that keep goals directed towards the customer can bypass traditional silos. For example, customer support, IT, and customer experience specialists are tasked with addressing a point of friction when consumers try to move from a self-service option to a human. By directing the team’s focus to a specific customer issue, organizations can minimize the opportunity for old attitudes to resurface. Instead of looking at the problem from their respective silos, the cross-functional team engages in a collaborative effort to improve the customer experience.

Cross-functional teams.

As organizations use more cross-functional teams, they expose employees to different departments. They begin to learn how other employees operate, which helps to tear down stereotypes. When IT works with customer support to solve a customer experience issue, everyone is focused on resolving the problem. The needed change is not about why IT didn’t fix the problem sooner or why representatives didn’t report the problem. Instead, it’s about finding a workflow that benefits the customer.

Inclusive culture.

Achieving alignment requires an inclusive culture. In such environments, people feel respected and valued.  They are more engaged and are less likely to leave. Continuity within the workforce makes for a better customer experience. Establishing an inclusive mindset should begin with onboarding because it is the origin of the employee experience.

Different perspectives also encourage innovation. Being inclusive enables employees from different cultures and backgrounds to express ideas. Varying perspectives can lead to alternative solutions to existing problems.

Creating a road map.

Companies often have several digital initiatives operating simultaneously. These multiple projects do not make for a coherent or integrated strategy for transformation. Sometimes, businesses need to reassess their road maps to see if they are still aligned with business strategies. It may require a reevaluation of the underlying assumptions if the business environment has changed.

For example, road maps that operated without a remote workforce will have to look at their work location assumptions. They will have to assess technology and training needs to accommodate changes in work environments. They may need to include collaborative tools in their digital transformation.

Road maps are not a guarantee that strategies will be executed. Unless the digital and business strategies are aligned, it’s challenging to have the needed resources in place to deliver on the transformation. That’s why successful alignments must begin at the executive level. Everyone in an organization needs to understand their position on the digital road map.

Investing in technology.

Although companies have accelerated their technical deployments, they have also realized systemic weaknesses such as legacy systems and inadequate infrastructures. Businesses have learned that technology is no longer a support function but a core driver of business value. IT can no longer be excluded from strategy development.

Understanding this distinction is crucial if management is to get beyond the cost. Replacing legacy systems or upgrading existing infrastructures can be expensive, but without those investments, companies cannot compete in the rapidly changing digital world. Technology must be evaluated in terms of value creation, flexibility, and resiliency.

Analytics.

The need for accurate data has never been more acute. Companies need to look at existing algorithms to ensure their validity and to explore alternatives based on new or emerging strategies. They must find ways to leverage their data to create a competitive advantage. Data analysis can identify weaknesses in a business’s customer experience or highlight areas that need operational improvements to increase productivity.

Training.

Training will become a critical factor as more organizations turn to technology for value creation. Companies need to develop a talent strategy as well as a transformational one. Organizations must find ways to maximize the top-performing talent and to upskill employees to meet changing workplace skills.

Remote working has helped individuals learn to use online training tools. These tools can deliver training in the flow of work to enable employees to access the information when they need it for better retention. Giving people the opportunity to learn on their means a higher level of mastery.

Organizations should prioritize remote alternative training methods such as self-teaching modules, collaborative learning experiences, and simulations. Delivering training in a more personalized manner means a better-trained workforce for the future.

Digital transformation strategy.

A well-aligned digital transformation strategy ensures that the digital and business strategies are focused on the same long-term goals. To ensure your digital transformation is integrated, consider the following signs of a locked-tight strategy.

  • Aligned. Your business, digital, and talent strategies are in sync. Everyone understands how the digital strategy drives and supports the business goals. A talent strategy is developed that closely follows the digital one to ensure that the company has the needed talent to meet strategic goals.
  • Road Map. You have a visual representation of the transformational strategies. Knowing how all three strategies come together in support of change makes it easier to keep all parties aligned.
  • Technology. Your organization has a technology plan for acquiring and deploying the necessary solutions to ensure a successful transformation. It’s clear that technology is being deployed to support a strategy not because it is a cutting-edge solution.

If your organization has aligned its strategies, revised its road map, and created a technology plan, your path to digital transformation, while not without obstacles, will be directed towards a faster transformation than non-aligned organizations.

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