Steps For Success: Driving Your Business Digitally: Part 2

Continuous success

Deciding to digitally transform any business is a big decision. Not just because it requires a great deal of initial exploratory work – the ambition or ‘why’ it’s needed, as well as the design or ‘how’ it’ll come together (see part 1) – but because successful adoption requires behaviour change.

However, often companies stop after delivery. They roll out a new system or procedure and assume the hard part is done, when in fact it’s just beginning. Lasting change requires not only a mindset shift, but a scalable approach, and constant evaluation.

Let’s take a look at the last three phases – Delivery, Scalability, and Revision.

Delivery

A strategy always looks good on paper, but for a solution to truly succeed, user adoption is needed. That’s why the way in which a new service or solution is delivered in-house needs to revolve around getting buy-in as quickly as possible.

Understanding your audience – whether they’re employees, customers, or partners – is crucial. It’s also very important to consider their perspective. For example, they may be very used to working in a certain way or using a specific system. Remember – most people don’t like change! That’s why you should start by addressing ‘what’s in it for them’ before rolling out the wider initiative.

Simply stating the business facts such as ‘we all need to work from home ’ won’t win hearts and minds. However, ‘ensuring you have the capacity, tools, security, and hardware you need to collaborate with colleagues remotely’ gives them a better sense of their purpose and place within the wider initiative.

Knowing which methods of engagement will resonate best with your audience needs to be carefully considered too. This affects the wider communications strategy – balancing practical considerations such as a phased approach to deployment – with creating a learning experience that fits with user needs.

Scalability

Both communications and practical solutions need to be scalable. This means that any effort put in place to adopt or onboard a new system need to be actionable by a large or growing number of users in a way that’s transparent, fast, and easy to understand.

Honesty counts in any project – particularly when you’re rolling out a new initiative at scale. If users feel involved, are kept updated, and clear parameters are communicated, the uncertainty is taken out of the process. And don’t be afraid to say what can go wrong and how you will act in a challenging situation.

It’s also important for leaders to be transparent about the good and bad issues, and to encourage an open feedback culture. This not only builds trust and outlines other areas of improvement, but it can help solve incremental issues, which in a large company can quickly mount up.

For example – take a company of 10,000 people. If everyone loses 10 minutes of time because of a particular problem or an unclear communication, the business impact can be… well, you do the maths (!).

So when planning large-scale user adoption, IT teams need a clear picture of the issues that people are having – so they can create the right sort of support model. This could be anything from a dedicated helpdesk to a short series of ‘How To’ videos. It might even involve training a select number of team-based ‘champions’ who support their departments in onboarding and troubleshooting.

The solution depends on the size and nature of the company, the scope of the initiative itself, and the sophistication of the technology being used.

Revision

It’s important to keep in mind that change is constant; not just from a tech perspective but from a human and commercial one too. Digital transformation is about helping companies meet the challenges they’re facing and to improve efficiency, security, costs, growth, and keeping their employees happy.

This is why a continuous improvement and assessment process is the final part of the transformation process – accepting that it’s never truly ‘done’ and that constant monitoring is essential to long-term success.

However, considering how modern cloud-based SaaS solutions can be used as to address specific business needs, once an initial ‘transformation’ is complete and behaviour change is apparent, future change initiatives will be incremental.

Given the amount of data digitally-savvy businesses now have access to, identifying where improvements need to be made is a lot easier – and can be aligned with customer needs and business goals.

Ultimately, digital transformation is about futureproofing businesses – so that they have the right infrastructure, information, and attitude to meet change head on; as it happens.

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