Digital Transformation: Business First, Technology Second

Digital Transformation: Business First, Technology Second

Digital Transformation: Business First, Technology Second

The strength of technology underpins a digital strategy. But what matters most are the people and teams piloting these innovations. Only once they are fully engaged will it be possible to build a solution that satisfies the end-user and involve company stakeholders more effectively.

Modern enterprise must measure up, understanding which individuals and teams should spearhead the organization’s digital transformation. The answer, however, is not simple. Such a change occurs both physically, from a technological standpoint, as well as organizationally. Therefore, these changes must be recognized and implemented across the entire company.

Digitalization is more than a marketing campaign or simple onboarding process. We will explore why efforts to digitalize an organization are a multidisciplinary commitment – and how you can make it work for your organization too.

Key Success Factors

Digital transformation means creating a synergy between divisions, delivering a consistent message, and approving a bulletproof plan. So, what comes next? Your digital initiatives will be measured according to three distinct success factors.

User Adoption

Attaining and retaining engagement with your initiatives may become the first point of merit for your digital implementation programs. It may even become of your most noticeable KPI’s. Therefore, take this variable as an early indicator of enthusiasm and initial uptake, whether introducing a company-wide application or digital procurement system.


The performance of a digital initiative is also judged by its growth – whether this is potential or actual. Your efforts will eventually need to address the possibility of expanding your product into new markets or consolidating existing ones. Consider the challenges and opportunities for achieving this.

Delivering Results

Your ultimate objective will be a successful digitalization outcome, whether this is cost reduction, business growth, operational efficiency, or customer retention. It is recommended to refer to real-world case studies to help determine the outcome of your digital initiative.

Organizational Approaches

Good management practices will abide by a set of principles whose goals would support your success metrics. Several initiatives and programs will contribute to achieving these goals. However, some factors can prove to be an obstacle to growth.

Avoidance of Technology Worship

Early adoption and enthusiasm for new developments should become a cornerstone of your initiatives; yet, over-reliance through technology worship and implementation ‘for its own sake’ will prove counterproductive to digitalization efforts and possibly alienate the very stakeholders you’re seeking to attain. Instead, solutions must always consider the end-user, as well as support the businesses objectives.

The Over-Promise

Transparency and open lines of communication will lay the foundation for understanding and engagement with your digitalization efforts. Expectations of your stakeholders and customers will be substantial. With this said, it will also be your responsibility to manage these anticipations and advise any potential considerations to your digitalization efforts. Reasonable estimations are advisable in this case, which would take possible challenges into account.

Oversights and Inexperience

The novelty of digital systems and the prospects they deliver will prove to be an asset to your organization. However, you will still need to evaluate the fundamental business cases of your digitalization strategy. For example, without consistent collaboration between departments and neglecting the customer experience, your project’s performance may fluctuate. According to McKinsey in a 2019 study , over 70% of larger, more comprehensive digital transformation projects are destined to fail. The reason for this is due to an insufficiently thought-out customer approach.

There are of course more Digital Transformation success factors .

Digital Transformation Desirable Traits

Your digital transformation will depend on a combination of organization strategy, stakeholder engagement, and understanding of critical variables and programs. So let’s find out what these are.

Integrate with Strategies and Objectives

Your business must develop and communicate a consistent understanding of digital transformation. Whether we base this on functional traits or a holistic level, digital transformation applies to technologies, processes, and manners of thinking throughout your organization. Therefore, it is crucial to create a mutual understanding of what it means to your company and how it aims to achieve your organization’s targets.

Inclusive Onboarding

Enterprise-wide transformation means engaging all levels within the company. Onboarding early users will require commitment from IT and management teams. Eliminating outdated systems, upgrading existing user interfaces, or migrating data to the cloud will require an explanation of the results and experiences they can expect from engaging with this new technology.

Agile Methodology

Incremental development is key to phasing in new technologies and initiatives, particularly at an organizational level. Safe practices suggest developing a Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, developed over a limited number of iterations. By nature, Agile workflows allow for frequent engagement and feedback with stakeholders, ensuring a collaborative and inclusive process.

Technologically Minded Talent

Nurturing a community of technology-minded individuals ensures a strong culture of digital adoption within the organization. By attracting new cohorts of digitally fluent team members, you are taking active steps towards evolving an organization-wide understanding of digitalization across every department. For your digital transformation strategy to be effective, interest must occur at the senior level before progressing towards middle and junior levels accordingly.

Fluency in Human Behavior

Digital initiatives do not occur on paper, in HR or Marketing reports. Instead, these are holistic transformations affecting every aspect of the organization. However, a digital result must always place the customer at the center of the experience and product marketing strategy. This can be achieved through a synergy of different departments and competencies. The first is through customer journey mapping, thanks to a collaboration with the marketing department. The second is through IT and design departments to commit to UX practices in developing powerful product features.

Data Literacy

Your digital strategy will depend entirely on the outcome and information gathered from process data. Ensure your organization manages the infrastructure necessary to capture, manage, secure, and interpret data, as this will prove essential to your critical success factors. In addition, an ability to cultivate and clarify actionable business cases from datasets will help ensure a more competitive product and effective marketing strategy.

Future Steps: Collaborate, Engage, Succeed

Organization-wide engagement is critical to your digital transformation. Interdisciplinary approaches are effectively the most significant deciding factor for incorporating digital transformation across your stakeholder groups and company departments.

As large initiatives frequently perform, implementing concepts en masse can be a risky strategy, particularly without end-user involvement. Inclusion through an Agile approach will enable your digitalization programs’ organic growth at both a functional and organizational level. In addition, by implementing your program gradually, with open lines of communication, you increase the likelihood of gaining acceptance for your idea among stakeholders.

By encouraging digitally minded individuals, your group would also lay the groundwork for a technologically fluent corporate culture. This would, in turn, incentivize forward-thinking talent, whose onboarding would be more cost-effective and possibly practical at engaging experienced but non-technology-minded employees as well.

A careful approach must always take precedence too. For example, managers should not overstate the intended benefits and resolutions of their digitalization initiatives. Nor should there be an over-reliance on new technologies. Such habits can slow uptake and even reverse the success of implementation.

When looking at digital transformation, it is vital to seek a balanced approach with commitment and involvement from all corners of your organization. After all, the objective is for everyone to experience, improve, and benefit from its advantages.

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