Businesses in the digital age must be prepared to transform according to the market signals, and fast track their digital initiatives accordingly. Source: Shutterstock

Businesses in the digital age must be prepared to transform according to the market signals, and fast track their digital initiatives accordingly. Source: Shutterstock

Guide to fast-tracking digital initiatives without affecting results

FOR BETTER or worse, technology has transformed the dynamics between businesses and customers, putting the latter firmly in the driver’s seat.

Customers, armed with more information, are increasingly more selective, and businesses need to differentiate themselves in order to win in the saturated marketplace.

Many organizations are well aware of this shift but are struggling to adapt and make the necessary changes. While correctly recognizing that digital solutions are critical towards this transformation, many are still unprepared to deal with the changes that strategy and business models need.

The truth is, digital is an existential threat for many businesses, and if business leaders do not revisit their business strategies and think from the customer point of view, they may not survive for long.

Transformation is difficult for everyone, and particularly more challenging for larger organizations with legacy systems and culture. These enterprises aren’t built to be nimble and agile, which is a strategic imperative in the age of digital transformation.

As product lifecycles shrink quickly, enterprises must be prepared to change along with the market signals, and fast-track their digital initiatives accordingly, without impacting business performance.

Here are some of the steps that businesses should follow to scale quickly while managing expectation and delivering results ar the same time:

#1 | Optimize existing digital initiatives

Chances are, most companies already are sitting on valuable customer data, but have not fully utilized it yet. While it might seem natural to start everything from scratch, including data collection, it is not always necessary.

Companies should first perform an inventory check on data and solutions available at hand and seek to optimize those first.

#2 | Have clearly defined goals

Before pursuing a digital strategy, businesses must identify what is it that they are seeking to solve.

Companies may try to increase their revenues, improve margins, or enhance the customer experiences they provide to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Having clearly defined goals will help identify the right solutions to achieve them.

#3 | Provide meaningful solution

Business leaders must realize that, while successful transformation requires an inevitable shift in mindset, they can’t possibly reinvent the entire wheel within short periods.

Thus, they should take the pragmatic approach and focus on building a solution that effectively solves a business problem while also contributing to the bigger organizational goal.

#4 | Get everyone ready for transformation

One of the critical elements that determine the success of an organization’s digital efforts is the buy-in of stakeholders.

Everyone in the C-suite, all the way to the operations team, should be aware, understand, and actively participate in the transformation process, while also being mindful of why changes are being made in the first place.

#5 | Generate and communicate results

Regardless of all the careful planning and strategic communications, change is bound to disrupt business as usual for stakeholders, which may include customers in some cases.

Organizations, therefore, have to continually communicate the improvement in business performance or services to all the relevant parties and get them invested in the journey.