What Is a Digital Transformation?
The phrase ‘digital transformation’ has, unfortunately, suffered from misunderstanding, misuse, and overuse. Let’s take a moment to clear it up.
A digital transformation is a radical rethinking of how an organisation utilises people, processes, and technology to change its performance. It’s different at each organisation, too. For one firm, the digital transformation might mean automating processes to make the company more efficient; at another business, it could be improving the way employees collaborate so they can work faster and more effectively.
Here's what a digital transformation is not:
- It’s not a single technological solution.
- It’s not a one-step process.
- Digital transformation doesn’t have a defined endpoint.
- It’s not only about technology; people and processes have to change, too.
How Do You Launch a Digital Transformation at Your Organisation?
With all that in mind, how do you launch a digital transformation? There are several steps:
- Start from the top
- Map your capabilities
- Communicate, communicate, communicate
- Start with small wins
- Make it easy to collaborate
Start from the Top
Digital transformation comes from the top down. It has to have sponsors who are business leaders to have a chance at success.
Someone in the C-suite has to champion this project from its inception, even if the idea for digital transformation comes from someone on the front lines. Otherwise, no one will be empowered to take the steps that lead to digital transformation.
Map Your Capabilities
How digital are you currently? Which processes are digital and which are manual? Who in your organisation has the skills and knowledge to help you power your digital transformation?
Understanding where you are and what resources you have is critical. It creates a roadmap that will guide you as you go forward.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
A vital part of digital transformation isn’t necessarily technological (although it can be). Communication is critical; otherwise, people won’t know what’s happening. It’s about sharing information and listening to what’s going on within the front lines so that processes and workflows can be adapted to be more effective and efficient.
Start with Small Wins
Where’s the best place to start a digital transformation project? It’s not the biggest, most difficult initiative. Rather, you’re much better off starting small.
Pick projects which won’t take too much time and investment, yet have a high likelihood of success. If mapping your capabilities is your roadmap, these small wins are your mile markers.
Make It Easier to Collaborate
To enable digital transformation, your own processes have to be agile and efficient. That includes collaboration; if people can’t work together easily and quickly, your project won’t go very far.
This is where digital business tools come into play. The right digital business tools make it simple, fast, and effective to share information and to work together.
Below are some real-life examples of digital transformation:
Waikato Institute of Technology
Wintec wanted to improve its application process for students. Previously, it used a paper-based application process. That process was expensive; printing applications, storing them, and reviewing them was costing the institution time, resources, and money.
Wintec turned to Enlighten Designs to create a web application for students. The goal of the web application was to be intuitive, user-friendly, and supportive. Since implementing the web application, Wintec has saved money due to the reduction in paper applications, and students report a smoother, more user-friendly experience.
Livestock Improvement Corporation
Livestock Improvement Corporation (otherwise known as LIC) is one of the largest farming cooperatives in New Zealand. Previously, they used paper-based herd management, but they realised it was time-consuming and inefficient.
LIC worked with Enlighten to create a comprehensive mobile app so farmers could manage their herd from the palm of their hand. The result was MINDA, which incorporates four essential areas of business and was released for Android and iOS users. Since it was released, over 3,500 farmers use the app each month. It saves them time in entering and searching for data; moreover, since both the Android and iOS versions share a code base, it’s easy and cost-effective to update it.
The online driver training company eDrive aims to make New Zealand’s roads safer for every driver. eDrive’s existing application to teach drivers to avoid hazards was built on an older platform that was becoming more expensive and difficult to maintain. Additionally, users weren’t satisfied with it.
Enlighten designed a new online driver training programme with technologies that would work on more browsers and devices. eDrive’s new driver training programme is now engaging, intuitive, and rewarding, thanks to the use of gamification. The firm reports that it takes 25 per cent less time to complete the programme, and that the program completion rate rose by 50 per cent. Users learn more in less time while making New Zealand’s roads safer for everyone.
Enlighten Designs: Helping Organisations Embrace Digital Transformations
For over two decades, Enlighten Designs has helped customers have amazing digital experiences. Today, we can guide you through an effective, efficient digital transformation that enables you to stay competitive and relevant in a changing business landscape. We’re proud partners of Microsoft, having achieved Gold status in the categories of Application Development, Data Platform, and Data Analytics. To learn more about putting digital transformation in place at your organisation, contact us today.