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The Foundations of a Digital Transformation Strategy

hand works out digital transformation strategy on a tab

After the technological revolution, the word digital transformation has been thrown around a lot in the fintech industry. Although the word is pretty subjective depending on each specific enterprise, no one can deny that businesses need it to succeed.  How does success happen? Through an airtight digital transformation strategy.

To draw real attention in a sea of competitors, businesses need a comprehensive framework for their digital transformation and IoT strategy. Regardless of the industry your business is based in, successful digital transformation only takes place when things like finances, goals, metrics, and an execution path are coordinated with each other.

There are four main areas that are impacted by digital transformation. While technology seems like the obvious answer, processes, organizational structures, and data are other aspects that are changed. In order to have a digital transformation strategy that actually works, you need to come up with clear, achievable goals and desired results before you even get started.

Besides that, you also need to have some form of technological cohesion and make sure all the technological elements correspond to each other. At the same time, your business needs to foster a culture that prioritizes customer needs and has a line of open communication with them. Throughout the process, you need to manage and oversee this transformation. Last but not the least, make sure you’ve got some metrics in place to keep track of your progress.

Putting in the Work

Coming up with a plan may be the most difficult part but it is what gets the ball rolling. Your business has to have a clear vision of what it wants to achieve and how it plans on getting there. This has to be a company-wide thing; starting from the folks in charge and going all the way down to individual team members and third-party contractors. Digital transformation impacts every sector in the company, from IT and marketing to sales and operations. 

You have to communicate the vision and strategy to everyone in the company. Find out how the changes affect employees and customers. If there are issues, how will the business iron them out? How long will it take to achieve short- and long-term goals and see real results? Working together is a great way to get unique and creative ideas, make everyone feel like their input is valued, and keep everyone in the organization on the same page.

At the end of the day, digital transformation is all about the consumer. When you begin to strategize and create a roadmap, the customer should be the priority. Ask yourself–how will the transformation benefit the customers? Use data analytics and information from sales/marketing and customer service stats to figure out these answers. This will help you pinpoint the areas of prioritization that the company has to focus on. Remember, view the customer as an individual and look at things from an individual’s perspective. 

If customers are to be at the forefront, then technology has to be at the very center of your digital roadmap. Technology and its compatibility or agility are what will determine how long your business will survive in an ever-evolving market.

For an effective digital transformation, new platforms need to be implemented. More importantly, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) will have to be executed. There is a lot of data clean-up involved and end of life (EOL) plans for legacy systems are necessary as well. All of this will determine how long the entire process will take. Although data cleanup is time-consuming and costly, it is worth it as clean data is the key to the future. In short, your technology has to be aligned with your goals.

Digital transformation doesn’t take place overnight, or even weeks. Instead, it is a process that can take years to materialize results. If the strategies and plans are carried out slowly, with collaboration and transparency on all parts, your road to digital transformation will be successful.

Proper administration and governance can make the overall process a lot easier. It can be used to adjust and prioritize processes when the market changes. Management can be simplified with dashboards for different units of the business. These help to clarify the immediate and future targets and how they can be achieved, as well as what happens once they are accomplished. In short, the system of management will determine the effectiveness of the changes you make.

Finally, your plan or strategy has to be based on its ultimate outcome. New business models result in measurement and metrics challenges. Pay-per-use models are among the more dramatic changes linked with digital transformation and IoT—for instance charging for hours of use of an industrial cleaner instead of selling the entire equipment. This may alter revenue channels and how the finances are run.

Metrics are a major part of managing your progress towards transformation. Information Technology (IT) metrics will differ based on the complexity of the work and systems involved. Your entire team should be kept in the loop so they know what to expect.

In a Nutshell

For most IT-based businesses, digital transformation is no longer a choice; it is inevitable. It alters the way businesses operate both internally and externally. It can help businesses fill their operational gaps and function more effectively. It is also important to remember that digital transformation isn’t a one-and-done deal. It is a series of projects that will improve efficiency and result in better revenue. There will be setbacks and countless issues but will make your business much more successful in the long run.

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