For many, the concept of digital transformation and its definition may be familiar. However, there are still many companies that do not try to take the step for fear of the “unknown”, thinking that the inconveniences may outweigh the advantages, that their business model is not made for such transformation, or simply that It is a very different process than it really is.

What is digitization? At present, the digital transformation of companies is a necessity, however, it is not an easy process to carry out and that everyone understands. There is much ignorance about the meaning of this concept and some other myths about what are the procedures to implement it.

In part, this issue is also affected by the fear of change that is usually established in many organizations even today. Therefore, companies that still carry out old or almost obsolete work strategies and processes are frequent.

However, the advantages offered by carrying out a process of digitalization of our business are enormous, especially in everything related to its competitiveness.

In this article, we want to give you a global vision of what digitalization implies for companies, as well as some tips to apply it in your own team or business, so that you reject false beliefs and, thus, avoid Implement it to disgust.

Before you understand what digital transformation is with a detailed definition, you should know that there are many myths around this concept that you must deny. This process is NOT for those who think that digital transformation or digitalization is:

  • Mount a CRM or computerize internal processes.
  • The mere use of digital tools among employees or team members.
  • Promptly implement an online marketing strategy.
  • Increase sales by simply having a website or an online store.
  • The total replacement of a physical business with an online one.

What is Digital Transformation?

The digital transformation in organizations or enterprises is the process through which technology incorporates our organization to adapt to the environment, always from a strategic vision and digital culture.

It’s not just about starting to work on social networks, having an innovative website, launching an eCommerce or digitizing all the physical documents that we have in the office.

When we talk about a process of digital transformation in the entity we have to understand a reorganization of the work model. To propose new ways of working and to incorporate and assimilate new operating methodologies in our processes.

This procedure requires a predisposition to change, an attitude to adaptation and a new digital culture.

But not all companies or organizations are in the same situation to assume a digitalization process. For this reason, it will be necessary, before incorporating a digital transformation process, to make a determination of the situation in which our company is.

Be clear about what objectives we pursue and of course, what human and technical resources we have to make this adaptation possible.

After analyzing the situation, we must implement a plan, but the preparation should not be done only from the administration but must have representation from the different sectors of the organization, to ensure that all members feel part of this process, assimilate it and understand this new way of working.

The scope for which we are working will also condition the objective we want to achieve and, therefore, also the process of digital transformation to be implemented.

That is, an SME, a public institution or an educational entity have very different objectives and these will affect the implementation of this type of digital transformation processes.

Therefore, the plan we design must be adapted to our objective and the scope of work of our company or entity.

The success of a digital transformation process leads to an increase in revenue and cost savings for the company. But there are other benefits that should be taken into account, such as improving customer service and experience or getting more motivated and involved employees due to the reduction of repetitive tasks thanks to the automation that technology allows.

Meaning of ‘digitize’:

In order to talk about digitalization when creating a digital identity, we have to stop seeing it as a process put in place to achieve a common goal, and be willing to modify the business culture and apply the change through a flexible attitude and always open to change (in the digital environment there is no long-awaited ‘comfort zone’).

So:

The digital transformation actually consists of stopping thinking exclusively about paper, to start optimizing all the resources of a business or company, and landing them in a very changing online environment. This requires an internal analysis and consider all areas of the team, making them part as a united and coherent whole.

It is about taking the step towards a hyperconnected environment both internally and externally (and internationally), maintaining updating and connectivity continuously over time.

Phases of Digital Transformation

As in any process of change, if we want it to have the desired effect and ensure each and every one of the members that are part of a company or organization, we must treat it step by step according to different sequenced phases.

Here you have a visual scheme of the 5 phases in which we could divide the digital transformation process, and then you can take note of all the questions that you should ask yourself within your company or business:

