With a staggeringly high failure rate, the road to digital transformation is anything but rosy or straightforward. Some organizations get so hung up on adopting new technologies they neglect to consider the people who’ll use them. Other organizations are often too change-resistant to even try.
Meanwhile, consumer expectations have never been higher. The modern-day customer has been spoilt with the experience dished out to him by digital natives like that of Uber, and Amazon and expects a similar experience with all brands that he interacts with.
In an ideal world, every company would have wanted to ape the experience dished out by digital natives. But developing and implementing new digital strategies always seem like an overwhelming task in the beginning. It always needs expert assistance because being a novice, we always tend to make mistakes on this note.
With this article, we’ll look at how to kick-start digital transformation in the industry with a step-by-step guide to help you reach these goals. While the insights would be applicable to any company that intends to go digital, it would be most beneficial for companies that are either manual or just getting started with going digital. So, let’s get started.
Starting your Digital Transformation Journey Right by Digitizing Operations
Defining a clear vision- Define your digital transformation objectives and how you plan to achieve them. Have clear metrics that show your success. An excellent way to start thinking about quantifiable digital transformation goals is identifying who (segments), what (content), when (timeframes), and why (business justification) will move an organization forward. Identify key stakeholders: Think about who will support and oppose digital transformations within your organization. Because the change in any form is met with some resistance, organizations need their most influential leaders on board to drive change forward.
Digitalizing operations - A great way to kickstart your digital transformation journey is by looking inwards and optimizing operations by digitizing parts to make your operational flow seamless. By digitizing operations seem vast – how can you possibly go about doing that? A good way to go about it is by following a clear three-step criterion:
Interconnecting systems - Your digital transformation initiative would never be successful if the systems are not interconnected. The user has to fetch data from the system or worse the data lying in isolation is of no use if it cannot be used to make decisions. Interconnecting systems is perhaps the key first step in digitizing operations, ensuring data flows seamlessly between systems and the right information is available to the right stakeholder when needed. It could perhaps be done using APIs or in some cases bots or RPA which would allow the data to be fetched from a legacy system that is grappling with challenges of interoperability.
Moving workflows to digital - Digital workflows allow you to eliminate these tedious paper forms and documents in no time. Stakeholders (employees/customers) can then provide their information from wherever, whenever, and your employees can quit pushing paperwork back and forth. By adding workflow automation into the mix, you can easily send this customer data into the systems and tools you use every day to keep your business running. It can also help you automate repetitious tasks, like emails, data entry, and filing paperwork.
Automating logic-based decision making- Once you have identified a business process to automate in your operations workflow, it’s time to automate certain manual tasks using logic-based decision making. Known as business rules, this step is crucial to an organization’s digital transformation. By defining how businesses processes should occur, organizations can:
Eliminate the inefficiencies that undocumented business processes usually produce
Scale their operations while providing employees with optimum levels of autonomy
To effectively execute and manage this automation layer, organizations must also identify and implement the right technology platform. But having a bunch of separate integrations and third-party apps won’t unify your operations any more than manual human interaction. To bring everything together, you’ll also need a platform that supports end-to-end automation.
Focusing on business outcomes and not technology- It might seem tempting to start brainstorming about potential apps and tech solutions. Instead, spend time thinking through how your business works as it currently exists to understand the gaps and the pain points to then work backward from there. A more practical mindset will help you envision what’s possible down the line.
For example, a company in retail, if you focus on e-commerce today, what will happen if you made a unique online shopping experience? What could change? Suddenly, you have an option for reaching customers digitally who are nowhere near ready to purchase anything in person yet. Your job at all times is to imagine how one step leads naturally to another. And as new opportunities arise (like e-commerce), you must make plans for them. The results of a business strategy session aren’t meant to be set in stone forever; they should be more like guidelines that can be changed over time and adapted to whatever seems most logical and beneficial along any given path.
Measuring the success of your operations optimization to iterate continually- Creating an optimized operations workflow is not a project or a one-time initiative. With evolving business needs and customer expectations, the digital interventions needed to optimize operations would also evolve. Hence it's important that you measure how well each of these elements performs and use that insight to drive continuous improvement and innovation. Measurement here includes key performance indicators (KPIs) and analytics and all other forms of evidence from data, customers, users, and employees. The entire system must include measurement systems where results can be analyzed regularly, perhaps daily or weekly, if changes need to happen quickly based on feedback.
The above are some of the key steps of starting your digital transformation journey. Consider a department which you would like to digitize, say Sales Operations. Ideally, you would want to break down the sales ops process into its constituent parts – inquiry, ordering or reordering, post-sales servicing, and contract management and apply the steps listed above to fully digitize the department operations.
QuickReach: Create Resilience by Starting your Digital Transformation Journey Right
There are different technology platforms that would help you kickstart your digital transformation journey. However, before selecting an automation platform, it’s essential to carefully consider your options, especially if you want your company to stay lean and flexible. A platform like QuickReach has innumerable benefits to help you kickstart your digital transformation journey, some of them being:
Much faster than full code- Since QuickReach is a No-Code platform, the time to assemble and launch software applications is faster than what it would have taken if your company was looking to develop the applications using the traditional methods. You could look to launch basic apps within hours using existing templates and slightly more complicated ones in a matter of days or weeks, unlike in traditional app development methods which could take anywhere between months to hours.
Faster and easier to integrate with existing systems- QuickReach makes use of rest API which makes it easier for companies to integrate with existing systems and bring them all on one platform which ensures visibility and interoperability. For legacy systems, QuickReach makes use of in-built bots to ensure that the systems communicate with each other and data is not left isolated or unused.
Scalable- The modular nature of which QuickReach has been built ensures that the platform is scalable, implying whether it’s a department that is initially using the platform, or eventually the entire company is subscribed to the platform, its performance would not be affected. It is also interesting that you could identify a pain point and launch an application to solve it and then iteratively look to tackle pain points that are lower in priority.
QuickReach would allow reducing significant pressure on the IT team in delivering countless digital projects in your company without the need for coding or any kind of technical intervention. The sophistication of the platform ensures that its more comprehensive than stand-alone workflow, form, and integration software.
Reach out to one of our customer success team members HERE to understand how QuickReach could help you get started with your digital transformation journey without any major investments in resources or technology.