Digital transformation within a company can’t be a project that just starts and ends. The process of integrating digital strategy with business strategy takes an ongoing, strategic, company-wide culture shift that lays the groundwork for long-term growth and success. Getting a digital transformation off the ground isn’t easy, and securing buy-in at the top of the organization can take a long time. Once you get the go-ahead and the funding starts to come through, the pressure falls on business decision makers to start showing results. But how?
When we at The Nerdery work with clients, we help cast the overall vision for where they want the business to go. Where does their transformation need to be in five weeks, five months and—ultimately—five years? Then we work backwards to know what to deliver short-term, all while roadmapping the necessary steps to reach even the long-term goals.
After that, there are four steps that are critical to starting out on a successful digital transformation:
Develop alignment at the top.
Create alignment between the people who are setting the goals and the people who are implementing the solutions. This ensures everyone understands what the organization needs to do in order for the transformation to be successful. With this focus, digital will become a core part of your business strategy—not just an add-on to what you already do.
Put your users first.
Any successful transformation has to rely on listening to your users. Whether it’s through analyzing quantitative data or gathering subjective feedback, your users can tell you what to focus on to deliver a valuable digital experience. By understanding how people interact with your digital experience, you’ll find major pain points you can address right away to show early results. You will also be less likely to spend time chasing something that will only have a marginal impact on your business goals. For the long-term, you’ll have the advantage of a human-centered approach and seeing your transformation through your users’ eyes from the very beginning.
Focus on the right metrics.
We try to help businesses align their goals with the right metrics at the very beginning so they know what success looks like. Some organizations focus on the wrong metrics and end up with misconceptions about their actual results. For example, if the business goal is mobile app performance, we want to make sure that their success gets judged by app metrics like in-app sales or user retention. If we’re judging mobile app success by marketing metrics, we aren’t going to get the right sense of how it’s performing with users.
Begin by tackling the short-term problems.
Once you have metrics aligned and can focus on delivering what users want, the low-hanging fruit becomes apparent. Address the critical short-term issues that improve performance or remove immediate roadblocks. Depending on the type of systems you have, this could be anything from adding a quality-control element to making a technology scalable for future growth. These early efforts will show that you are able to quickly adapt to the challenges of a digital transformation and make an impact across the business.
Internal alignment and removing immediate roadblocks are only the start of a lasting digital transformation: a good foundation for the heavy lifting that’s to come. For a deeper look at how to create a digital transformation that gets results, download The Nerdery’s e-book, The Truth Behind Digital Transformation.