Getting your enterprise ready for phase III of digital transformation
What is digital transformation phase III all about?
Digital transformation has been a buzzword for more than a decade now. It has quickly become synonymous with an organization’s transition to digitized systems and processes. The latter are commonly juxtaposed against the traditional, analog or paper-based alternatives, which were and still are reality in some of today’s enterprises and manufacturing environments.
The first phase of the digital evolution was all about the timely exchange of enterprise data via the internet. The second phase focused on new ways of communicating, including mobile technology (3G, 4G, LTE and now 5G). The third phase is the one that we are currently in and this one is all about AI, machine learning, IoT and automation.
The events leading up to phase III
The third phase of the digital evolution would not be conceivable without a certain level of prior technological advancement and maturity. While it is theoretically possible for an enterprise to jump directly from phase zero to the third phase, this would be a monumental change that management and employees may not be ready to embrace. Thus, gradual, incremental improvements are the most realistic way of going about digital transformation for most organizations. It is also the most feasible one in terms of budget, timing, change management, and employee expectations.
As an example, jumping from paper-based manufacturing to a digital model, powered by robots and AI, is a leap that most businesses would find challenging to navigate. However, going from online, digital systems to smarter, more autonomous alternatives constitutes a more gradual change that’s likely to gain greater adoption among internal stakeholders. Therefore, except in some exceptional cases, most enterprises need to learn to walk before they can run when it comes to evolving digitally – and the transformational process needs to be carefully planned and carried out.
Important pillars of the next era of digital transformation
While different organizations all stand at different levels of digital maturity, most have embarked on a quest to optimize the way they go about doing business through technology. Technology is not only capable of making existing processes and methodologies faster, more efficient, and more productive but it can completely redesign them for the better. The goal of any digital transformation is certainly not limited to digitizing existing processes without challenging them at the core. Allowing them to be challenged often reveals redundancies, inefficiencies, and bottlenecks, thus padding the way to uncovering radical alternatives that can change organizations forever.
Getting your enterprise ready for digital transformation phase III
Every enterprise is at a different stage of its digital transformation process – some have not yet started, others are in the middle of it, and yet another group has already completed the first phase or two and are looking for further optimizations in the way things are currently running.
Regardless of which stage your enterprise finds itself in, it’s important to follow a logical, step-by-step methodology to help you ensure a successful experience before, during and post-transformation, such as this one:
- Assess your current enterprise processes, systems, and resources to find potential optimizations
- Identify any gaps between your business goals and your existing solutions (analog or digital)
- Set goals, expectations and success metrics for your enterprise-level digital transformation
- Find the right development partner to help you through the transformation
- Work with your development partner to scope, design, develop, implement and deploy the technological solutions needed to take your enterprise to the next level of digital maturity
- Don’t forget to implement gradual change management throughout the process
- Enable users to succeed, providing training and educational material for both internal and external stakeholders
- Develop usage documentation that’s easy to understand and follow
- Assess the acceptance and success of the new solutions, processes and policies according to the metrics you initially set
- Periodically adjust, improve and upgrade!
Is the process of digital transformation ever truly complete?
By definition, a digital transformation project can be formally finalized when all processes and systems that are in the current scope have been deployed and adopted in the organization. Still, such projects often span only a fraction of all enterprise processes and systems that can be optimized, due to complexity, cost, timing, organizational readiness, and other considerations.
In a sense, an organizational digital transformation is never fully complete, as technologies and methodologies get outdated quickly, soon to be replaced with better, more efficient alternatives. Therefore, periodic assessments of current digital processes, systems, and human resources can ensure that the needed optimizations are carried out in a timely manner.
Gradual improvements and optimizations are often easier to manage than full-blown, enterprise-wide system or process upgrades. Thus, establishing a long-term relationship with a reliable digital transformation / technology partner is crucial. A company with a wealth of system and process optimization experience, such as Pegus, can help you stay on top of new developments that will enable your business to remain competitive in a fast-changing landscape.
Get in touch for a discussion on how we can empower your enterprise in its digital transformation journey today.