  • IDENTIFICATION | First of all, the technologies that are applied in the sector are investigated, both that of your competitors and your own. Answer questions like, ‘what kind of technologies exist in the market, which ones do competitors use and which ones could have a positive impact on your company?’
  • ANALYSIS | Once the need to upgrade to a higher innovative and technological business model has been identified, evaluate the viability of your digital transformation plan by answering questions such as, ‘How can your business respond to the use of new technologies?’, ‘Which could pose a threat and how could they become an opportunity? ‘, ‘who will be responsible for leading the technological transition process and what steps will be taken?’
  • TRANSITION | The time has come to put into account all the internal capacities, as well as to create a series of links with external agents that make possible the digital transformation (despite the lack of benefits in the first months). Here we have to answer questions like ‘how should change be led to favor the constant technological adaptation now and in the future?’.
  • EXECUTION | At this point, there is already some control over the change implemented, so it is time to measure and evaluate what are the most beneficial technologies and strategies for the company, with questions such as’ how to collaborate within the digital environment to foster innovation and Technological adaptation constantly? ‘
  • OPTIMIZATION | Once the first 4 phases are completed, real benefits of the digital transformation begin to be obtained, and the optimization of resources is made possible to achieve a higher conversion ratio (think that digitalization generates more production at a lower cost, which does not necessarily indicate staff reduction).

How and why digitize your business?

It is best to be aware of the reasons why you should take this leap in your business (if you have not already given it), and take note of some practical advice.

Advantages of digital transformation for companies

  • The digital environment is a great potential source of new business.
  • A digitized company is a culturally current and innovative company.
  • Communication and internal logistics improve substantially thanks to more agile processes.
  • Teamwork becomes a priority to find new ways of working.
  • The speed of response to sudden changes in the environment is accelerated.
  • Data analysis is performed in a much more thorough and detailed way.
  • Customer service improves in all aspects, as the response speed is higher.
  • Technological change drives further improvements in the products and services offered.

Strategic tips to implement digitalization

  • Perform an internal audit or analysis to know the technological situation of your company or business, as well as the computer skills of its members.
  • It involves all your team (s) in the process of digital transformation (and not only in operational aspects of management and mastery of online tools).
  • It encourages creativity and innovation on the part of each person involved in the change, to adopt new digital attitudes.
  • Develop a strategic plan to act based on your resources (economic and human), the digital environment that characterizes your sector and the needs of your target audience.
  • Perform a file and documentation migration to the cloud to facilitate work online and from anywhere.
  • Tables a dashboard to keep track controlled based on KPI indicators.
  • Regularly review the optimization of resources to renegotiate with suppliers and avoid idle capabilities due to poor distribution of roles within your team(s).

The keys to digital transformation

The evolution of digital is based on four fundamental pillars: technology, customer experience, business culture, and business objectives.

Some entrepreneurs may feel confused when they think of digital transformation as a radical change that they do not feel able to assume in the short term. In reality, digitalization should be considered as a gradual process according to the capabilities and needs of each company. It must be taken into account that its implementation involves all members of the organization.

To address this transformation effectively, three key points must be paid attention:

  • Promote productive and flexible ways of working that help retain talent
  • Promote innovative leadership with the ability to contribute new ideas
  • Know the customer through effective data management

Digitization must be done with future needs in mind and, therefore, is an indispensable element of any business plan.

Now, how can we make these changes?

1# Leave the comfort zone

Evolving as a company implies a mindset open to renewal. The digital transformation does not have to be a confused or traumatic process.

The fear of change means that many companies are losing ground against those that have opted for digital transformation. Mainly, this is perceived in their relationship with customers.

Consumers of the 21st century use new technologies on a regular basis to answer questions or meet needs. Who loses one morning to manage with his bank if he can do it comfortably from his computer?

2# Promote digital skills in employees and managers

The new digital landscape requires innovative, creative and willing people to order digitally. This process involves both employees and managers, who must acquire digital skills and other skills such as:

  • Self-learning ability
  • Collaborative work between departments
  • Fluent and effective communication with customers, suppliers, and partners
  • Customer orientation

Digital transformation is a great opportunity to capture talent that meets the necessary skills in the technological era.

3# Design digital strategies

The current and future business model should focus on the customer experience and the digital environment. Implementing new technologies is the first step. Current software allows defining a digital strategy that involves all departments.

Some essential actions are the design of a customer life cycle map, the measurement of the results, the correction of errors in real-time and the future planning according to the data obtained.

In summary, digital transformation is not an objective in itself but a process that requires an open attitude to change, emotional intelligence and the ability to adapt to a changing environment.

In a highly technological world, new opportunities arise from the possibilities offered by digitalization.

Have you already addressed the digital transformation of your company? What aspects do you think are most important? Tell us how you take advantage of new technologies to take your business to the next level.

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