7 golden rules
1. Decide on a starting point
Before you can start digitizing, you’ve got to make it clear what exactly it is that you’re going to digitize. There are several benchmarks attached to digital transformation. One of these is: an IT solution as a replacement or addition to the traditional way of doing business. Think of business processes that are mostly done with paper streams, like order fulfillment or billing.
2. Start small and scale up
Digital transformation isn’t going to be accomplished in one project. It’s ok if that starting point is something small like tweaking existing processes and systems. A step-by-step approach is a much more effective way to create a change that will eventually affect the entire organization.
3. Build a flexible strategy from a stable base
Writing a strategic plan for the next three to five years will be impossible. So make sure you’ve got a good strategic base from which there is room for adjustments. This gives you a good guideline for digitizing and other strategic decisions, but the freedom to make adjustments as needed. Flexibility has to be the keyword inside this strategy, your organization, and the IT establishment itself.
4. Take advantage of demos and prototypes
Digital transformation is an ongoing process of formulating and testing new ideas. In the preparation on the launch of the beta version of your application, you can work best with demos and prototypes.
This way, the concept can be shown to users. Furthermore, you can convince users and create support for the project. This is also a good user-test: Users can point out themselves what they miss or don’t understand.
5. Don't fall victim to launch and leave
Normally the success of a project is measured on lead time and budget. A frequent result: when an application is finished, interest immediately moves to the next project. Bummer, because cultivating support among the user base is the most important part of digitizing successfully.
Think of it this way: if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound? If nobody uses the application you’ve just invested precious time and resources to create, did you even create it?
The work doesn’t stop once an app goes live. You’ll want to measure the digital customer behavior, the key conversion points, formulate KPIs, and determine other success factors after that. Measure, test, and optimize the digitization process continuously, and together with the users. It starts with the launch, but doesn’t end there!
6. Infuse digitization throughout the whole organization
Multiple applications, different user interfaces, and no shortcuts: Very user unfriendly. Next to that, the implementation of new functions gets a lot more complicated for the organization when everything is aligned internally with the different systems.
Digital transformation affects the whole organization, and it’s not only the domain of the IT department. Digitization is not a one-off project that stands on its own, but a continuous process that will show a marked change in the organization and its culture overall. It’s essential that the importance of the digitization is felt at the highest level in the organization.
Try letting digital natives work together with decision makers. Digital natives are individuals who were raised on computer games, laptops, and mobile phones, so they are naturally tech savvy and open to new digital programs.
7. Focus on speed and stability
You need to set a pace for digitization, because throughout the technical innovations, you’ll have to respond quickly to market conditions as well. Features have to be introduced rapidly. The technology needs to be adjusted to reflect that.
By embracing new developing methods like a rapid application development platform, organizations can become capable of reacting quickly to opportunities in the market. Thanks to this new technology, innovating quickly is accessible to every organization.