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How digital transformation keeps businesses thriving

Alex Andrews

We all know that change is constant in our world. For businesses the majority of change comes from three specific areas: technology, competition and customer behaviour. Every year mobile and computer companies release the latest iterations with updated tech. Each quarter, competitor brands launch new campaigns to target their customers in new and interesting ways. And month-on-month, the behaviour of those customers changes slightly, with shifting cultural norms, new trends and changing lifestyle priorities. So it’s important for businesses to be able to adapt and transform, to stay ahead of the curve. That’s where digital transformation comes in.

Digital transformation is a pretty huge concept. It’s a completely different way of working and it can look different for each and every business, depending on their needs and priorities. Ultimately though, it comes down to two things. Firstly, there is the physical change, which relates to the integration of digital technology into every area of the business. It can affect IT systems, the physical environment, software and products. Alongside this you have cultural change. This is about the mindset and culture which surrounds digital transformation. It involves challenging the status quo, being open to experimentation, working in an agile way and being comfortable with failure. Cultural change affects leadership, thinking, innovation, processes, and business models, and needs buy-in from the entire company.

So how does it work?

Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a journey. The changes that are implemented will be different for each and every business because of the different priorities of that business. It all depends on the strategy that the business chooses. There are 5 key milestones on the transformation journey. Here’s our guide to how to they work:

Phase one: The why

This phase is the instigator – the reason why change should happen in the first place. It could be because new customers have emerged on the scene, because competitors have upped their game or because new technology has been released that could impact the customer journey. Whatever the cause, this phase is all about businesses realising that they need to change.

Phase two: The three what’s

Here is where you come up with the actual solutions to the new found disruption – what do you need to do to change, what specifically is it that you’re going to change and what technology can help you get there? So you need to look at the experience you’re trying to create, and then define new products or services that might be needed from this. You’ll need to create a business case for why they are needed and to look at what kind of technology you’ll need to make them happen. Is it about integrating AI into your systems or do you need a better CRM?

Phase three: The who

Now you know what it is you’re doing, you need to figure out who you need to help you get there. Starting at the top with CEO and the CIO (Chief Information Officer), who is often the lead on digital transformation in many businesses. Digital transformation is usually a group wide effort across the entire business, with teams from various departments lending their support. You may need outside help from suppliers and partners to help make things work too.

Phase four: The how

Now we’re getting to the nitty gritty. You’ll need to decide how everything comes together, from how you go about deploying the transformation, to how do you engage your employees. Which teams will you need at which stages and how will they all work together?

Phase five: The when

If you’ve cracked all of the other phases, you should be on your way towards digital transformation in your business. Now comes an integral part of the process – looking at how to measure the results of your transformation so you can continue to refine and adapt. Setting the business clear start points and deadlines for different stages of development can help you to understand the impact you’re having. You’re looking for higher employee engagement levels – by when? How many months should go by before you’d expect to start seeing an increase in sales or profit?

Of course, none of this would happen without the support of a valued and experienced IT and Digital team. At Capita IT Resourcing, we’re always on the lookout for skilled IT professionals looking to help businesses stay on track. Check out our vacancies page for our latest opportunities.

Read our related blog: How digital centralisation has changed

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