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Best Practices for a Successful Digital Transformation

Digital transformation graphs.
Digital transformation graphs.

Most companies are in the midst of digital transformation, but they’re not all doing it the right way.

The best way to avoid obstacles, transform efficiently, and ultimately succeed is to follow best practices.

Here are some best practices that will help you in all phases of digital transformation, from getting started to overcoming resistance to filling skill gaps and more.

Developing Your Strategy and Getting Started

Before buying new solutions, set goals and establish a digital transformation strategy.

  • Start small. If you go too far, too fast you won’t be able to determine if you’re on the right track before it’s too late to correct your course.
  • Automate and integrate. Find areas of your business that are still being done manually and start with those. Also look for choke points and single points of failure, where a small fix or automation can have a huge impact. Then establish digital processes that would allow operations to continue on time and as planned.
  • Identify systems that don’t scale. Find processes that prevent or hinder growth, then automate them. Equip employees with technologies that let them get more work done.

Finding Talent and Choosing Leadership

Finding the right talent who are also team players is a big challenge in digital transformation. Follow these best practices to build better teams.

  • Seek out innovators. Look for team members who are goal-driven and who look for new ways to work smarter and better. They shouldn’t be afraid to take chances or to pivot when they’re wrong.
  • Look for those who embrace change. Talent should be excited about emerging technologies and be willing to learn quickly.
  • Choose leaders who learn from failure. Leaders should be able to ask the right questions to identify whether they’re on the right track. And when they fail, they should use the lessons to help others avoid their own failures.

Choosing and Investing in New Technology and Capabilities

With so many solutions on the market, it’s hard to design entire systems. Follow these tips for choosing digital transformation technology.

  • Look at the ROI. Evaluate cost and needs when determining whether to build or buy technology for your technology initiatives. Determine whether you need to build a custom solution, can customize an existing solution, or can simply buy one as is.
  • Don’t jump on solution bandwagons. Don’t be quick to buy a technology just because other companies are doing it. A technology partner can help you ask the right questions and make sure any investments align with your needs and goals.
  • Look to the future. Don’t just buy technology for how you can use it today–consider your long-term goals so you don’t need to frequently refresh your tools. Consider your financial, growth, market share, and business goals.
  • Get expert help. Digital transformation is different for every company, so there’s no blueprint for which technologies you need. Digital transformation specialists know how to create a customized plan for your business.

Training and Filling Skill Gaps

Follow these best practices for building and training skilled teams.

  • Provide specialized training. Rather relying on free product training, seek out specialized training from experts who understand features, integrations, and common pitfalls.
  • Get help to build your team. Building a team from the ground up can be slow and costly. Look for a digital transformation consultant to help you staff and train your team.
  • Train as you implement. Training should be ongoing, especially as you implement new technologies to keep users from falling behind or becoming overwhelmed.

Creating a Culture That Supports Digital Transformation

Transparency is key to creating an environment conducive to digital transformation. Here are some best practices that help.

  • Get teams excited about change. Make users part of the transformation process and help them get excited by letting them know how changes will help them as individuals.
  • Be adaptive, not reactionary. Take the time to be intentional with digital transformation. Don’t rush new implementations, and don’t rush employees. Create a plan to evaluate results as you go.
  • Share the plan and set expectations. Letting users in on the plans helps them adapt, but be careful not to overpromise and underdeliver. Have a plan for rolling out changes. Digital transformation is gradual, so be prepared to make adjustments as needed.
  • Ask for feedback. Give users a clear path to provide feedback and listen with an open mind. Dig deeper to get to the root of their concerns. User feedback will be your most valuable resource since they use the technology every day and can help you build a successful system.

Improving Communication and Collaboration

Companies had to learn how to share more information remotely during the pandemic, but they weren’t always following best practices for security. It’s time to evaluate and improve your current communication and collaboration practices.

  • Start with security in mind. Build a strong data security foundation by being more intentional about it when adopting technology. Tighten access to everything, and limit user access to limit exposure.
  • Check your security hygiene. Require and automate steps like software update and password changes. Provide just enough access so as not to hinder users, but add responsible friction to prevent team members from gaining access to the data and systems they don’t need.

Choosing a Digital Transformation Consultant

A trusted digital transformation partner will help you develop an effective, ongoing transformation strategy. Corsica’s experts love technology and helping people improve the way they work.

If you want to know if your organization is on the right course with its digital transformation, we can help. Schedule your consultation with Corsica.

Wes Dekoninck
As Corsica Technologies’ Director of Digital Transformation, Wes helps clients take strategic next steps in their digital journeys. Whether there is a need for data integration, software identification or building solutions from the ground up, Wes is Corsica’s resident expert. His experience in digital product leadership, web and mobile app development, and growth-focused business solutions has been honed over the past two decades, helping to bridge the gap between code and customers. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Purdue University, Fort Wayne.

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