Your Company’s Digital Transformation Strategy is Broken [and 7 ways to fix it]
- Two out of three people get their news from social media according to Pew Research
- The average human attention span (7-seconds) is lower than that of a goldfish (8-seconds) according to Statistic Brain
- More people now own a mobile device than a toothbrush according to HubSpot
It’s eye-opening statistics like these that continue to push traditional businesses towards digital transformation strategies. Those who do it effectively are winning in the new digital economy.
Those who don’t transform to digital? Not likely to survive.
This is new territory for the enterprise landscape. There is no playbook for digital transformation. No definitive ‘how-to’ guide. There aren’t many experts and even fewer best practices or case studies to reference.
With this overall lack of history to study it’s no wonder so many are doing it wrong.
Companies have a tendency to take on a “ technology first” approach when it comes to innovation. A project manager or CxO will learn about emerging technology, hear about the increased efficiency and decreased cost, then look for a part of the business it can be applied to. This leads to businesses adopting technology it doesn’t need, and paying a fee it doesn’t like, to achieve a goal it doesn’t want.
Then, it abandons the tech for its legacy alternative.
Usually, after creating a worse user experience, some customers go with it.
So how can CxO’s ensure that their digital transformation is more than just a buzzword?
1. Start with the customer, not the technology
While it may sound obvious this is often the most overlooked part of any digital transformation strategy. Rather than finding new technology, then looking for somewhere to put it, look for an area of the customer experience to improve then leverage innovation to do so.
2. Learn enough about the tech to explain it to a 5-year-old
The C-suite decision-maker doesn’t have to (and likely shouldn’t) know how to create the technology. They should, however, understand the how… not just the what. The best way to test real comprehension is by trying to explain it to a complete novice.
3. Clearly define your project management strategy
Hopefully, your project management methodology is based on the company rather than industry trends. Not every team member has to be a scrum master. However, everyone should at least be aligned and knowledgeable of the selected system.
4. Co-create the change across positions and/or departments
The decision to evolve or not is usually made by a single CxO. That doesn’t mean there’s no room for input. Seek feedback from varying departments and positions to increase their buy-in when it’s time to implement change. You never know where innovative ideas or surprise subject matter experts may come from.
5. Consult with the fringe
Emerging technology is just that… emerging. Chances are the SME isn’t your traditional tech enthusiast and won’t be found in-house. They’re sharing ideas on niche forums, engaging others on Reddit and posting articles on Medium. Look outside of your normal network if you want to find those creating the trends not just following them.
6. Leverage your in-house innovators
Everett M. Rogers’ “ Law of Diffusion of Innovations” states that adoption begins with the 2.5% of Innovators. These are the people that embrace disruptive technology even before the Early-Adopters. Focus your time and energy on rewarding and nurturing this mentality. Not the 16% of Laggards who may never change their minds.
7. Collaborate throughout the entire development lifecycle (DLC)
The bigger a project is, and the longer it lasts, the more likely teams are to splinter off. Prevent this by scheduling conference calls, meetings or touch-bases will all teams through the end of the project. Problems recognized during deployment may be easy to fix… but only if the team responsible is communicating with everyone else.
Digital transformation strategy is a new venture
Most CxO’s recognize it’s necessary but, without much history, it can be difficult to properly implement. A strategy that puts the customer experience before the technology and collaboration before pride is the only type of strategy worth the screen it’s typed on.
About the Author:
Matthew Bardeleben (Matty Bv3) is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Peterson Technology Partners. Matthew spent nearly 20 years in retail business development while, concurrently, building his skills, knowledge, and portfolio in Disruptive Technology, Digital Marketing, SEO, and Digital Reputation Management (Personal Branding. In 2009 he began to use his technical knowledge to increase visibility and brand awareness for local businesses and individuals leading to the launch of MBv3 Digital.
As a life-long learner, Matthew has since earned over 35 certifications in topics ranging from Artificial intelligence, Python Programming, and Blockchain Development to digital marketing, growth hacking, and UX/UI design from organizations such as IBM, Google, and HubSpot.
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© 2019 Matthew Bardeleben, DBA Matty Bv3