Digital Transformation Strategy - The Key To Success
The topic of Digital Transformation is dominating boardrooms across industries globally. More and more companies are increasing their investments in Digital to drive operational efficiency and revenue growth, and respond and connect with customers in new ways, driven by the dramatic we’ve seen in the past few years.
One key area of impact is felt in the e-Commerce realm - it’s no longer exclusive, but it’s a necessity for the everyday consumer. So, if your company is not actively looking for new opportunities to improve its customer model and redefine your company’s digital DNA as you go, it will slowly but surely lose its position in the current market.
As Gartner’s Future of Sales research reports, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels within just the next three years. This is why making sure your company has a well-established presence in an e-Commerce world is the only way to stay relevant in the current market.
Digitisation - a great challenge with an even greater reward
We all understand the necessity of digitisation, and even though we would love to tell you that it’s an easy process, we can’t. The truth is, the Digital Transformation journey brings a lot of challenges, but as T. Roosevelt used to say, ‘Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty’, and that’s as true in everyday life as it is in business.
So, how to make sure that we go about it efficiently? Imagine you’re planning on renovating your kitchen - you’re not going straight away to tearing down walls and cabinets. No, you sit down, and you plan: what is the best approach, how much will it cost, and what would you like the end result to be?
Naturally, you’ll find some unforeseen challenges on your way, like the paint colour not looking as good as you would’ve liked or your dream cabinet not fitting. It’s okay to make some changes as you go. After all, flexibility and becoming even leaner are one of the reasons companies go through a Digital Transformation journey. But the key is setting your goals, the process to achieve them and make sure you don’t stray away from the chosen path and then go around in circles.
Another very important aspect to mention is the shift in B2B Commerce. A few years ago, we could very easily distinguish the characteristics of B2B and B2C sales processes. Today the line between them gets more and more blurred- the B2B customers want the same attention and amenities that the B2C customers get, such as the ability to choose the channel via which they will purchase the goods, easiness of checkout and payments and user-friendly experience. Thanks to the increasing similarities and strong shift into the e-Commerce sphere, the B2B customers aren’t only dependent on sales representatives - in fact, over half of the current B2B customers make the purchases on their own, and that tendency is only growing.
Strategy from the beginning till after the end
Alright, so let’s go back to the house renovation scenario. You've made the renovations, and now you have a brand-new, beautiful kitchen- in a slightly different colour than you originally planned- nevertheless, you still love it. You think all is done and well, and now you can move on with your life, forget about the whole ordeal and enjoy your charming kitchen. But that’s precisely a mistake made all too often.
Sticking to your strategy is not just about the before and during. It’s also about the after. But why should you care about something that has already been implemented? It’s important to remember that any of the changes that are made as you go through your Digital Transformation journey are never a separate area- they are an integral part of your business as a whole, just like a kitchen isn’t a standalone but a part of your house.
There’s so much to be learned when going through a process of Digital Transformation, and if you don’t sit down and take the time to process and analyse what could’ve gone better and what went right, and what should still be adjusted, you just might miss your lesson.
You want to celebrate the things that turned out amazing, implement the things that worked well for you in any future endeavours and beware of things that didn’t work out or just weren’t worth the trouble. Interdepartmental collaboration, employee training, internal buy-in, and overall adjustments need to be made - this way, you can fine-tune as you go and stay ahead of the curve always.
It’s a team effort
It’s also important to remember that every change is bound to be a little uncomfortable and sometimes, taking risks is worth it. Research conducted by North Carolina State University’s Enterprise Risk Management Initiative shows that risk aversion in a company’s culture is one of the main reasons for Digital Transformation failure.
And where does this aversion come from? As with anything, we’re scared of things we don’t know, and any type of change takes us out of our comfort zone. But one thing that is inevitable in life is change, and rather than swimming against the current, it’s better to go with it and make the most of it along the way.
Making your employees comfortable with the changes happening as part of the Digital Transformation is crucial to its success. You can do so by helping them understand the processes and tools implemented to build the right level of acceptance for the implemented solutions. It’s not only necessary for the changes that have already been made but also for all the changes to come.
In professionals, we trust
We know that this is a lot to process, and we get it might feel overwhelming. Reaching out for support on this journey is completely fine. If this is the case, do not hesitate to contact us, we’ll be more than happy to help in any way and capacity we can.
Wiktoria Kaglik, Copywriter @Waeg, an IBM Company