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Simplifying Digital Transformation: How to Best Implement a Successful Strategy and Avoid Pitfalls

15 Jan, 2020  |  By PeerNova   |  Published in Articles,

Simplifying Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the use of newer, better, faster, more optimized digital technologies and methods to solve problems and reduce (or altogether remove) manual and semi-manual processes in enterprises. If this sounds broad, it is because digital transformation is a catch-all terminology for a variety of optimization processes. The opportunities are limitless, but so are the challenges.

A good digital transformation strategy requires a well-thought-out plan,  the right expertise, and good execution. What makes a particular digital transformation strategy successful, however, is far more complicated.

One of the most notable examples of a successful digital transformation is Google Maps. Google Maps has brought a profound change to our behavior.  It is hard to imagine that just a couple of decades ago people used paper maps to get around. The 1990’s feel really far, right? There is no question that Google has executed well on Google Maps, but without a few other key factors, this digital transformation may not have had the successful outcome that it has achieved.

Here are a few factors that can contribute significantly to the success of any digital transformation strategy:

Readiness, Timing,  and Getting Started

Timing is everything.  The implementation of any successful transformative strategy requires many different processes, technologies, and tools all developing in concert.  In the past, some of these efforts faced technology-readiness challenges. These are difficult factors to control because forces beyond a single organization are at play.  It is crucial, however, to make progress without waiting for external events to happen. Technology will continue to evolve. Based on the maturity of technologies, there’s been no better time than now to implement new digital transformation strategies.

Culture

Organizational behavior and culture can also significantly influence the outcome of a digital transformation strategy.  This is all about mindset. A successful strategy requires “buy-in” from many people in different positions across an organization.  Many digital transformation strategies fail because key stakeholders perceive threats to their responsibilities, authority, or in some cases, their jobs.  Naturally, an organization that urges its employees to always seek opportunities to improve processes will have a much easier time embracing change. Dr. Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese is a wonderful read on this very deterministic mindset that can make or break careers and organizations.

It is important to allow others in the organization to transform their work and become part of the process.  The people with the accountability to deliver the day to day business outcomes need to be able to see where and how they can make improvements.  Change is driven through understanding, partnership, and the ability to self-serve and drive.

Expertise

Seeking the right partner(s) with the right expertise can be a deciding factor in implementing a prosperous strategy.  Much of the success of any transformative plan will depend on best practices and avoiding pitfalls. This can only come from experience.  I’d argue that just because an organization thinks it can execute a digital strategy internally doesn’t mean that it should do it alone. Organizations must consider knowledge, expertise, and specialization that a partner can bring to the table in order to significantly increase the odds of success.

Infrastructure

Imagine using Google Maps on a “dumb” phone.  Without the successful launch of the iPhone by Apple (and subsequent smartphones) in 2007, Google Maps would have been a great idea stuck in the wrong decade.  Much like timing and readiness, infrastructure (or lack thereof) can impact the outcome of a transformative strategy.

Last week on our podcast, Digital Switch, we discussed these points at length with our Global Head of Solutions Engineering, Erika Lunceford.  Be sure to listen to that episode on your favorite podcast delivery app.

If your financial institution is implementing a digital strategy around data and process optimization, be sure to get in touch with us and request a demo today.

 




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