Digital transformation is essential to business success in the Digital Age. Even so, launching a business into a digital design can be daunting — especially if business leaders don’t know how to determine whether the transformation process is going well or going a little less than well.
There are plenty of things business leaders can do to learn how to build a digital transformation strategy for their organization, and there are more than a few techniques and tools to use to ensure the transformation goes smoothly. Yet, while a transformation is underway, business leaders should be on the lookout for the following milestones, which indicate that the business is headed in the right direction.
Business Processes Become Increasingly Lean
Usually, a primary goal of digital transformation is to eliminate disorganization and wastefulness. Therefore, a good indication that a digital transformation is going well is that inefficiencies start to disappear. As business processes begin to achieve their objectives without consuming undue resources — to include human resources — business leaders can recognize that their digital design is appropriately transitioning the organization into a new era of efficiency.
Leaders Have More Visibility of Operations
Another main objective of most digital transformation efforts is achieving greater visibility across the company. Because digital systems can track data from customers and employees better than analog processes, leaders gain unprecedented access to the behaviors and activities of almost every corner of their organizations. Thus, when leaders begin to recognize an increase in available data for decision-making, they might appreciate the value of their digital transformation.
Digital Initiatives Develop Repeatable Processes
It is one thing to develop an approach to digital projects and programs that works well once, at the start of a digital transformation. It is quite another for those working on digital projects and programs to develop processes they can repeat again and again. When employees and departments develop repeatable processes, they are finding methods of using digital technologies that will serve them well in the long term. Thus, business leaders should look for evidence that their workers are falling into patterns and habits in the midst of the digital transformation.
Departments Share Ownership of the Strategy
Though the word “digital” is inseparable from digital design and digital transformation, a business’s transition to using digital processes isn’t the sole responsibility of IT. In fact, business leaders in other departments, especially in upper-level management, need to be directly involved in a digital transformation to give their tech workers guidance. Businesses that have shared ownership of the digital design are more likely to see success in their transformation because they will have a cohesive vision and strategy.
Changes Occur More Frequently
It takes a good deal of effort for businesses to introduce changes, especially changes that customers, clients, and end-users can see. Thus, when a business begins offering changes with greater frequency, leaders can be reasonably certain that their efforts at digital transformation are paying off. Frequent intentional change is a sign that collaboration is going smoothly and that common problems involved in change can be solved strategically and rapidly using digital tools and systems.
Customers and Employees Are Happier
People tend to be resistant to change, so when a change brings about an improvement in attitude from customers and employees, business leaders can be confident that the change is for the better. Digital transformations have the potential to make working with the business much easier for everyone, so when leaders find improved satisfaction scores, increased engagement and other indications of positive feelings about the business, they can take them as signs that their digital transformation is going well.
IT Is Streamlined
Digital transformation should benefit everyone within an organization, but a unified and consistent digital design is particularly advantageous for IT. When IT leaders see IT programs and practices gain speed without compromising quality of work, they might assume that it is the result of an effective digital transformation. Leaders should also look for lower costs associated with tech, which is another good signal that the transformation is streamlining IT.
Signs of a successful digital transformation will vary depending on a business’s size, its maturity and its unique digital design. Still, leaders can be on the lookout for these relatively common indications that a transformation is offering value to an organization.