Digital Transformation – what follows?

Businesses all over the globe have digital transformation built into their short-term strategies. Whether they are striving to uncover new digital revenue streams, to drive efficiencies or fight off the competition, digitalisation is a fundamental requirement.

Yet the most prepared and strategic companies will also have an eye on a more distant horizon – the stage beyond digital transformation. You successfully adopt new digital ways of working, harness data and streamline your operations… what comes next?

Moving from testing to adopting

Many large organisations have found that the fastest way to move into a more digital space is through pilots and experiments. This is sensible practice – you need to be sure that your new direction is going to work before embedding it across your entire operation.

The danger is that the test or experiment becomes annexed from the rest of the business. Here’s an example. One department adopts digital practice, by embedding sensors and using machine learning to make basic decisions. It proves successful and saves money. But unless the rest of the organisation follows suit, the gains and advantages will remain small and have little business impact.

Driving change on a larger scale is a challenge but is an absolute necessary if your company is to adapt and survive.

Recognising that transformation is continuous

The nature of technology is that it evolves rapidly and continually. Realistically, your digital transformation programme will never end. It’s important to see your current transformation programme as one of many future phases.

Developing ‘future proof’ strategies is the holy grail of digitalisation, but we can only really see the very near future. We need to be ever-ready for market disruption. That means having a team of people or strategic alliances that have a steady focus on the latest developments, your competition, customer demand and industry trends.

Ensuring a flexible and adaptive culture

It’s often said that people are the key to successful change. All too frequently, change fails because employees and partners are resistant to new ways of working or don’t understand their benefits.

There are tremendous benefits in creating a culture where change is accepted as the norm. There’s no easy approach to this, but it helps to be clear about the behaviours your company considers valuable, and to hire and develop people who are open minded and positive about change.

Seeking and listening to employee feedback is important too. People that feel they are valued and looked after by their employer are more likely to trust that new initiatives and strategies are being introduced for positive reasons.

Harnessing professional expertise

WIL Group’s global network of executive interims are leading digital change programmes in every market and every continent. They are highly experienced in delivering lasting and effective change, as well as laying the foundations for the future.  We work with top performing organisations to solve business challenges and drive ongoing success. If you have a challenge that requires the insights of experienced and proven professionals, contact us today.  [ENDS]

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