Digital transformation can be a daunting prospect. The word ‘transformation’ implies huge changes within a business, a period of upheaval that disrupts routine. But this isn’t necessarily the case.
Digital transformation comes with more than its fair share of myths attached. Here, we bust those myths to help you better understand exactly what digital transformation is and how it can impact your business.
Digital transformation relies on new, disrupting technology
You don’t have to have your finger on the digital pulse to adopt digital transformation.
Yes, businesses that stay ahead of the game and innovate with emerging tech can (and do) benefit from doing so—but it’s not the only way to succeed with digital transformation.
The fact is, digital is always changing. What might seem new and innovative today can easily be tomorrow’s old news. Take short-form video hosting service Vine for example. What was once a popular, cutting-edge app died within three years of launching.
Ultimately, the best way to get ahead with digital transformation is by adopting tried-and-tested methods that are known to be successful. These business pilot fish succeed by going where other brands have boldly gone before—and that’s just fine.
But a business inexperienced in implementing a digital transformation strategy, even with tried-and-tested technology such as Salesforce, can still face hazards along the way. But when you have the guidance of a certified Salesforce partner to help you along the way, you can be sure your digital transformation will be smooth and seamless.
Digital transformation starts from the top
You might think that your digital transformation strategy will be pushed from the top, an initiative launched and driven forwards by upper management keen to get ahead.
However, this is often not the case. Digital transformation is often pushed by lower level employees, the ‘boots on the ground’ who can see with greater clarity the benefits of such a strategy.
That’s not to say that upper management isn’t on board with the idea. But when presented with a digital transformation proposal, executives are often cautious, especially during a period of business stability. Such a strategy requires time, effort, skill, and investment in another party to help drive it. In short: why fix what isn’t broken?
This is not to say management is always averse to digital transformation—they might well be. But such a strategy needs their full support, and proposing it to upper executives requires a strong, comprehensive pitch that clearly outlines the benefits while weighing up the costs accordingly.
Digital transformation just means overhauling your website
Digital transformation can be hard to pin down. To the uninitiated, the word ‘digital’ simply means revamping your website and maybe adding some flashy gimmicks such as a mobile app or creating a social media strategy.
But while these elements certainly play a part in your digital transformation, they are only the tip of the iceberg. Digital transformation is about digitizing virtually every part of your business in an entirely new way.
There are dozens of new and evolving technologies available that can transform your quote-to-cash process: cloud tech, social media, voice, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence… The possibilities are virtually endless.
This emerging tech presents an array of opportunities for you to help your customers meet their goals in new and dynamic ways.
Take e-commerce for example. More and more retail businesses are going digital, either by moving online entirely or by creating an online store to accompany their brick-and-mortar presence.
Consequently, these brands seek a cloud-based e-commerce platform that continues to deliver the same great customer experience, while providing a high-spec solution that grows with the business.
While creating a website is certainly part of this, digital transformation goes further than that. The frontend provides an intuitive interface that lets customers use a variety of payment methods and multiple currencies, married with a backend that is scalable and supportive. It works for the customer and the business.
Digital transformation is all about going above and beyond. Consequently, it requires a concerted initiative to get it right, which is our next point…
Digital transformation initiatives need a dedicated CDO
To novices, digital transformation is an arcane thing. Daunting and scary, people seek guidance through such initiatives. Naturally, appointing a chief digital officer (CDO) seems like an obvious decision.
But it’s not always necessary. Most businesses have a dedicated chief information officer in their ranks, responsible for coordinating information technology infrastructure and development. These individuals are often best placed to spearhead a digital transformation initiative because they are au fait with existing IT systems. This is especially useful if your executive team is not digital transformation eager. As a senior figure, your CIO can pitch a digital transformation plan (made easier when guided by a certified Simplus implementation advisor) that speaks to upper management’s specific needs.
But while your CIO should lead the charge, authority should trickle down to each separate team, because each team will be impacted differently during the transformation. The people who are most aware of the impact are those that it will affect, and the head of each team should coordinate with the CIO to provide maximum oversight before, during, and after the initiative.
A digital transformation is not the responsibility of a single individual: it falls to every team to help guide the initiative towards business success.
If you’re considering embarking on a digital transformation initiative for business, don’t believe the myths. Armed with the knowledge above, you should be prepared to realize the benefits of digital transformation.