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What Not to do When Creating a Digital Transformation Strategy

by | Mar 10, 2020

There are a lot of components that go into an effective digital transformation strategy. So rather than attempting to tell you what you should do, we’ve highlighted a few situations to steer clear of. With these buffers in place, we have faith that you’ll be well on your way to a stellar digital transformation strategy.

Implementing new technology because it’s new. 

In the age of digital transformation, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the flashy new AI-powered technology that’s available. However, adopting new technology can be helpful for simplifying tasks, streamlining processes, and ultimately improving ROI. To find the right technology for your org, compare your long-term goals with your current operation. Take a look at the following situations to see how your organization could benefit from AI-powered tools. 

  • The one-second rule: Consider all of the small mental tasks that your team completes on a daily basis. Andrew Ng explains how these minor tasks are easily automated with AI in a Harvard Business Review article.
  • The fuzzy cell rule: If your team has to comb through spreadsheets full of data to come up with a single output, machine learning can run through a million permutations to come up with the optimal result in an instant. 
  • X marks the data: If your team is spending time scanning resumes, AI-powered algorithms can step in to identify valued skill sets and qualify the best candidates for the job.

“Digital transformation is not about installing this or that technology, but in how we transform the people who use it — at all levels — and in how we make use of it.”  

Wrote Enrique Dans for Forbes

Focusing only on the future. 

Business goals are inevitable to a growing and profitable business. However, it’s necessary to back up your goals with big data from the past. When creating a strategy for digital transformation, the same rings true. Here are a few examples of how data can lead your digital transformation efforts. 

  • Consider your YOY business performance. To keep a consistent pace or increase performance when adopting new digital solutions, it’s important to consider the deployment rate and how long it will take to begin expediting processes and seeing results. 
  • Consider your customers’ satisfaction. There are a ton of ways to measure your customers’ experience with your services and products. By using a Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score, or Customer Effort Score (CES), you can see exactly what your customers aren’t happy with and use that information to choose a vendor that can help you improve your score in the short and long term. 
  • Consider your current employees’ job functions. Automation is often the goal when adopting digital tools. To prepare your team for automation, it’s important to be clear on where the affected teammates’ job roles will change and how they should spend their reclaimed time once the tool is implemented. New digital strategies could also lead to better employee experience and less turnover. 

Moving forward without buy-in.

The simple truth is that without buy-in on the digital transformation strategy and the tools that come along with it, your org won’t use them. Being honest and sharing the intent behind the new digital technology from the beginning can help calm concerns and address challenges that come with automation and artificial intelligence.

Make sure your team understands what the new tech has to offer and how it will affect their day-to-day, so they can take complete advantage of it. If you don’t, you could risk a low adoption rate within your company, which means a lot of wasted money and unhappy employees.

Luckily, getting buy-in doesn’t require jumping through hoops. However, it could require consistent dedication from your business leaders. 

  • Host face-to-face meetings to answer questions before purchasing.
  • Guarantee the same level of dedication to training once the tool is implemented.
  • Ensure the vendor provides in-depth documentation on the tool.
  • Get demos that show how intuitive the tool is.
  • Find a vendor that has a supportive and available customer success team.

Being afraid to change direction.

When creating strategies and plans, it’s easy to get stuck on a one-track mind and ignore all the other alternative-yet-viable options. The same goes for creating a digital transformation strategy. It’s best to keep an open mind on where it could take your organization. 

Flexibility is necessary to ensure your digital transformation strategy doesn’t get put on hold due to external factors. Being able to pivot when necessary can help keep the train moving in the right direction, which in this case is toward automation-driven business transformation. 

One way to stay open to change and avoid sticking to what you know includes observing how other companies (inside and outside your industry) are introducing digital transformation strategies and operating post-implementation. 

Taking a page out of another business’s playbook can help lead your org to the ultimate digital transformation, even if it isn’t exactly how you anticipated. As long as your employees and customers are having better experiences, you can expect beneficial outcomes.