Digital Transformation, Where To Start?

When you invest in a Digital Transformation solution, you want it to be a success. However, where do you need to start and what to consider? Let's find out!

When you invest in a Digital Transformation solution, you want it to be a success. However, there are several factors to determine it, and the initial approach to Digital Transformation can identify if it is going to be a failure or a success.

So, DON’T do this at the start of Digital Transformation:

  1. Do NOT contact software consultancy.
  2. Big Digital Transformation companies on the market DO NOT mean a successful Digital Transformation.
  3. Figure out your Digital Transformation strategy YOURSELF.

Do NOT contact software consultancy as your first step

Many clients get surprised to hear this from us. However, a Digital Transformation project is not something you can easily invest in and give into the hands of a third-party company. You should be involved in Digital Transformation from the first day. You might want to research all opportunities on the market, but you should not ask for Demos at this stage. (1)

Why?

You might not even fully understand what process you need to digitalise to get the most ROI out of it.

Big Digital Transformation companies DO NOT mean a successful Digital Transformation

Yes, you might feel safer contacting a large corporation to do your Digital Transformation, but the price and value you will receive might be far from what your company requires. We always suggest searching for software providers who have worked in the same industry as yours and know all your pain points.

Why is it important?

Small agencies can provide a better solution for you and your company, something that can improve those processes you identified for digitalisation. Whereas large corporations have a specific journey set for every company no matter their size, industry or issue.

Therefore, if you do want to start a Digital Transformation project with a well-known provider, be ready and prepared that the project strategy you have outlined might not be the same with them because they will push you to do what they can implement.

Figure out your Digital Transformation strategy YOURSELF

Many businesses today want to implement Digital Transformation, but they either do not have the time or resources to outline their strategy. So, they go on a market and ask a consultancy agent to do it for them. This step alone can bring your project to failure. (2)

Why?

No one knows your internal issues and problems better than you do. No one can understand which processes make your employees leave or feel unsatisfied with their job. And lately, no one can better know your future goals and strategy – where you want to see your company in the next 5 years – than you.

Therefore, contacting third-party companies is an easy step. However, be ready and prepared that they might not particularly help you to achieve your goals and drive your Digital Transformation to success.

Right, we made it clear what we would not do as the first steps of your Digital Transformation project.

So, how to implement successful Digital Transformation?

  1. Set a realistic strategy.
  2. Evaluate your business processes with internal help.
  3. Focus on selecting the correct partners.

Set a realistic strategy

From the start, set a realistic strategy where you see your company going in the next 5 years. On top of it, you should make sure you are clear to a wider organisation about a possible upcoming change.

Why?

Because if people are left guessing or don’t think it’s achievable, then that uncertainty or doubt can spread and impact your Digital Transformation efforts. Therefore, try to ensure you have methods of communication to provide feedback and keep everyone on the same page.

Evaluate your business processes with internal help

In most projects of any type, there is a project manager who sees the project through to completion, and Digital Transformation is no different. However, with Digital Transformation projects, you also want to ensure you have a champion of improvement as part of the project team. Ideally, this is someone who understands the undergoing Digital Transformation process but can also fully see the benefit of making the improvements. This will differ from project to project, depending on the area you are looking at. (3)

However, here are some examples we have seen:

  • A factory worker who would rather spend time ensuring the machines on the production line is running optimally than filling in the paperwork.
  • A call centre operative who would rather be on the phone with customers than typing in order details received via email or fax.
  • An HR officer who would rather spend time interviewing and shortlisting candidates than chasing departments to get a new employee onboarded correctly and quickly (4)

In all of these cases, these are the people who will benefit from the Digital Transformation change. They help those implementing the transformation understand the current or potential pain points and ensure that whatever the result is, it will work on a day-to-day basis for them and their colleagues.

Therefore, by being a part of the project team, they can quickly give feedback on what may make the process inefficient or add dissatisfaction to the experience. On top of it, because they fully see the long-term benefit, it will be an honest critique which will be invaluable to the wider team in ensuring success.

Focus on selecting the correct partners

In finding a partner, a lot of organisations will go to market, get quotes, shortlist potential partners, and then review the offerings and make a decision. This is normal, but often a few key steps are overlooked.

Research potential partners as soon as you have identified your goals and strategy. This will help you to find the best match for your business. How? By reviewing their website, you can see what other organisations they have worked with, and how similar they are to you. If they have only worked with large multinationals, then they may not be the best cultural fit for a micro-organisation; or if all of their customers are hotels, then they may not have experience in processes within a distribution business.

Similarly, look at the types of technology used in the projects they have done before. If they have a lot of eCommerce website experience and you have eCommerce as one of your goals, then they will likely be a better fit than someone who has lots of experience putting accounting systems in.

It is also good to speak to at least 1 or 2 of their existing customers and ask questions about how it is to work with them, why they selected them over others, and what post-project experience they’ve had with them. These are the questions that only someone else in your shoes can answer, and it will give you a feel for what the engagement might look like rather than just what the project being proposed will be made up of.

And lastly, when searching for a potential partner, try to find a small engagement to start with. This allows both you and the partner to get to know each other’s working styles and iron out any uncertainty or issues early. It also means that should you or the partner realise that they are not best suited to meet your requirements, you are not committed to a large project and discovering this further down the track.

At Allsop, as a leading Digital Transformation company in Belfast, we engage on a Foundations project with all new customers, where we encourage design and proof-of-concept work on a project, before any development or implementation. (5)

There is a tangible result at the end of the Foundations for the customer, but most importantly, it ensures we are both on the same page going into the next stage of the project. It also removes any doubt or unknown technical issues that could cause problems later and it means there are no surprises when we kick off the main project.

In some cases, during the Foundations, we realise that some or all of what the customer needs is better provided by someone else. We signpost this to the customer, and every time it is the best for both of us – we are not engaged on a project that we are not going to provide the best value on, and the customer can get a better solution from someone more suited. It’s always worth asking a potential partner if you can engage similarly for your first project.

Still thinking if Digital Transformation is the right fit for you? Jump on a short free call with us to see how you can Digitally Transform your business.

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