From Our Members

Digital transformation: How do we get there? 

In any business sector, digital transformation is a complex, multifaceted journey. It will change your business processes, how you interact with customers, and your company culture.

If digital transformation’s benefits sound pretty appealing, you’re probably wondering, “How do we get there?” 

Digital transformation of your business isn’t a radical overnight switch. Like all decisions, it’s crucial to take a deliberate, researched, and phased approach that aligns with your long-term strategic goals.  

Where to start? Typically, the best place to look is the areas of your processes where digital technology would offer an immediate impact. Where are the repeated tasks? What are the arduous parts of your employee’s roles?  

Begin with a thorough assessment of your business. Look at where you stand now and your five-year plan. The decision of what to digitise first should be driven by factors like the potential ROI, improvements to operational efficiency, customer expectations, and your capacity and infrastructure to support new technologies.  

Often, it’s best to start small. For many companies, a good starting point is digitising customer interactions. This might mean launching an e-commerce platform, developing a mobile app, or deploying chatbots in your customer service.  

Another area of focus, especially for businesses in the manufacturing sector, is the automation of back-end processes. Consider the merits of implementing an ERP system or adopting automated inventory management solutions. These digital tools can help minimise errors, reduce ordering costs, and improve efficiency. They also help provide a foundation for more advanced initiatives such as predictive maintenance and smart machining with IoT.  

By starting on small, “quick win” areas you can start to cultivate the critical digital culture in your organisation. You’ll upskill your workforce and set the foundation for more complex digital transformation efforts in the future.  

Role of strategic expertise 

In any business sector, digital transformation is a complex, multifaceted journey. It will change your business processes, how you interact with customers, and your company culture. You should not make this move without expert guidance.  

There are a broad range of digital tools available. Strategic experts know that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Each undertaking must be tailored to meet your company’s specific needs, stakeholders, customers, and community.  

Even a step as simple as selecting the best technology and vendor to align with your digital strategies can be a huge undertaking. A strategic expert will bring their experience to the table, along with a solid grasp of technology trends, the latest advancements, and industry-specific technology solutions. They will help your company avoid some of the pitfalls and risks of leaping before you look.  

The benefit of engaging with strategic experts is that they can support your internal team. Your IT team likely holds strong expertise in your company and even your industry, but they may lack a larger view of how the latest digital tech is transforming the market landscape as a whole. Consultants can offer a fresh perspective and cross-industry knowledge that may guide you to innovative solutions.  

Strategic experts can help you accelerate the digital transformation process with best practices to avoid common mistakes. They can also be vital to empowering and even upskilling your internal team, helping them build their capabilities for sustained digital transformation efforts.  

Photo by Trent Pickering on Unsplash.

This content has been produced in collaboration with a partner organisation through our Global Visibility Programme. Our programme helps companies boost their digital presence and strengthen the thought leadership of their experts. Find out more here.