The world of LinkedIn is a funny place at the moment; we’re all being bombarded with motivational quotes (quite rightly), advice on how to optimize our home-working space and/or musings about what a post-Covid world might look like.
You may have also seen this meme circulating of late…
Pretty hard-hitting, and certainly differs from the usual light-hearted, humorous memes we’re used to. But it does make a good point. How many of us simply weren’t ready for Covid-19? How many ‘digital transformations’ – a tricky prospect and arduous process at the best of times – have had to be fast-tracked over the past 8 weeks?
We’ve all learned a lot as to how we should be approaching the digital age and how we should be forming the futures of our businesses to ensure digital longevity. But, what does that look like? As business leaders, where should we be focusing our efforts?
Here are my 3 steps to digital transformation:
1.Make sound technology investments
The first thing to remember is that “digital transformation” quite literally means integrating technology into every aspect of your business, in order to fine-tune and optimise your operations. So, every investment in tech you make now will pay dividends in the future.
Give your team the tools to be successful – not just by way of the newest, latest-and-greatest laptop, but in providing them the programs they need to operate at their optimum. Conferencing set ups, which allow them to communicate with clients, hold virtual meetings (during and post Covid-19 – I’m sure most of us will agree, this IS a thing of the future), participate in high-energy catch ups with the team. Software which gives them the ability to manage their time, workload and achievements effectively.
And for the business as a whole? Spare no expense when it comes to security systems – when your business is operating digitally, this is imperative. Invest in a payments system which works for you and suppliers/customers alike – something which does your business favours as well as being externally-friendly. Do your research on the myriad tools the market has to offer, understand where your business could improve with the implementation of tech, and make fundamentally sound investments which will last the course.
2.Streamline internal processes
Whilst these may take a minute (read: few months) to hammer out, it’ll be crucial to have your own internal processes down pat once your digital transformation is complete. This means understanding what we do, how we do it and why, with regards to each and every aspect of our operations.
You’ll undoubtedly experience a few ‘digital teething problems’, but consistency is key. Understand why you’ve made the choice to change, properly and consistently introduce certain applications, new functions etc, and at all costs ensure that your company values are kept prominent and paramount. The digital age holds the customer at the forefront of every business decision, so ensure that your business processes reflect exactly that – from the tools you use to communicate to the ways in which you follow up after a sale has been made.
3.Lead from the front!
Leading from the front means to embrace the changes as they’re happening, taking an active role in championing digital transformation as it happens. Whether you’re at the helm of a small business or have a CIO/IT Director to defer to, as a business leader your job is to ensure that your workforce understands what is happening and why. To ease any unsurety and maintain cohesive, motivated teams throughout. Strong, reliable and energetic management is key for success during any period of change – and the technological kind is certainly no longer a potential, but inevitable.
Overall, the term ‘digital transformation’ may sound daunting – but, it’s less of an overwhelming item to check off the list nowadays as it is a change in mindset. It’s not something that will happen overnight but, as the current pandemic situation has proven globally, it’s something we all need to be cognizant of.
Focus on your customers first, alongside getting your employees on board and, with the right tools in place, the roll-out and implementation will follow.