How to prepare your organisation for digital transformation


Digital transformation has to be a planned activity because even though a business is all set for this mega change, there could be digital shocks for functioning systems.

Digital transformation is not just two fancy words. It’s a full-fledged exercise that organisations need to undertake with clarity, vision and a lot of planning and preparedness. There are companies which equate digital transformation with a software upgrade. That’s the biggest blunder one can do. Digital transformation has to be a planned activity because even though a business is all set for this mega change, there could be digital shocks for functioning systems.

1. Assess and evaluate
According to a study, 90 per cent of CEOs know that digital technology is impacting their industry, but less than 15 per cent are digitally transforming with a clear plan. There is a lot of me-tooism that follows without a clear mandate and foresight on how the individual business is going to get impacted.
It is very important for any business to assess how and which part of its process, should undergo a digital transformation. Yes, there could be a few processes where digital transformation is not possible. There is nothing wrong in that. One has to identify digital models that simulate the nuances inherent in its procedures. It’s important to purposefully model processes with tools that enable creative and empirical simulations.
There is no hard and fast rule, which says that all processes of the businesses will have to go digital. The fit is necessary.

2. Business Plan
Yes, digital transformation is not an activity indulged in just for the sake of it. If certain processes or functions within the business cannot be digitised, let them be.

All a business should worry about is market share, revenue, profit and how the transformation will affect its customers. No digital transformation is worthwhile if any of these elements are negatively impacted. Every digital transformation should have a business case and an organisation should be able to foresee that the transformation will successfully streamline some of its key processes.

3. Prepare your team
People often talk about the skill set required for digital transformation of businesses and organisations. Yes, indeed it’s a great challenge to have and retain that skill set. However, what’s even more important is the cultural transformation within the company. Every employee should willingly and happily accept this transformation. Only then will the entire exercise be fruitful.

What organisations need to do is communicate what lies ahead. Every employee from across functions—be it HR or sales or supply chain—must anticipate the change, foresee the benefits that lie ahead, be in sync with the business strategy to get there and also be aware of their role in the entire process. All this can happen only when a company creates this culture of ownership and collaboration. One missing link can destroy the entire effort.

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4. There is no perfect moment
Now or later, digital transformation is bound to affect businesses across the world. If an organisation is waiting for the right opportune time to initiate this digital transformation, it’s digging its own grave.

Digital transformation has to start today, and now. Yes, there will be a few failed attempts, or mistakes on the way but organisations need to show agility and learn from their mistakes. Remember, technology changes faster than organisations can change themselves.

5. Traditional businesses can also transform digitally
Digital transformation isn’t only for new-age technology companies. There are a few examples where traditional brick and mortar businesses have transformed themselves. All thanks to data.

Experts call data the new crude oil and the currency of the future. Digital transformation will allow traditional businesses to collect more and more data, which can then sharpen the insights and business intelligence.

The paints sector follows a very traditional model of business. However, one of India’s largest paint companies has successfully digitised its business processes and reaped the benefits. It implemented call centres and mobile device deployments, utilised data-based decision making and expanded its service offerings along with its geographic footprint across Asia. The company gained on two fronts — revenue increased dramatically, while it also improved the speed and efficiency of its delivery.


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