Organizations approach digital transformation from one of two primary perspectives: improving the customer experience or driving operational efficiency. Current events are shining a light on the need for digital transformation and accelerating the timeline. Communications & collaboration technology, virtual event platforms, and self-serve capabilities are in high demand because they address gaps organizations can no longer ignore. No matter which path brings you to your digital transformation initiative, or how quickly you need to arrive, there are several common factors that will impact success.
Goals & Vision
Clearly defined goals are critical for any initiative. They create a common vision to drive alignment, articulate the value, help mitigate competing priorities, or avoid getting bogged down in nuances caused by organizational silos. When it comes to digital transformation goals, they typically fall into four categories: cost reduction, scalability, business growth, or organizational change. What if you are facing all four at once? How do you effectively communicate the intended goals and outcomes? This is where having a clear understanding of your audience is important. Tailoring the benefits to the needs of the stakeholder will help you effectively champion the initiative across the organization and gain the needed support.
Large transformation efforts are more successful when leadership is actively sponsoring the change. An initiative may be the result of an executive directive, but this alone will not foster the interest or desire needed within the organization to ensure the impacted people fully adopt the change. An effective sponsor will actively participate in and communicate about the change, they will rally the support of their peers, they will help coach their team members, and they remove barriers or mitigate risks as needed. Ensuring you have an invested sponsor for your project will help reinforce the importance of the initiative and the value it will bring to the organization.
Technology is just an enabler. The strategy around the technology being implemented is ultimately what will define success. As you begin to map out your digital transformation initiative avoid focusing on short term needs. Design for the long haul to ensure you are considering the entire digital ecosystem along with driving innovation and adoption. Keep in mind transformations occur over time and often rely on certain threshold to be attained before moving ahead. Develop a strategic roadmap for your digital transformation to explain how people, process and technology will evolve over time to meet the goals of the initiative.
Efficiency and scalability often go hand in hand. Marketing teams are under constant pressure to do more with less and to do it quickly. This often requires team members to continuously adapt and collaborate in new ways which means your digital ecosystem needs to be able to scale with your team. Integrations and data architecture will play a huge role in scalability, but also consider your people and processes. What is the skillset required to leverage the technology vs existing expertise? How will you bridge this gap? Do processes or team structures need to be addressed? Addressing how you will scale is as important as finding the right technology to support it.
Consider the culture of your organization. Does it embrace change and agility? Is there an awareness and desire for transformation? Without an understanding of the people side of change delivering value to the customer, and creating a sustainable digital business model, will be difficult to accomplish. How can you determine if your organization is ready for digital transformation? What steps do you need to consider along the way? What type of expertise is needed to support the transformation? This post will provide some guidance.
Don’t underestimate the importance of communication. From the start of the project, key stakeholders and impacted audiences should be identified to determine their information needs. Similar to mapping content to the buyer’s journey, understanding the questions each group will have throughout the project stages will help you develop an effective communication plan to implement. Key messages need to be communicated through multiple channels or sources and should be delivered on a regular cadence because each impacted team member will receive these differently and move through the change process in their own way.
If your organization is preparing for a digital transformation initiative, let us know. Relationship One is always here to help.
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