To ensure a succesful digital journey, leaders must first understand the anatomy of digital transformation. Source: Shutterstock

To ensure a succesful digital journey, leaders must first understand the anatomy of digital transformation. Source: Shutterstock

Understanding the building blocks of successful digital transformation

MORE often than not, digital transformation is associated with change. May it be the change of work processes, technology, or even culture.

However, it is important to note that transformation itself is not synonymous to change, and there is a big difference between the two concepts that are sometimes used interchangeably.

Change is continuous. Economies, industries, and organization have always changed with time and circumstances, tweaking their ways or adapting to a new business environment or phase, while maintaining business as usual.

Transformation, however, is disruptive, in nature.  It is about replacing older methods with newer ones, significantly impacting the operations of the entire organization, to completely revolutionize the mindsets and practices.

And to lead a digital transformation, CXOs need to understand these differences and adapt to the chaotic, disruptive nature of transformation to ensure a smooth transition.

Here are some of the elements that facilitate successful digital transformation:

#1 | Dynamic learning culture

First and foremost, organizations have to be aware of transformations that are taking place around them, may it be the industry, the market or even their competition, and the rate of which things are changing.

Then, it is incumbent upon the leaders to instill a culture that yearns to learn, not to only to get caught up but to be ahead of the knowledge curve.

#2 | Customer focused designs

One of the core tenets of digital transformation is bringing the focus back to customers. While it may be tempting for leaders to push their own ideas to consumers, businesses have to understand that the digital economy is all about responding to market signals.

Deploying appropriate tools and solutions to listen, understand, and subsequently deliver the experience that customers seek will transform businesses.

#3 | Empowered human workforce

Digitally transformative companies thrive on the smart and empowered human workforce, whereby leaders aren’t required to spell out what to do, but guide staff towards solutions.

Businesses that have more distributed decision making power are closer towards reaching digital transformation success.

#4 | Constant innovation

Innovative technologies help improve operational and cost efficiencies, while at the same time enhances business performance that opens up new opportunities.

Companies pursuing digital transformation goals would do well to deploy emerging technologies, such as big data, IoT, AI, analytics, and blockchain, and continuously seek to improve by fostering a culture of continuous innovation.

#5 | Sustainable business model

Thanks to the rise of anything as a service (XaaS) along with other disruptive ways of generating revenue, businesses can re-invent their business models and future-proof themselves.

However, any transformation has to be done with the objecting of creating long-term impact and sustainability in mind.

In short, while digital transformation may have multiple facets which affect numerous stakeholders, ultimately, it requires all the elements to work in unison, for it to be a success.