According to Charles Darwin, if an organism does not adapt to the changing environment, it is likely to get extinct. The same theory applies to businesses today. They too should evolve. Today’s business scenario can be compared to a football match with constantly moving goalposts. You cannot predict in which direction you’ll have to kick to score a goal. So, if you don’t experiment with your creativity and keep trying new things, you’ll end up losing the game.
The most urgent transformation that a company has to undergo is digitalization i.e making the processes paperless. In other words, automation with increasingly end-to-end systems. With increased connectivity of people, devices and systems, everyday objects are communicating with each other across the vast network called IoT ( Internet of Things). The other key trends driving transformation are Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and high-speed 5G networks.
Today business is going through a disruptive change at an unprecedented pace. While disruptive change is a threat, it is also a growth opportunity. The opportunity to undertake a complete business transformation which enhances the trust of your customers inculcates digital technologies within your system, pursues innovation and promotes customer-centricity. This is possible only if businesses adopt new processes of engineering, use data effectively and rethink operations by managing the core business alongside.
In spite of this era of disruptive change, many businesses are dreadfully unprepared to keep up with the trends. Businesses that are ready to step up and harness the new technologies holistically are the ones that thrive. Effective digital transformation requires a proper strategy for changing the existing culture and coming up with new innovative ways to serve your customers. Following are some tips to come up with a digital transformation strategy:
- Solve the now
You have to assess where your company stands currently to prepare for the future. Respond to the immediate challenges facing your organization – competitive threats, changing regulations or changing customer preferences. Identify the risks that your company faces and chart a course of action to navigate through the risks. Aim to create end-to-end systems that efficiently cut across functions and consolidate your transformation efforts.
- Invest and reinvest in the future
Once you have identified your challenges and mitigated them, you should explore your future business options. There’s no end to digital transformation. The game goes on. So make sure that the learning and the investments also keep going. You may consider integrating emerging technologies like AI, IoT, cloud, big data, blockchain and robotics within your business. The options are many – so choose wisely. Along with the digital side, you need to invest in developing the skills of your employees who are the fuel for growth in your organization.
- Reflect on what’s after what’s next:
So you’ve invested in technologies and the upskills of your employees. What comes after that? Well, given the fast pace of radical change, organizations should not stop at the next step. You must think about what’s after what’s next. A recent study showed that in 1964, the average life of a company was 33 years. This is predicted to drop down to 12 years by 2027. In such a disturbing scenario you need to find ways to continually adapt to a hyperconnected and superfluid market. Be constantly on the lookout for new megatrends that would lead to the next digital change. As Thomas Friedman said “I don’t think outside the box. I don’t think inside the box. I think without a box”. Businesses who look beyond need to adopt this great ideology.
These tips will help your organization to transform on a basic level. But beyond immediate transformation, companies should aim at becoming superfluid enterprises that can effortlessly navigate through the changing environment. Following are some add-ons to ensure successful and adaptive transformation:
- Proactive approach: Keep challenging and disrupting yourself. Being reactive will make you lag behind. Develop a proactive approach.
- Agility: It’s high time to let go of the traditional business mindset. What worked earlier may not work today. You should respond to the needs of your workforce and customers.
- Empower your employees: Encourage and reward disruptive innovation. Help your employees upgrade their skills regularly. Just like your customers, your employees should also have a unique experience within the company.
- Diversify talents: Acquire new and diverse talents from within and outside your organization. Inclusiveness and diversity create an innovative culture in the organization.
- Value: Find out what is the one thing that creates value not only for the organization but also for the society and the stakeholders.
- Challenge your C-Suite structure: Check whether your current C-Suite structure will be beneficial for your organization in this transformative age. Can you fully utilize the growth opportunities with the current C-Suite model or is it time for a change?
- Focus on customers: Let all your strategies be customer-centric. Use the latest technologies to understand customer behaviour across segments and enrich the customer journey.
Finally, we can conclude that digital transformation in the form of the 4th Industrial Revolution is here and we’re right in the middle of it. So, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the drastic digital transformation you can embrace it and create a win-win situation for all.
Need more insights on how to transform your business? Feel free to contact me.