Five Keys to Surviving – and Thriving – Through Your Digital Transformation
For more than a generation, enterprises of all sizes have been grabbing onto the digital wave that has transformed our country. From the moment that businesses have found a way to transact via the Internet, digital transformation was bound to sweep through our world, rendering bricks and mortar the less desirable way to buy and sell.
Indeed, the myriad business benefits of digital transformation, for both consumer-oriented and business-to-business concerns, today are an irrefutable part of a switched-on reality.
In fact, a new McKinsey Global Survey on digital transformations found that 80 percent of businesses have spent resources on new digital strategies, either to “capture the benefits of [digital] trends or simply to keep up with competitors.”
But is the investment worth it? In the same McKinsey study, it was revealed that less than a third of these types of transformations actually hit the mark in terms of creating new, sustained sales growth. So, how do you stack the odds in your favor? How do you achieve the benefits of a digital transformation, without the downside risk?
After surveying enterprises who have completed their digital transformations, McKinsey found that the chances of succeeding improve dramatically when companies employ these five key strategies:
1. Having the right, digital-savvy leaders in place.
Change, it may not surprise you, needs to begin at the top. Nearly three-quarters of the McKinsey-surveyed companies undertook a leadership change during their digital transformation. Indeed, building a digitally-aware hierarchy -- with transformation-specific roles -- to rally around the change is important. Here at iTexico, we often have embedded our teams with those of our clients, to help spearhead and shepherd sustainable change. We have seen the most success in such transformations when there is at least one corporate leader dedicated full-time to overseeing the effort – ensuring quick approvals and keeping the project visible, and on track. In fact, McKinsey found that when a Chief Digital Officer was engaged to support the transformation, companies were 1.6 times more likely to experience success.
2. Building capabilities for the workforce of the future.
A transformation, by definition, should have permanent and lasting impact. Throughout this process, you should be cultivating the next generation of digital talent, at all levels of the organization, to foster a digitally-enlightened future. To do this successfully, it’s important that the org chart be updated to align with the company‘s post-transformation digital goals. Two key roles that should be identified at this stage, says McKinsey, are integrators and technology-innovation managers. Both are necessary to “bridge potential gaps between the traditional and digital parts of the business. People in these roles help foster stronger internal capabilities among colleagues,” says McKinsey. A quick way to gain this expertise is to engage an organization like iTexico, which can deliver this expertise in a cost-effective way, without the need for specific training or the procurement of specialized tools. In this manner, iTexico was able to partner with a financial services company, in helping the company automate a process to complete in just a few minutes, whereas it took days previously.
By the way, McKinsey notes that companies that identify, with specificity, digital skill sets in their cross-functional personal goals are twice as likely in achieving successful transformations.
3. Empowering people to work in new ways.
A digital transformation requires more than just technical changes within the company. Culture and behavior, says McKinsey, must follow. Things like calculated risk taking, increased collaboration, and customer centricity must be part of the mindset in order to embrace lasting change. To get there, your company should support initiatives such as continuous learning; should make physical changes to the office space to encourage idea-sharing (open work environments are best for this, says McKinsey); and should give associates a voice on where and how digital initiatives should be adopted. By supporting, rather than inhibiting, bold new ideas, and allowing associates to constantly challenge “old ways” of working, digital transformations are more likely to succeed in the long run. One last key – even hiring practices need to take a contemporary turn to foster success. Considering some more “uncommon” methods in recruiting has also been known to lead to better results. Working with a company like iTexico -- that can provide a plug-and-play Agile team of engineers and experts to spearhead development projects -- is often the quickest pathway to achieving this goal.
4. Giving day-to-day tools a digital upgrade
Having the right platforms to support the transformative digital culture is an essential part of the recipe for success. Adopting the right digital and communications tools to make information “more accessible” across the organization; implementing digital “self-service” technologies for associates and strategic partners; and allowing for the easy procurement of new technologies; all improve the chances for an on-point digital transformation, says McKinsey.
iTexico completed such an upgrade for a company called Flats Life, which needed a new way to engage millennials leasing rental units in its five rental properties in the Chicagoland area. Observing that they were having difficulty covering all of its tenants needs, they realized a technological solution was the answer. iTexico built for FlatsLife an app that now replicates -- in real time -- many of the processes of providing services to tenants. A tenant now can “self-serve” on a variety of functions related to their needs rather than make a special trip to the leasing office.
5. Communicating frequently via traditional and digital methods
Clear communication cannot be underscored as a key factor to success. As an example, McKinsey highlights the use of a “change story, which helps employees understand where the organization is headed, why it is changing, and why the changes are important.” Organizations that employ these stories find success at a clip of three times greater than those that do not. Beyond the buy-in of senior leaders, they must be engaged in pushing the process forward with urgency, says McKinsey. iTexico is adept at helping its clients create change stories as a means of justifying the investment in a digital transformation.
Is a digital transformation on your radar? Don’t hesitate to contact us. The team at iTexico has the right talent, processes and the knowledge of technologies to help you achieve your digital transformation goals. We are happy to offer a free 30-minute consultation to explore the possibilities of us helping you with your journey, and helping you to find the right solution for your business’s evolution.