Chances are good you've heard of digital transformation, even if you haven't embraced the white-hot tech trend in your own organization just yet. Perhaps you have some trepidation about the cost of such an initiative, or harbor worries about security hazards cropping up during the process of implementing such an endeavor. If you're at all hesitant about joining the rising tide of firms that have turned to digital transformation and legacy modernization measures, you don't need to be.
Take a look at the following best practices for increasing your chances of sustainable success with digital transformation:
Get your priorities straight
According to an October 2018 survey on digital transformation conducted by McKinsey & Company, 68 percent of the responding organizations said their desire to get on board with the tech trend stemmed from the goal of "digitizing [their] operating model." This was the most common reason, and it's quite a sound one. So too is launching a new product or service, or creating the essential digital infrastructure to better interact with external partners, both of which were fairly frequently noted as well (by just under 50 percent of respondents).
The key takeaway here is the importance of knowing exactly why you're turning your business to digital transformation. In the case of any technological overhaul, the efforts may ultimately become superfluous if there isn't a clear purpose motivating them. Determine a problem you intend your IT modernization to solve or a process you wish to update before committing to any purchases of new software or hardware.
A foundation of data
Given the way in which data analytics pervades the world of contemporary business, it should be no surprise that smart data usage is important to the success of any digital transformation initiative, as pointed out by CDW vice president of small business sales Mike Grisamore in BizTech magazine. Even the most advanced artificial intelligence platform fueled by intuitive deep learning capabilities is nothing without a strong foundational data library. As such, planning any and all necessary measures for the storage, security, disaster recovery and seamless action of data should be among the first steps in your company's journey toward digital transformation.
Remember the end user's needs
The specific tenets of a digital overhaul will vary for every organization, but without customers or end users who find active value in such advances – even in a subtle fashion, like a revamped user experience for your company's website – they will amount to a lot of what the Bard referred to as "sound and fury signifying nothing." Writing for Information Age, Gordon Cullum, CTO of Mastek, stated that features for the collection and analysis of data directly relevant to user or customer activity is critical to guaranteeing the consistency of a product or service across multiple channels.
Security in the digital arena
It's exciting to delve into the various steps essential to carrying out a digital transformation campaign and begin planning how your organization and your customers will both realize critical bottom-line benefits. But don't let that gleeful anticipation obfuscate your attention to nuts-and-bolts processes like security. There will be times during the implementation when your system is more vulnerable than usual, and on the software end, it can be deadly to putting any new programs in place that lack adequate encryption and cyberattack countermeasures.