Digital Transformation - What It Means and How To Get Started

Digital Technologies are influencing and changing the global economy. Revenues from traditional channels, including offline commerce, will decrease by almost 20% by 2020, while B2B digital commerce will almost double in that same time period. [1]  If you’ve been challenged to lead a digital transformation, here are some things that can help define what this means for you and how to road map and then execute on your findings:

The term ‘digital transformation’ doesn’t have to be scary

Simply put, it’s how you want to use digital technology and platforms to delight your customers in a meaningful and personalized way. Depending on your vertical, you may need a brochure website with fantastic search, or you may need a brochure website and sales portal for B2B/ B2C or B2B2C sales of your products.

Working with the right team is key to a great transformation

Form a digital team that includes stakeholders from marketing, IT, sales and operations to define what you want to do with digital technology. A multi-faceted team brings context and realism to your definition of digital transformation. Marketing may have a tendency to get carried away with platform bells and whistles, while IT may want the absolute latest and greatest technology. Working together with different disciplines within your company will keep things real.

Find a trusted place to start your research in order to become the trusted resource for your customers

What technology is currently used successfully in your vertical? Who are the top implementation partners for this technology? Who has your team worked successfully with in the past? Here’s a blog post about what to look for when choosing a partner.

Make your customer your priority

Remember who your customer is (hint: you have two customer groups). Every digital project has two end user groups- internal users and external visitors/ users. A website that appeals to your visitors, but is too complicated for your internal marketing department to edit and update will go stale quickly. Identify what your end goals are for both groups.

Keep requirements and technology selection realistic

Consider the term ‘good enough’ and use it often with your team as you consider platforms and build requirements. Many a project has been abandoned due to unrealistic expectations. Realistic requirements lead to actionable execution. A platform that is scalable and can be built in phases facilitates quick wins and, ultimately, to reaching long term goals. Delivering value quickly is more important than perfection.

Research what your competition is doing

Dig into websites of your competitors and read about their digital initiatives. Find out what’s working for them and catapult from it**.**

The culture shift to a customer centric organization, along with the desire to improve the fabric of how you sell to, and serve your customers is the start of digital transformation. Gather a multi-functional team of stakeholders, research and decide on technology, find a trustworthy and likable partner and develop short and long term realistic goals. Stay flexible and forgiving during the process and you’re well on your way to digital transformation.

[1] B2B Digital Sales Survey, Accenture Interactive 2017