The pressure for companies to empower their business models by integrating advanced technologies has never been more intense. Not only has the Covid-19 crisis forced companies to digitize and digitalise their business models and products, but for most of them, they are outside looking in enviously at an elite group of best-performing digitalised companies that earn as much as 80% of the digital revenues generated in their industries. Whether you are navigating the Covid-19 crisis to future-proof your business or playing catch-up with your competitors, our research has demonstrated that there are 5 keys to unlocking your successful digital transformation.
Key Number 1: You Need Digital Leadership!
One of the sure-fire ways to drive a successful digital transformation is to have specialised leaders in place with strong digital and analytics expertise. Successful digitalised companies have expanded their C-suite roles to include CDO’s (Chief Digital Officers) and CAO’s (Chief Analytics Officers), who have become essential members of the leadership ensemble. CDO’s and CAO’s will drive the company’s revenue growth by transforming traditional analogue business processes into automated ones through the adoption of digital and data technologies, which bridges the gap between human and artificial intelligence.
Key Number 2: You Need a Story!
Digital leadership is critical, but we all know that a company’s ability to reach its goals is reliant upon everyone within the organization, not just the leadership. This is where you need to fully define the purpose of your digital transformation and most importantly, give it a story, if you really want to transform your workplace culture. Stories unite people and cultures while creating understanding where there sometimes is none. By communicating your digital transformation as a story with corresponding characters, themes, and measurable business outcomes tied to these themes, you will have the power to motivate change and enable action.
Key Number 3: You Need to Empower Your People!
Now that you have created the story regarding how and why you are implementing your digital transformation, it is time to empower your employees at all levels, not just the senior ranks. You do this by giving people clear roles and responsibilities and by allocating a “champion” for every digital transformation initiative. Even with this “champion” in place, it is important to foster a shared sense of accountability and responsibility among all employees to facilitate the fulfilment of each project’s objectives and achieve superior outcomes.
Key Number 4: You Need to be Agile!
Digital transformations are not just implemented once! When you look at the lightning speed at which customers and competitors drive the digital economy, companies must constantly audit and revise their business priorities more often than ever. The elite group of best-performing digitised companies revisit and update their digital strategies on a much more frequent basis compared to their competitors. This agile and flexible working culture also reinforces to employees that they will be rewarded for generating new ideas, taking appropriate risks, and implementing test-and-learn frameworks, as they explore new transformation opportunities.
Key Number 5: You Need to Invest!
Even with the right leadership, story, people, and workplace culture in place, you still need to ensure that the company invests the necessary time and money to achieve successful and sustained digital transformation. If digital transformation is the top priority of the senior leadership, then this must be reflected in the operating budgets where sufficient expenditures are allocated. In addition, day-to-day legacy operations combined with ad-hoc fire-fighting can result in distractions from achieving the ultimate goals. If digital transformation is the top priority for the company, then the necessary time and money must be committed.