It seems that, with every passing year, technology advances a little more, providing us with more extraordinary innovations and ways of doing things. The sheer volume of technological breakthroughs is often overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to run a business.
Consumers love the latest and the greatest, and if you’re not transforming your business and keeping up, then your competitors no doubt will, leaving you and your old-fashioned technology in the dust.
But that need not be the case. Companies that embrace digital transformation improve their processes, offering newer, better services to their customers. Digital transformation frameworks provide businesses with a roadmap of transformation strategies that take the guesswork out of the process.
Let’s look at digital transformation frameworks; what they are, why they’re essential, their advantages, and how to apply them. If your company is interested in keeping up with technology and the competition, read on!
What is a Digital Transformation Framework?
Before we define a digital transformation framework, we should first establish what digital transformation is. Digital transformation uses the latest technologies to improve and enhance current processes and provide new, improved products and services. Digital transformation creates value by altering how a business operates and delivers value to its customers.
Digital transformation also represents a shift in business culture, requiring businesses to experiment often, challenge the established way of doing things, and accept occasional failure. This change in philosophy includes shedding procedures that have been around forever because “we’ve always done it that way.”
Digital transformation is a critical process for any company or organization regardless of size or industry (e.g., utilities, manufacturing, retail, banking).
Okay, so with that definition in mind, what’s a digital transformation framework? Simply put, it is a system of rules, a long-term strategy used to guide businesses through the tricky landscape of digital transformation. It’s a tool used chiefly by organizational leaders and consultants to analyze a company to help it reposition itself in today’s digital economy.
THese frameworks provide a blueprint, a formal plan that includes checklists, benchmarks, and standardized sequences to help a business become a more digital-friendly entity and continuously grow and evolve.
Why is a Digital Transformation Framework Important?
Digital transformation frameworks are essential for today’s businesses because it provides a strategy to help companies survive disruption by adapting to current technologies. Disruption refers to the rise of external developments that risk changing the way industries work. For instance, the advent of the automobile resulted in serious disruption of the horse and buggy industry, the development of long-haul trucks disrupted the railroad industry, and streaming video has disrupted the movie theater industry.
In other words, these are the go-to resource for protecting businesses from digital disruption.
What Makes a Good Digital Transformation Framework?
Digital transformation frameworks provide significant benefits for businesses functioning in the 21st century (or trying to catch up to it!).
- Digitization’s proliferation rate is exceeding the speed at which industries can change. This disparity leaves leadership struggling to find ways of keeping up.
- Consumers love new technology and seem keenly aware of new developments, things that they expect their favorite businesses to incorporate as soon as possible. If a business doesn’t adapt to the latest and greatest tech features, customers will find a company that will!
- Many organizations don’t have a standardized digital transformation strategy. Businesses that do have them gain a significant competitive advantage (harkening back to the second point).
- Digital advances aren’t just for the customers’ sake. New digital solutions stand to benefit businesses by helping them become more cost-effective, efficient, and secure.
- Digital transformation frameworks facilitate digital adoption, which helps businesses deal with IT-related issues such as cloud computing, massive data flows, and diverse endpoints (e.g., tablets, smartphones, laptops, older desktops).
- Digital transformation frameworks are reusable. Rather than spending time, effort, and expense formulating a transformation strategy every time a new form of technology happens, leadership only needs to refer to the established framework. The framework is a “one size fits all” tool, suitable for incorporating any innovations that present themselves.
What Are the Features of a Good Digital Transformation Framework?
A good digital transformation framework provides these benefits:
- Provides efficiency and consistency by enhancing performance
- Improves business process
- Increases employees’ productivity
- Facilitates constant communication across all the business departments
- Meets the customers’ expectations
- Creates coherent business strategies
There are many different types of frameworks to choose from, each offering a unique digital transformation approach. Here is a list of eleven features that an excellent framework should include.
- A set of goals for the transformation strategy. These goals are both long and short-term. There is a lot to do, so a step-by-step approach works best. Each completed step represents an achieved goal.
- A digital transformation team. Digital transformation is a huge undertaking, so it’s best to have a team dedicated to the work. This team is a cross-functional body that guides the company through the digitization process and adopts new operating models. The transformation team can be drawn from in-house personnel or outsourced.
- Dissect current operating models. The best way to understand how digitization can help your company is by becoming familiar with the current methods of doing things. Break down the current workflow into steps, then see how software and digitization can improve each one.
- Incorporate a customer enhancement strategy. Companies undergo a digital transformation for two reasons: to streamline operations into a more cost-effective unit and improve customer expansion and retention. Businesses should increase their mobile and web presence, building stronger customer connections and encouraging feedback.
- Explore growth opportunities. It’s time to brainstorm ideas for how to advance the business. With this step, anything goes. Are there new market opportunities or ways of reaching customers? Can any internal processes be reimagined?
- Create a step-by-step guide for changing the business environment. Massive undertakings need structure. Develop a highly detailed plan to show how customer interactions and company workflows can be accomplished using appropriate software or other technical solutions.
- Create a process improvement analysis. This step involves researching the current tech market and software offerings and seeing how they can enhance specific in-house tasks. Does your company’s workflow need tinkering, possibly removing unnecessary steps and automating tasks?
- Define the business’s required technology. Browse through the many forms of current technology and see which ones are the best fit. These include:
- Big Data
- Cloud services
- Mobile technology
- The Internet of Things
- Machine Learning/Artificial intelligence
- Additive manufacturing
- Web technology
- Create a timesheet and roadmap with key performance indicators (KPI). This step requires a clear timeline filled with specifics. Use KPIs to keep track of performance. This roadmap also covers what software the company will need and what departments get it, how the applications are interconnected, how the new data structure will look, etc.
- Transformation plan execution. Time to get to work. You have your roadmap and your marching orders. However, be prepared for possible changes and course corrections.
- Perpetual analysis going forward. Use data-driven insights to see how the transformation is progressing. This analysis is essential to keep the company growing.
If you want a “long story short” option, your framework should contain three elements:
- Define/explain the nature of the challenge
- Create a guiding policy to address the challenge
- Put actions into effect to carry out the policy
How Do You Choose the Right Framework for Your Business or Organization?
The answer to this is simple. The ideal digital framework for your company is the one that strikes a balance between something that is adaptable to your specific organization but is broken down into steps that are cohesive, logical, and whose progress can be easily verified.
Examples of Digital Transformation Frameworks
Here are a few sample frameworks, first, from AI Multiple.
Here’s a framework from Gartner.
And lastly, here’s a very comprehensive offering from CapGemini.
The ultimate, one-size-fits-all digital transformation framework doesn’t exist; instead, there is one ideal digital transformation for your unique situation. You need to explore your options and find the best fit.
Do You Want to Master Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is a hot issue in today’s business world, and it offers excellent career potential for anyone who wants to join this exciting and challenging process. Simplilearn provides a Post-Graduate Program in Digital Transformation that will give you the skills you need for a new career.
This course, held in collaboration with Purdue University, focuses on the critical aspects of building a digital-ready business. You will learn a host of skills related to digital transformation, from understanding and leveraging the drivers of transformation, building a digital business strategy, leading organizations, and helping them navigate through the perils of digital disruption.
Ziprecruiter reports that a Digital Transformation Specialist in the United States earns an average of USD 111,867 per year. Furthermore, Indeed shows that a Digital Transformation Consultant in India makes an annual average of ₹575,728.
Soon, even the most stubborn holdouts will realize the need for digital transformation. When that day comes, they will turn to experts who have made digital transformation their career and specialty. You could be one of those experts! Visit Simplilearn’s courses today, and embark on an exciting and rewarding new career!