Part 1 - A Business Case
A great business case does not guarantee success but it’s a very good place to start.
Before any digital transformation project gets off the ground, the business goals need to be clear so that a digital roadmap can be created. That means understanding what is driving the change. Is it the customers that are the catalyst for change? Your employees? Or your competitors, perhaps? The answer to this question is the starting point for understanding the influence digital could have on achieving your business strategy, and measuring success.
Remember that domino effect.
Keeping focus on why you’re doing this will make sure you get your priorities right. Are you transforming the whole company or just a part of it? Are you dealing with process or the customer experience? What effect will change have on the staffing needs of the organisation? Realistically, digital transformation in one part of the business will have a knock on effect into others more often than not, so this needs to be managed and accounted for. Time and time again, it’s not taken into consideration leaving individuals and departments feeling threatened. In a nutshell, communication is key.
Look to the future, but don’t forget about next week.
Obviously it’s vital to state the financial benefits of a programme in your business case, but that will often take some time to come to fruition. And whilst most companies claim to have an eye on the long-term strategy, there’ll also be concern about short-term financial reporting. Overcoming this is a huge challenge, unless you can tie something in to a revenue generating project.
Start at the top.
Our experiences has shown us that no matter how cool the technology is, how sound the strategy is, or how inspired the design is – ultimately, it is people that will make digital transformation succeed or fail. There needs to be a senior-level sponsor, ideally on the board (and ideally the CEO), who has this on their agenda, and understands the need for digital transformation - or, at least, is willing to take the time to learn. Starting at the catalyst with a c-suite sponsor and then driving it down takes commitment to the cause and understanding all the way through.