The pandemic pushed companies to accelerate and reinvent their technology capabilities. Some companies were compelled to quickly adapt to the changes, such as the shift to remote working and disruptions in the supply chain.

Though the pandemic caused most organizations to undergo digital transformation, some areas still need improvement.

There is no doubt that many businesses now rely more on connectivity to help them run their businesses. It takes a lot of effort to transform technology, and most companies have a vision of digital transformation and a plan to achieve it. 

However, when such a significant decision and a complex task lies ahead, it can be challenging to know where to begin. Here’s how you can get started with your digital transformation journey.

1. Ask the Right Questions

It’s essential to ask the correct questions in the early stages of digital transformation. Your organization must ensure a successful transition by researching and answering all crucial questions about it. Here are some of the questions that you should ask before starting the digital transformation journey:

  • Is digital transformation an urgent issue?
  • In what way would the transformation of an application increase business value, and how soon would a return on investment be realized?

Budget and resource constraints can make your organization’s transformation likely to take several years. Do you have a plan for prioritizing that project over other time-sensitive tasks?

  • How might the transformation go wrong, and if it goes wrong, will you hold off?
  • During the transformation process, will the current applications be able to serve the needs of the business?

It’s important to note that apart from research and answering the critical questions, the success of digital transformation requires you to prioritize training and equipping your workforce.

For a seamless digital transformation, you should focus on these three areas when starting your new digital transformation journey. In this stage, it’s necessary to ask existing customers for feedback and reviews, as this data will be critical to addressing your users’ needs through a digital solution.

2. Reduce Risk

Companies often find themselves in unfamiliar territory when they undergo digital transformation, but a smooth transformation is vital for your business. Dealing with major incidents, surprises, or running a crash recovery program creates challenges and delays the transformation process.

Therefore, to mitigate risk and ensure business success, you need to identify and understand the organization’s current and future risks. Take a look at risk-prone areas such as cybersecurity concerns, complex software, and unskilled IT support.

Mitigating risk is increasingly important now, mainly because digital transformations are accelerating at an even faster pace. By assessing the risks’ chances and potential effects, you can put preventative measures to minimize the likelihood of the risks and identify early warning signs.

3. Minimize Costs

Although budgets might be tight due to the current economic crisis, finding ways to reduce costs is crucial. Minimizing costs speeds up digital transformation and results in significant savings once the process is complete.

The digital transformation journey involves investing significant time, money, and effort. But, compared to the costs, the benefits are far more significant. Reducing costs makes more resources available in other areas of your organization. 

Cutting costs starts with figuring out the actual cost of maintaining your current applications by considering all software, infrastructure, and support costs. You can then compare your savings against the costs of replacing the old application.

When you demonstrate the return on investment from digital transformation, such as automated capabilities, your business will likely prioritize and support the quick completion of the transformation process.

4. Understand the Relevance

The digital transformation journey must be relevant to your business. As part of your organization’s evaluation process, you should identify whether existing applications meet your business needs and try to solve any problems they might cause. The following framework guides your organization in determining applicability:

  1. Competitive advantage: You should determine how the transformation will impact your organization’s competitiveness.
  2. Redundancy:  Assess if it is possible to simplify and reduce costs by consolidating applications that perform similar tasks?
  3. Rate of change: Establish if DevOps and agile technologies and techniques benefit the application?
  4. Business value: Determine which area is the most profitable.
  5. Criticality: Identify the extent to which the application or function plays a role in business operations and the possibility of improving its availability.

While digital transformation will differ widely depending on an organization’s unique challenges and demands, these are some common aspects you should keep in mind before embarking on your digital transformation journey.

Start Planning Your Transformation 

Reducing risks, cutting costs, and focusing on applicability help your organization develop a smart digital transformation plan . Taking a holistic view of your organization allows you to make informed decisions. Digital transformation is crucial for your business to remain competitive and survive in the future. 

Without a doubt, starting your digital transformation journey is challenging, but taking the right approach at the beginning helps ensure long-term success and increases the benefits you can achieve in your organization.

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