Digital transformation consulting organizations such as Treehouse have the opportunity to witness a breadth of successful transformation projects along with others that are floundering or have been abandoned. Based on this observation and analysis, we see that a well thought out roadmap for digital transformation of your organization dramatically increases the probability of success.
Your digital transformation roadmap should focus on three aspects, each of which includes a span of activities.
1. Defining the vision
At this stage, the leadership defines the transformation vision, sets bold targets, and enthuses colleagues to visualize possibilities.
The starting point for the digital transformation roadmap must be a firm commitment on the part of senior management. It is not merely a matter of approving financial investment. Instead, the CXO suite must craft the vision of what can be achieved and communicate that vision across the organization to build enthusiasm and participation.
Strategic drivers should be led by business needs, such as identifying new business models or automating processes, while the enablers to do this, such as data analytics, cloud infrastructure, or IoT, should follow.
The best digital transformation projects started by setting ambitious targets through different modes of value creation – customer satisfaction, revenues, cost reduction, productivity. These are critically important to create true cultural transformation; otherwise, employees who are comfortable with current processes will not see the reason to pursue a full transformation as opposed to incremental improvement. A CEO who demands 400% growth in new customer acquisition pushes the marketing team to think outside the box, especially if their current process can only yield a 20% growth.
Since communication plays an integral part in this process, some organizations brand their digital transformation projects. Allianz called their initiative ‘Digital by Default’ while ING branded their transformation ‘Fast Forward.’
At this stage, senior management must also work on a critical aspect of digital transformation readiness: allocating funds that will need to be invested in digital technologies – to procure products, expertise, services, or train internal teams. How does the vision translate to a specific action plan? Will this plan be driven entirely by company management, or do we need a consulting firm?
2. Launch and execute
At this stage the transformation initiatives have captured the attention of your employees and outcomes are eagerly awaited. It’s important to achieve initial wins and showcase this to inspire colleagues to create similar successes. Senior management may want to identify areas where significant impact could be achieved, and risks managed.
It makes sense for the company’s best talent to be focused on these lighthouse projects as they play a key role in the organization’s future success. Many organizations now have a chief digital officer who is responsible for driving digital transformation. Whether that role exists or not, you need to create a cross-functional, digitally savvy team of experts.
This is also the stage when you need to focus on fostering the digital culture in all functions and at all levels. More and more business managers realize that embracing digital methodologies is no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity. The pandemic has driven home this truth in an unmistakable manner as many businesses that depended solely on physical work simply did not survive. Leadership needs to show the way to endure such disruptions and flourish in the future.
3. Institutionalize digital working
In this phase, the success of lighthouse projects needs to be replicated for other applications and digital business models at scale. The expertise and infrastructure acquired now extended to more areas of operations. We saw organizations that had created digital platforms for customer service needed to quickly build similar platforms for employees, as working from home became the norm during the pandemic.
Leadership must define priority and create a framework for digital transformation. Where should funds and focus be allocated to get maximum return? As gains start rising, the next phase of transformation, support, and enthusiasm grow further. Measuring the impact of digital transformation initiatives is essential to understand the effectiveness of chosen approaches and to plan for the future.
Your organization needs a digital transformation roadmap tailored to your industry, consumers and ways of working internally. A consulting and technology services firm like us at, Treehouse Technology Group, can help you create one that meets your specific needs.