Digital Transformation 101

Because we’re really nice and helpful, we’ve summarised the key questions and answers around digital transformation and the opportunities it can unlock for your business. No mystique, no buzzwords – just concise, transparent and effective – much like any good digital transformation…

1. What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation isn’t (or shouldn’t be) a complex process. Adopting an agile methodology and a customer-centric approach, we review and revise your organisation to enhance core activities and ensure all functions assist your business goals. 

2. What are the main areas of digital transformation?

A successful digital transformation focuses on four key areas: your business model, your business processes, technology and cultural change. From people to processes, everything is measured, tested and reviewed using data.

3. Why is digital transformation so important?

Without digital transformation, businesses do not have true agility. Digital transformation allows you to successfully weather customer trends, diversify revenue streams, conquer new markets, deploy the correct technology and make the right decisions. It can and does cement the future of your business. 

4. Who is responsible for digital transformation?

In the absence of a transformation department, we have found that the Chief Information Officer (CIO) typically takes responsibility for driving innovation as a company shifts towards digital. As organisations mature on their journey, new executive roles such as the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) will also have a hat in the ring. They are keen to transform towards a customer-centric aligned business model while adopting a more lean, more agile organisational structure. 

5. How do you lead a digital transformation?

Honestly. That is the short answer. The long answer is more complex. Transformation runs through the veins of your organisation, touching every person and department. The CEO is impartial and invested but lacks time to oversee a successful digital transformation. An impartial, independent partner with a strong record delivering transformation initiatives ensures your delivery remains strategic, effective and aligned to your business goals. 

6. How much does a digital transformation cost?

Digital transformation has caught some bad press over the years for being flashy, expensive and confusing. That’s not our style. It can cost the big bucks (depending on who you use), but it doesn’t have to. Offering a competitive and holistic service, we only provide resources where you need them, when you need them.  Our engagement is productivity-driven not time-driven. For info and pricing, give us a shout at hello@digitalfabrique.co.uk

7. Has Covid-19 accelerated digital transformation?

In a word, yes. Digital transformation has been the difference between the businesses who have weathered this plague like a pro and those who have suffered or sadly closed. The last six months have produced more digital transformations than in the previous decade. Digital transformation is the only whole-business solution that yields the agility necessary to effectively respond to changeable customer trends, tech and even the odd global pandemic. 

8. What are the top trends for digital transformation in 2021?

Digital transformation is set to continue, with 86% of businesses reporting a rise in customer acquisition costs. 5G mainstream (should) finally go live. Customer data platforms (CDP) are set to explode with IBM stating that ‘bad data’ already costs US businesses approximately $3 trillion annually. Hybrid clouds (that combine public and private clouds) are seeing significant investments from Amazon, Google, IBM and Oracle. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is being trialled in firewalls following a 600% rise in cloud attacks this year. Plus, remote working is due to outlast Covid-19.

9. How do you develop a digital transformation strategy?

Great question (if we do say so). A strong digital strategy is pretty much fundamental at this point. It starts with whole-business support from board to store level. Industry is fast-paced and tech-heavy. Understand, analyse, research. Where are you right now? Where do you want to be?  Where are the gaps in your internal capabilities? What is preventing you from going faster? What is your budget? Create a digital roadmap and test and keep testing your input and outcomes. Or, we can do it for you #justsaying

10. What is a digital transformation specialist?

A digital transformation specialist will hold unique knowledge on how to translate your strategic goals into a programme of work that seeks to implement solutions leveraging existing and upcoming tech to stay ahead and compete. They understand the importance of process adaption and change management all of which is underpinned by good governance. They are (or should be) exceptional communicators and organisers – taking ownership and keeping it strategic and simple. 

11. Why is cultural change important?

A successful digital transformation demands real change. Your company culture is the very essence of that. Democratisation – removing command and control of decisions yields greater flexibility and inclusion. Everybody is on the same page working towards a common goal, regardless of their department or role. 

12. Why do businesses still use terminology such as “business vs. IT”?

Product teams create an entirely different approach to traditional project management. Where project management focuses on the output, product teams focus on the outcomes. This fresh ‘product’ approach yields cross-functional teams who deliver greater customer value and collaboration; it is a simple recognition that there is only one business. 

13. What is the difference between Digital transformation vs. IT transformation?  

Digital transformation execution is vital and as discussed, it is strategic and outcome-focused. It impacts all parts of the organisation adopting change through its very core.  IT transformation is a complete overhaul of an organisation’s information technology (IT) systems focusing on IT priorities as opposed to customer’s needs. 

14. Why do so many companies fail to execute their transformation goals?

There can be several reasons why a business will fail or stall when executing their digital transformation. Poor execution is the most common reason. Executive leadership and strategic challenges lead to many digital transformation fails within the first six months. Leaving legacy organisational designs in place also causes problems. Every element and department must be transformed to achieve whole-business improvement.

15. Why has retail (vs. other sectors) led the way on digital transformation?

When you look at how consumers acquire products, virtually every part of their shopper journey is digitized. Bricks and mortar are in steady decline, with the vast majority of shoppers never entering a store. Even those still hankering for that touch and feel experience often stake out items beforehand. Retailers can shrewdly use this data to entice and encourage purchasing and brand loyalty and reduce the risk of a competitor swiping the sale at the last minute. 

Any more questions? We are more than happy to answer them – give us a shout