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5 Tips for Creating a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy
At the very center of these strategies is the IT department, and the IT team shoulders the brunt of the work to pull off a successful digital transformation. There are many moving parts in an IT digital transformation; efficiently managing all aspects is vital to keep track of things moving smoothly. You must develop a robust digital transformation strategy to manage all the puzzle pieces. But what is that, and what exactly does it entail? This post will cover what a digital transformation strategy is and five tips for creating a successful one.
What Is a Digital Transformation Strategy?
In today’s world, proper use of technology is more important than ever to stay competitive. You may require a specific technology update or a more extensive digital transformation.
From an IT standpoint, digital transformations are all about integrating and updating your technology to improve overall security and efficiency. To do this and make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible, you will need a thorough plan to follow.
Enter the digital transformation strategy. This strategy should include your goals for the transformation and a thorough timeline that shows how you plan to reach said goals.
Tip 1: Examine your current systems
You must know where you’re starting from if you want to update and transform how your business uses technology. Where are areas of opportunity to improve? Is it device security? Company hardware and software? Cloud computing? What systems could be more efficient by adding new technology? Is it a project management tool? Some JIRA integration?
For example, if your company has recently had an influx of remote workers, as many have, you should pay attention to whether you have the required technology to support them. You may need to set up virtual desktops so employees can access all of the software and files they need and implement any necessary security measures to ensure the safety of all company assets.
It’s also critical to ensure that any new or updated technology can easily integrate with the existing systems. Adding new software that doesn’t work with your existing software can be an IT nightmare.
Tip 2: Set your goals and KPIs to measure success
When making any plan, particularly an expensive investment, it’s essential to set clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs will help guide your transformation and ensure that every change you make brings a strong return on investment (ROI) and aligns with the business’s overarching goals.
When setting goals for your transformation, remember that the purpose isn’t just to include new technology but to improve the efficiency of the business. One of the most important things to consider when setting your goals is why you’re making changes in the first place.
This is where the first step of examining your current systems comes into play with step two. Refer to your problem statements, i.e., transitioning to cloud computing, improving cybersecurity, etc. Now that you have the challenge in mind, you can set goals for your transformation. For example, reducing the number of ransomware attacks, improving file sharing and security, etc.
Once you’ve set your goals for the transformation, you can decide what KPIs best represent success. These are the benchmarks to determine how well the digital transformation is going and how far away you might be from seeing an ROI. Suppose you’ve had one or multiple ransomware attacks or a successful ‘smishing’ attempt. In that case, you can put an actual number on that challenge and say you’re going to reduce those events by X percent, saving the company approximately X amount of dollars per year.
Tip 3: Assess cybersecurity needs
With increased technology use, there is also an increased risk of data breaches and other cyber-attacks, as mentioned above. There are countless examples of corporate ransomware attacks, and your company must be positioned as well as possible to protect itself should one happen to it. In most cases, there was simply a lack of basic security measures and employee training that could have helped prevent the attack from becoming successful. You need to include a plan for mitigating these risks within your strategy.
Strong vendor management policies should play a big part here. Because more technology often means more vendors and software involved. You need to have clear, consistent standards for vetting new software partners and assessing the risk they could add.
Another security risk comes from more and more devices connected to the company network as more employees return to the office. How do you plan to secure company devices? The solution may include:
- Educating employees about security awareness
- Updating all software to the latest versions
- Adding multi-factor authentication protocols
- Restricting what employees can do on the network
Work from home situations also presents unique security concerns and vulnerabilities. The rise of ‘smishing’ attacks and other hacker protocols are becoming more successful, mainly because there is a lack of communication with employees about basic cyber awareness and procedures. For example, it’s worth reiterating to them (multiple times even) that the CEO would never text them asking to send them gift cards.
Tip 4: Create an implantation timeline
During significant changes like this, it’s easy for confusion to take over and derail or stall the transition. It’s critical to have a thorough timeline of events, which helps to keep everyone on the same page and keep the project moving smoothly.
The timeline is imperative if your digital transformation includes updating hardware. You don’t want employees showing up to work and not having the necessary equipment because it was removed before the new equipment arrived or because the new equipment will take a few days to install (or ship to their home if they are working from home).
Distributing a timeline should also help mitigate expectations from others within the company who may not understand how long transitions like this can take.
Tip 5: Communicate!
Digital transformations are large-scale operations and, by nature, will likely run into challenges. Good leaders should know how to communicate with the other departments in the company to know what is happening at all times.
Keeping employees updated on what changes are happening and the plan for implementation (and training if necessary) can help to keep them motivated. It’s overwhelming to learn how to use new hardware or software, and not knowing when or if other things are changing can make that feeling worse.
Since everyone will likely need to learn how to use new software, it will be crucial to find an effective way to communicate its best practices. If you don’t find a way to communicate that, you will likely have to deal with an influx of help desk tickets asking how to use the new technology.
Start your digital transformation with confidence
A digital transformation is not an easy undertaking, but by creating a solid strategy, you can begin one with confidence. By following these tips, you should be able to put together a digital transformation strategy that will help the company increase efficiency and improve security.
However, if you’re not convinced your project can be successfully implemented in-house, contact Intelice Solutions today to connect with an IT expert to discuss what options you have to reach your technology goals!