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Successful digital transformation through a disciplined approach

With born-on-the-web companies disrupting centuries-old industries and technologies like cloud and big data reshaping the way organizations use information, digital transformation has become one of the hottest topics of the past two years.

One common myth about digital transformation is that it requires a wholesale restructuring of the business. In fact, organizations can achieve substantial incremental benefits by automating manual processes, streamlining decisions and improving collaboration using digital tools. In fact, few experts advise organizations to attempt major transformations without first testing technologies and ideas on a small scale.

A disciplined approach begins with looking at the areas of most immediate opportunity, running some test projects and expanding from there. Remember that digital transformation can be disruptive; proceeding incrementally gives the organization a chance to adapt to change and to embrace a culture of continuous improvement.

Start in areas in which new technology can achieve tangible and measurable results, such as improving workflows, speeding up turnaround times, and improving employee productivity. The benefits of automating these functions with digital tools are often immediate and can set the stage for a more ambitious rollout. 

« A slow-and-steady approach also helps convince the skeptics that digital transformation doesn’t have to be scary or disruptive. It can just be good business practice. »

This is not to say that transformation is easy. In many cases, it involves challenging existing organizational boundaries, conventions and hierarchies. Employees who are grounded in the old way of doing things can be a significant impediment. The good news is that they can usually be won over with demonstrated results.