From a business perspective, adapting to meet change isn’t a new concept. Being able to operate agilely to meet current expectations and beat competitors is part and parcel of running a successful business. In a nutshell, digital transformation can be seen as the latest incarnation of this idea. The widespread use of tech like AI, and the Internet of Things, which gives people across the world accessibility to the web through a growing variety of devices, has rapidly changed the way we interact with each other on a day-to-day basis.
Digital transformation is a term used to describe the acceleration of the use of digital technology from businesses and organisations. And why would businesses do this? You only need to remember that people, the service users, customers, clients and employees of these organisations expect more when it comes to relevant ways to connect.
True digital transformation is therefore firmly customer-centric. Rather than the business world leading the way, they are increasingly looking to their customers as a yardstick when it comes to fulfilling their needs for transparency and convenience.
The importance of staying relevant
Treating digital transformation as a buzzword and understanding what it means in theory is one thing. Making it work for your business or agency is something that even bigger corporations have struggled to put into practice. One person banging the drum for change in a business isn’t enough. The need to gain buy-in from leaders, managers and employees is essential. And you’ll need a personalised plan. Simply adopting the latest technology without considering how it can benefit your business and create streamlined user experiences won’t win the day.
To stay relevant, which of course is one of the main drives of any successful organisation, is to actively engage people with products and services that make lives easier and add value. Understanding what your users want and finding new innovative ways to deliver that is something that comes from thorough insight and research. Let’s not forget, that doesn’t always mean that everything has to be about new-age tech. Integrating emerging technology with traditional approaches and platforms can be a powerful way of getting results.
Getting the right stakeholders on-board
Finding the right people to support business change is always important. The same applies to digital transformation. Your existing IT staff may not have the skills and knowhow to effectively implement new systems and technology. More importantly, as digital transformation is so focused on the customer, having the talent in place to effectively design user experiences is paramount.
UX designers, along with other roles such as project managers, are an indispensable part of the mix when looking at your IT team. UX is all about storytelling. Creating user experiences and matching this to digital services. This is a far cry from some of the purely technical software roles, and it requires a specific skillset. With experts predicting that big digital transformation trends will increasingly focus across AI, the IoT, and blockchains, you’ll need the people in place that can visualise how these technologies can work for your business and your customers.
Starting your digital transformation
Tackling such a big area like digital transformation requires an expert approach. Creating a roadmap for change and preparing thoroughly before taking action is important. Designing your strategy and creating bespoke tech to meet these needs is a clever way of getting solid results. If you don’t have the resources in-house to do this, a specialised agency can help.
Here are just some of the areas you’ll need to consider for a successful digital transformation:
- Insightful research –workshops, data and analytics, user testing and stakeholder interviews will all enable you to recognise your user’s pain-points, visualise their journey as they navigate your service, and better understand what they want to get from their interaction with you. Armed with this, you can build digital products and services to hit those needs and desires.
- A road mapped strategy – getting the right expertise when it comes to creating clear customer journeys is something best left in the hands of UX designers, as we’ve touched on. A talented UX team will give you a concise plan for what to create, and how to improve your existing features and services.
- Organising your content – there’s a name for this, and that’s information architecture. With a full understanding of your user’s journey through your website or other digital platforms, you can structure you content in a way that increases traffic and interaction.
- Prototyping – before jumping in the deep end with new technology or revamped platforms, you’ll need to get feedback from your customers and users. In the world of software, prototyping is something that’s commonly used to iron out any glitches, streamline functionality, and rely the most important people – the end users – as a sounding board for getting things spot on.
- Relevant, optimised platforms – as previously mentioned, digital transformation isn’t all about throwing out everything you once had and starting from scratch. Transforming and optimising existing platforms is a smart way of keeping your product or service relevant. Through looking at usability and conversation rates and optimising both, you can bring your current software into a new age.
Digital transformation is shaking up the way we engage as businesses and organisations with the people that use them. At its heart, it’s about staying relevant, meeting user’s expectations and keeping ahead of the competition. All crucial elements to running a successful, forward-thinking business.
Hiring the right people is the only way to effectively implement a digital transformation strategy. Even if you don’t have the resources to hire specialised project managers and UX designers to hit those goals, bespoke agencies offer the solution. With the right support and technical know-how, your own transformation can cement your business in the modern business age.