Digital technology has changed the way we do everything, from interacting with each other to reading the news to listening to music. So it’s no surprise that they’re changing business too.
But that change doesn’t happen on its own. Transforming your company to use new tech requires thoughtful strategy, a healthy budget and sustained effort. Without these things, digital transformations can fail to support your business goals and keep you competitive. Here’s how to implement your digital transformation successfully.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation means making changes to integrate digital technologies into your business. It’s a complex, multifaceted process that involves adopting new tools and processes as well as a cultural shift toward embracing digital tech as the way to grow and succeed.
Digital transformations can include simple changes like using more effective collaboration tools. Or you can invest in machine learning models, migrate computing infrastructure to the cloud or create custom bots to automate repetitive tasks.
Why it’s more important than ever
Now is the time for digital transformation. According to a 2021 report by Foundry, 91% of companies have plans for engaging in digital transformation. And they’re putting resources into it: On average, companies plan to spend $16.5 million over the next 12 months on those initiatives. Global spending on digital transformation is predicted to reach $2.8 trillion by 2025, according to Statista.
Four ways to implement it effectively
Surviving in business means keeping up, and digital technologies are making companies more productive, targeted and efficient. Here’s how to implement digital transformation successfully so you can future-proof your business.
1. Create a strategy
Digital transformation is like any other initiative: for it to be successful, you need a plan. That means figuring out the necessary inputs, identifying strategic steps for implementation and measuring success. More fundamentally, you need to make sure that the specific transformations you choose push your organization’s mission and vision forward.
It’s all about prioritizing too. You can’t say yes to all digital all at once. Choose what’s most important and focus on that first.
2. Get aligned
Digital transformation requires teams to change the way they work. That can be a challenge. Your colleagues know how to do their job now, but change involves risk. Teams might be resistant to new ways of working unless they understand why the change is happening and feel confident they can be successful.
So you need to get your people on board. Business leaders should show united support for the transformation. A comprehensive communications strategy will also help ensure everyone understands the changes that are coming, why they are happening and what to expect. And there should be adequate training and support for anyone affected. Ideally, the tools you choose are intuitive and easy to learn.
3. Start small, expand and iterate
Some digital transformation initiatives do require a massive project, like migrating all your products from one e-commerce platform to another. But most strategies can start with a pilot and then broaden. When possible, test out a tool or process on a small group of people before rolling it out to everyone. Starting small can help you iron out the kinks in a system and make sure it works before everyone uses it.
For example, when Target implemented Slack, it first rolled it out to 2,000 engineers. This initial group helped develop norms around its use and provided feedback. Later, it successfully rolled it out to 1,000 more engineers and eventually to all its digital, recruiting, business intelligence and strategy teams.
4. Don’t forget about compliance
Sometimes your own organization’s policies limit what you can do. Maybe you have to comply with specialized external regulations and laws. Before you implement anything, make sure you run any transformation plan past your compliance or legal team and IT.
For example, Stripe uses Slack Connect to securely communicate and collaborate with its customers and external partners, sharing messages and files in a way that respects their internal privacy and security policies.
Ready to start?
Digital transformation will be critical for business success going forward, regardless of the industry. Actually implementing new digital tools and processes is challenging, but the rewards are worth it as you create an agile, efficient company that can pivot as needed.
If you’d like to find out how Slack can help you implement digital transformation or modernize the way your team communicates, try us out for free. Or speak to our sales team to learn more.