Driving Agile Digital Transformation
Updated: Nov 7, 2018
5 key steps to start your journey
By Joel Garcia
Digital Transformation (also known as DX) has been a major topic of discussion in the tech world for the past few years. The concept has been discussed, dissected, interpreted in so many ways, by so many experts. A quick search on the topic can bring about hundreds of videos explaining what it is and what needs to be done to achieve it. But very few have focused on how to really start one’s journey to true digital transformation.
Let’s begin with a quick definition. Digital Transformation is defined as the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. The transformation stage means that digital uses inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity. This brought to life companies that caused major disruption in various industries. AirBnB impacted the hotel industry, Amazon brought down the giants of retail and Netflix totally changed our viewing habits.
The success of these companies inspired organizations all over the world to start their own quest to innovate and transform. If you’re about to embark on your own DX journey, below is a short guide you can use:
5 Steps Toward Digital Transformation
1. Define your goal
Like any other project, you always start with the end in mind. What are your business goals? Do you have a challenge you want to solve? Do you want to increase your sales? Do you want to improve customer satisfaction? You need to know what it is you really want to achieve, which area of business you want to improve. List your goals down.
2. Know your customer
Actually, let’s try to go a little deeper. Walk in the shoes of your customers. This will help you understand what they really need. Forget about what you know and adopt the curiosity of a child. Find out what it is really that your customers want and what do they really feel when they interact with you. This leads to a much better understanding of your customers. Some may even call it empathy.
3. Practice Design Thinking
At the heart of digital transformation is human-centered design. Design thinking is a method for practical and creative problem solving that uses elements from the designer’s toolkit to arrive at innovative solutions. It helps you make decisions based on what your customers may want in the future. It promotes empathy, helps you think out of the box, and enables quick experiments to test theories.
4. Leverage startup methodologies/tools to get a view of your business
There are various tools and templates designed for start-ups you can adopt to get a 360-degree view of your business (e.g. Lean Startup, Business Model Canvas). Use these to understand the opportunities to address your customers’ needs and leverage technologies that can help. Define your value proposition and draw out your customer journey.
5. Be data driven and transform your data into strategic assets
Data, they say, is the new electricity. It is one of the most important assets you possess. Collect it, classify it, analyze it and use it to help you improve your processes, improve customer satisfaction and innovate new products. This means investing and leveraging in tools and analytics that can help you understand it.
It is good to note though that most enterprises who have successfully transformed did not do so overnight. They practiced what is called “Agile Digital Transformation” which means that rather than pushing for one big shift, they continuously innovated, radically changing their business model bit by bit over time. A gradual change that allowed them to better respond to changes both in technology and in the business environment. This also enabled them to experiment more and take calculated risks.