The global pandemic has triggered an enormous acceleration of change projects taking place across all industries simultaneously. Some reports suggest industries have seen transformation projects accelerated by more than 5 years!
Digital Transformation has been seen as a one-time project, a mammoth undertaking, changing an entire organisation from the ground up. Not surprisingly this has not been a palatable task, especially for larger organisations, and particularly once they begin to dig into the detail and see the sheer scale of what is involved.
Before we were even hit by Covid-19, 92% of companies thought their business models would need to change with the increasing digitisation of the landscape, although many have been slow to start the process. And yet, under the influence of a global pandemic, digitisation has suddenly taken on a new importance, and leaders are faced with the question of whether their organisation is equipped to handle a world which (however temporarily) must be almost entirely digital. Demonstrably, tech enabled businesses have been able to react faster to meet the challenges, whether they are flexible and remote working, online fulfilment of orders or a change in customer demand. Indeed, 96% of UK enterprise decision makers believe the pandemic sped up their company’s digital transformation.
The pandemic has highlighted the fact that technology is a central tool for businesses, not one that takes a supporting role.
Unsurprisingly, organisations are now taking a more targeted approach. Once a wider strategy has been developed, many businesses are looking to specific processes and areas within the business for updating and transformation, allowing them to begin the process without the company-wide upheaval of having to tackle everything in one hit.
The unusual conditions of the pandemic have no doubt helped increase the speed of adoption. A clear purpose and a shared focus is an excellent driver of productivity, can bring teams together and deliver impressive results. That is not to say, though, that organisations have missed the boat to transform and become fully tech enabled: it is never too late to focus on your technology and fully understand its position in the business.
So, what can you do to strengthen your digital strategy?
1. LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE
An important first step is to map your current systems and understand how they link together as well as any gaps. It might sound like something you already know, seeing it laid out in one place can help expose gaps in your technology and even where you may have overlapping systems with duplicated functionalities, serving the same purpose.
2. BREAK IT DOWN INTO BITESIZED CHUNKS
Just because you now have a glimpse of the wider transformation required, does not mean you need to tackle it all at once. Once you have an understanding of where changes could be made, look for the ‘easy wins’, and areas that would lend themselves to smaller scale change projects.
3. MAKE DIGITAL A PART OF DECISION-MAKING
Technology does not have to be the only focus, however keeping it as a consideration when making business-impacting decisions can help put you paces ahead of the competition in the long run. You can never truly be ‘future-proofed’ however, keeping systems in mind when looking at business strategy can help you make more informed investments in technology that will last.
4. LOOK FOR THE WASTE
This could be wasted time, wasted budget, wasted features, you name it! Scrutinise the way your business uses digital tools and see if you can find any pockets of waste. This can come in many guises, and the most straightforward one to spot is budget. If you’ve got more tools than you need or if licences aren’t all being used, there are probably some costs to be slimmed down. Features are another area for scrutiny: are there features available in your existing solution set that you’re not really using or not aware of? Or perhaps your technology isn’t fully integrated and there are a number of processes in place to manually move data from one tool to another.
5. REMEMBER THAT GOOD IS BETTER THAN PERFECT
A lot of time can be spent striving to find the perfect balance between business and digital. But if you spend all your time focusing on trying to reach perfect, you will miss all the ‘good’ successes and learnings along the way. There will always be situations where things could have been done differently, or different decisions could be made. The most important factor in strengthening your strategy is that business and digital strategy should always be aligned.
We are passionate about supporting businesses through change. At times like this, we know change is reactive, and budgets are tight, and our team is always ready to help. We have developed our Accelerated Change Review to help businesses in this current changeable climate, priced to deliver maximum value at a one-off low cost.