Creating the plan for digital transformation can be a lot like planning a home remodel.
There are so many details and so many possibilities!
If you get hardwood floors, they will be easier to clean, but it will be more expensive than carpet. Plus, will your dog scratch the surface as he rounds the corner rushing to his food bowl every day?
Floor to ceiling windows look great and will increase the natural light in your house, but it can cause issues with privacy. And nobody likes cleaning windows, so is installing more (and bigger) windows a good idea?
How will your guests react to all these new changes? Where do you find a reputable contractor to implement all these ideas?
After countless hours on Pinterest searching for design inspiration and Angie’s List researching local service providers, you might even sink into a feeling of being overwhelmed by the scope of the project and decide that your dimly lit living room with dark brown shag carpet straight from the 70’s isn’t so bad after all…
Housing remodels aside, digital transformation (DX) projects can often stall (or never start!) due to the intense amount of details, planning, and questions about the unknown.
And it’s not the technology that causes the issue with DX—the majority of modern companies in the United States have deployed some sort of tech to enrich their business, from robotics to CRM to document digitization. The issue is orchestrating the myriad of tasks, budgets, expected outcomes, personnel, and tech to pull off a true transformation, all while solving for the customer.
If any of that sounds familiar to you, we recommend that you take few minutes to inhale a deep breath, take a step back, and read the following tips for outlining the big picture of your DX strategy.
What—you thought we were going to suggest you meditate? Nobody has time for that! Let’s get going.
Stop Planning, Start Prioritizing
At the onset of a DX project, you don’t need plans—you need priorities.
A true digital transformation will allow your organization to see internal efficiencies, increased customer satisfaction, and better margin, but which DX activities and planning will lead to which? Also, which of those objectives is the most pressing? No need to plan for technology, staffing, or execution until you’ve sorted your priorities.
Common business objectives that can be enhanced with DX are:
- IT infrastructure
- Customer Service Systems
- Omni-Channel Marketing
Just to name a few. Knowing your priorities will allow you to research the digital opportunities specific to each business objective, saving you time researching opportunities that don’t directly align.
As you begin to list your business objectives that depend on DX, here are a few ideas to help you prioritize them.
Map value to ROI and prioritize based on resources. If the project that has the potential to create the most revenue is also the most expensive to implement, that may not be the best place to start. For example, if building a customer-facing digital platform will increase the lifetime value of a customer, that is a worthwhile pursuit. But if it takes several months to build and won’t see a positive ROI for years to come, you may want to consider prioritizing a cheaper (or free!) project that will generate ROI faster.
Understand the customer experience from inside out. What will the customer journey look like from initial touchpoint (branding) all the way through to retention? Instead of just focusing on one specific area of how your DX project will affect customer experience, like customer support via live chat, frame your conversation around every single possible encounter they have with your organization. This may help you sort out which areas to prioritize.
Give a more holistic meaning to your KPIs. One common issue with assigning metrics to measure your DX efforts is that they often end up in a single channel. For instance, if your metric for redesigning your website is total web visits, how does that connect to revenue? More traffic is almost always a good thing, but it doesn’t include the whole picture of the customer. In this example, what you would likely do instead is to combine metrics from traffic, conversion, and revenue to create a dashboard that you can review to see how a new website affects the customer and the profit margin of the organization.
With your priorities in place, it’s now a lot easier to see the big picture. Here’s how to get started.
Getting Started—The Big Picture
Getting your ducks in a row by prioritizing, but you have to get started sometime—why not now?
Here is an overview of the steps you’ll need to start, grow, and sustain digital transformation at your organization.
1. Seize The Low-Hanging Fruit
In your list of prioritized business objectives (that we discussed earlier) are there any items that you can transform into a digital process without a ton of extra cost or personnel? If so, those are the ones you want to start with.
One example we always use is electronic document signatures. If your sales team is still do the manual send, print, sign, scan, send process with client contracts, sign them up for a free trial of HelloSign and see if signing documents electronically makes their job easier and gets customers onboarded faster.
2. Double Down On Things That Work
As you see success on some of your early initiatives, see if you can extend their capabilities, therefore increasing your results. One of the safest ways to do this is to outsource the talent you need to build the program on a contractual basis, and then see if your hypothesis holds. Eventually, you may be able to embed that same talent at your organization.
Following our example from the previous paragraph, there are a great many things HelloSign can do for your documents beyond electronic signatures. HelloWorks allows you to create automated workflows with your documents. Or you can work with our team to find a creative way to use the HelloSign API to suit your custom needs.
3. Grow, Sustain, And Innovate
The real beauty of digital transformation is that it’s never done, and you may end up in a different (and better!) place than you imagined. But in order to get there, you’ll need to understand that DX is a process of continuous improvement and needs to be treated that way. This may involve organizing your company structure, and especially the IT department. This will allow you to break down silos and extend the benefits of DX across every department.