Shockingly, approximately only 7% of companies have a fully implemented digital transformation strategy and are in the maintenance phase. That’s a rather concerning statistic, but it is a reality in our rapidly evolving digital world.

The planning of digital transformation strategies have evolved quickly over the last couple of years as a result of the pandemic and has changed the mindset of most organizations, forcing them into understanding that rapidly iterating their services to meet changing user needs offers numerous values and competitive advantages. To digitally transform, there are some mission-critical considerations for any organization to consider in creating and executing its digital transformation strategy.

Evidence now drives profit

Solving problems using data & science is critical because evidence drives profit. In the private sector, this has become a keystone approach. Many businesses had to shift digitally simply to survive over the past couple of years. Businesses were forced to advance their digital transformation, whether they wanted to or not. Smaller and medium-sized organizations had to invent their digital transformation on-the-fly and navigate complexities they never imagined. It was, literally, a forced digital maturity, an ad-hoc reinvention of their world to achieve survival via a strange and new digital capacity. Those that succeeded at digitally transforming were the ones who took evidence-based approaches. Modern research and design practices as well as data science are key to identifying how and where to begin the transformation blueprint.

The larger enterprise sector has been equally challenged and the pressure is on private sector businesses to capitalize, grow, and profit as part of their pandemic recovery. The shareholders and executive stakeholders expect success. Their digital transformation strategies must be ramped up and focused on empowering their employees with digital tools and virtual capabilities, engaging proactively and continually with their clients to support and grow service and product revenues, and ultimately creating an improved business operations process. Enterprise organizations are starting to understand that it is important to stay grounded in evidence, leaning on metrics of engagement.

ESG reporting as part of a digital strategy

Transparency is also driving today's digital transformation. Data is essential and numbers add up to undeniable evidence. A data-based approach to transforming the enterprise will ensure the digital experience delivers accuracy and accountability to stakeholders, whether they are private sector shareholders or citizens holding the government accountable. Digitally delivering ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reporting now offers visibility and accountability to not only stakeholders such as corporate investors but also to customers, government, citizens, and employees.

ESG reporting is clearly top-of-mind now in digital strategies, resulting in technology leaders being forced to change their reporting and management processes quickly. Meanwhile, regulators and industry organizations are playing catch-up as they set disclosure rules and develop tools to inform stakeholders about what they’re buying, or to offer citizen accountability. Investors are increasingly digging deeper and expanding their due diligence beyond traditional investigation and inquiry. Today there are non-financial factors that have become part of a business's analysis process or a government RFP, to identify material risks and growth opportunities, such as:‍

  • matching industry digital standards and good practices.
  • improving staff morale, making it easier to recruit and retain employees via improved digital presence.
  • improving relationships with suppliers and customers with digital tools.
  • meeting the requirements of current and future digital legislation.

‍ESG reporting now falls squarely into the "must do" category when it comes to digital planning.

Improvements in productivity

An organization's improved process and productivity are directly tied to digital transformation. Borrowing from Zippia’s 37 Digital Transformation Statistics for 2022, “55% of companies without a digital transformation strategy believe that they have less than a year before they begin losing market share”. Of the companies that haven’t started the digital transformation process, “59% are afraid that it might be too late for them”.

According to Magenest, the four main areas of digital transformation include:

1. Process Transformation

In today’s world of digital transformation, it refers to the process by which a company aims to transform its business processes with technology for them to be able to use its skills and successes as well as opportunities more efficiently.

Process transformation involves using digital technologies to automate or improve existing business processes. This can include anything from automating data entry to implementing artificial intelligence to streamline decision-making.

2. Business Model Transformation

The organizational world is changing at an exponential rate, and teams are realizing that they need to change with it. Business model process transformation focuses on finite areas of the business while reinvention or digital transformations aim deeper into how value gets delivered in order for their industry’s model to evolve and meet changing needs.

The Netflix model is a great example of how business transformation can be achieved through the use of technology. They started out as an offline service that delivered DVDs to customers’ homes but ended up transforming into one where users stream videos on demand from their computer screen or mobile device instead. The key to success is not always in the specifics of your business model, but rather in how well you can adapt and innovate.

3. Domain Transformation

The current domain transformation market is one of the most significant opportunities for company growth. When one company is able to effectively transition into another industry, this is known as a domain transformation. Amazon, for example, started as an online bookstore, grew into an online marketplace, and has expanded its offerings to include both its own streaming platform (Amazon Prime) and Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is now the most widely used cloud computing and infrastructure provider. Amazon was able to make significant progress when it entered both of these new-to-the-company businesses because it had the financial resources to do so. Previously, each of these fields was controlled by large companies in their respective regions.

4. Cultural/Organizational Transformation

The journey to creating a comprehensive and cohesive brand experience can be challenging, but it will ultimately lead you down the path of delivering an overall better outcome for your customers.

Experian is a great example of cultural/organizational transformation. They were able to change their workflow and focus on data by instilling collaboration into the system, which in turn made employees more agile with how they do things internally at every level throughout all departments as well as providing them an opportunity for professional growth through learning new skills.

Statistics support digital leadership actions

The numbers don’t lie and cannot be ignored if you are a digital leader:

  • More than 90% of employers are planning to adopt a hybrid working model for their workers
  • 56% of CEOs said that their digital improvements have already improved profits
  • Digitally mature companies are 23% more profitable than their less digitally mature peers

Digital leadership is now weaving evidence and statistics into digital strategies to achieve business goals. The goals of a business and digital leaders are heavily focused on technology to create a more responsive approach, not reactive, and the available statistics are a modern-day compass to help navigate digital direction.

Stay connected and informed

The simple and easiest task any digital leader can do is simply to stay informed and read. Here are a few suggestions on digital reads that offer great information and value to readers:

A great blog on Government transformation, notes, and reflections from Kelsey Singbeil (A/Executive Director) and Kevin Ehman (Director, Strategic Design) at the Government of B.C.’s Service Transformation Branch

Insight Newsletter from Button is a twice-monthly digital services newsletter offering insights, tips, and resources right in your inbox.

The CIO Digital Transformation blog is an informative and information-packed resource for digital leaders.

The 15 Best blogs to follow about digital transformation is a good summary of sites for you to check out and follow for more detail.

The importance of developing digital transformation strategies is real and important. Whether prioritizing results-driven technologies, reducing costs, or saving time, digital transformation will impact your organization's culture. Strategies will vary, but the bottom line is…without a proactive digital strategy in place, your organization is already behind the eight ball.

Image Credit: Zoey Li / Midjourney

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