Digital Transformation! These are the two words of the moment, whether we are specifically talking about IT departments or the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business.
But to implement a successful Digital Transformation strategy, there are some important key practices to have under consideration. Nowadays, technology is as important to companies as the air we breathe, but a bad choice and an unsuccessful implementation may lead the finest project to ruin.
IDC data says that Portugal is following the digital transformation process with some delay. According to IDC, only 37% of national organizations have a digital transformation strategy already aligned with their business strategy.
These numbers compare to the ones from the United States, where the percentage is 50%. IDC estimate that by 2021, more than half of the world economy will be digitized and, even then, Portugal will be far behind the average: only about 30% will be doing something related to digital transformation.
IDC estimate that by 2021, more than half of the world economy will be digitized. It is not a question of doing or don’t; it is more a question of survival of the business.
In order to change this data and the reality that is waiting for us, work must start now. It is not a question of doing or don’t; it is more a question of survival of the business.
7 important steps towards a successful digital transformation:
1. Think differently and create your own strategy
Start by analyzing the people working in the organization, the teams that you have available and their needs, the technology already in place, the company’s go-to-market strategies, and some other things which they are comfortable with. Once this review is complete, it is now time to carefully think about how the path can be changed to meet the new market demands.
It is time to start to define your own digital transformation strategy, the one that best fits the organization interests you are working in. Take your steps carefully; remember that most of the businesses consider digitally enabled new market entrants are, in fact, the main competitive threat to their organizations. So, your company`s strategy must consider the position to adopt in order to dispel threats coming from digitally-savvy companies.
People are the other important triangle peak, not only by evaluating the skillsets but also by making sure the teams working there have the right level of knowledge, training and skills to keep up with the new challenges.
Becoming a disruptor might be the only way to survive in a world where technology rules and the competitors are starting to choose the Digital Transformation path.
The last important thing towards implementing a successful digital transformation strategy is… technology itself. Without a huge change in technology and new sources of data, your strategy and your digital roadmap will never be a long-term victory.
2. Cloud is the way to go!
Moving to the cloud is a first step no company can overlook. In fact, things like collecting, analyzing and sharing data are key in the Digital Transformation process. Public cloud, private cloud, a hybrid one… no matter the choice you make – always according to your organization needs and restrictions –, you must embrace the cloud.
Smartphones, tablets, phablets, sensors in cars or in elevators, are continuously generating data that must be accessible when you need it. And, this is only possible if data is stored in a cloud, so there is no doubt that moving to the cloud is a determinant for a successful transformation.
If your company is choosing the digital transformation way, don´t forget that a modern, low-code platform reduces the need to have extensive coding knowledge.
3. The right infrastructure to the right transformation
Another important step on the way to digital transformation is the need to prepare organizations infrastructure. We already talked about the importance of the team: surround yourself with a dedicated group of digitally competent experts.
Having some clear and well-defined roles is also important, meaning professional leadership like Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Digital Officer (CDO) or other qualified workers. In this case, if there are no experts in-house, is important to find a reliable partner to help you implement the digital strategy for your company. An OutSystems partner like Blue Screen, may be a choice to make.
A modern, low-code platform reduces the need to have extensive coding knowledge. OutSystems is the world’s leading low-code platform. Blue Screen is an OutSystems partner since 2013, delivering solutions in half the time providing a significant competitive advantage.
One way or the other, company’s infrastructure must be prepared; digital transformation must be an essential part of the company’s DNA, with everybody involved in it; and, last but not least, you should put in place a new digital culture that would come in line with the transformed business processes.
4. Point out your company`s key technologies
There are many recent technologies seeing rapid growth and adoption; every month you might hear that technology “A” is doing wonders for the business; and, finally you think “why not?”
But you couldn’t be more wrong, because this doesn’t mean that you will need to implement all this new technology in your business.
The choice depends upon the process you are trying to optimize. Do not get carried away with modern technology and start implementing it all. Your path to digital transformation should focus on the real needs of your own business, not what others are doing.
5. Mobility and Social Media should enter your lexicon
Mobility is a powerful word. Smartphones, tablets, 3D glasses and other equipment in this area help foster interaction between the company and its customers. Always on, no matter when or where they are, it can help you collect important data from the customers. More than that, the “new” customers appearing now, mostly from the Millennial Generation, are expecting that you communicate with them via their mobile device. Developing an app allows your customers to access your service anytime, anywhere, while having the same experience as they would have if they visited the physical store.
In the same way, try to engage your audience on social media by sharing interesting content and data that really means something to them.
6. Accelerate Digital Transformation with low-code technology
Gartner says that, by 2020, at least 50 percent of all new business applications will be created with high-productivity toolsets, such as low-code and no-code application development platforms. In the same way, Forrester points the low-code market as a “high growth” area, predicting it will grow to over 10 billion dollars by the end of this year.
If your company is choosing the digital transformation way, don´t forget that a modern, low-code platform reduces the need to have extensive coding knowledge. On the other hand, if you work with a drag-and-drop environment, it is possible to develop applications in a more effective way, quickly and with minimal coding. Low-code development platforms have the ability to handle the base level code, scripts and integration, giving companies the chance to prototype, build and scale applications without a complex infrastructure in place.
7. Digital Transformation is done? Maybe you should keep it open-ended
Even after implementation, although it is all set and done, don´t forget that digital transformation is an ongoing process. In fact, as we all know, most technologies that support digital transformation are cloud-based, and there is always update just around the corner.
So, to ensure that the company maintains a high level of usability and productivity, companies must keep this as an open-ended project. Stay open-minded, keep well informed on “what’s new” about technological developments, and in harmony with the needs and requests of the team.
A brief afterword
In a highly competitive business environment, like the one we have today, implementation of digital transformation is a “must do” thing.
But keep in mind that success only comes if you build a solid foundation for the cost-effective digital improvement of the business and surround yourself with the right technologies – like low-code ones – and the right partners to walk along with you.
If you still have questions, feel free to contact us. Our team of experts will be more than happy to help you and your organization on this digital transformation effort.