As the world continues to become more and more reliant on technology, businesses need to evolve to be able to keep up. For many established businesses that were successful in the past, it can be a challenge to adapt to the digital revolution. In order to do it successfully, a business needs to take a comprehensive look at how they can use technology to better engage their employees and serve their customers.

This process is commonly called a digital transformation. If you are planning a digital transformation in the near future, it is absolutely essential that it is handled correctly. If this process does not go smoothly, it can actually cause more harm than good. With this in mind, read through the following five components that can help you plan and implement a digital transformation that will help take your business to the next level

Walk in the Shoes of Customers and Employees 

It is not a digital transformation when a company simply starts investing money into computers and other technology. A true transformation is when they identify the appropriate technologies to meet the needs of their employees and customers.

To do this, you need to look at the day to day activities of your employees, and the various ways that your customers currently interact with your organization. Based on that research, find the digital solutions that will directly benefit these two groups of people. By using technology to help employees and customers, your business will be positioned strongly for success.

Make Sure Digital Transformation Goals Match Business Goals

Another key part of planning out your digital transformation is establishing your goals. It can be tempting to look only at the technology when determining goals. For example, you may make it a goal to have a fully operational online marketplace up and running by the end of the quarter. While this may be important, it should not be a core goal of your digital transformation.

This transformation process is meant to help your business to become more successful, not just to add more technology. This means your goals for this process must be in line with your business goals. For example, a good goal may be to improve sales by 20% by launching a digital sales platform that will target customers outside your traditional footprint. Another goal may be to reduce facilities expenses over the next year by migrating to cloud platforms. In these cases, the technology is there to support the business goals, which is what is important.

Research Relevant Digital Technologies 

A significant percentage of the effort involved in a digital transformation should be spent on researching relevant digital products and solutions. There are hundreds of technologies and technical services available to choose from and finding the right ones will mean the difference between success and failure. In addition to existing products, you will also need to look into having your own custom solutions developed. The time spent researching your options will help to ensure your business has the right tools for success long into the future.

Comprehensive Testing 

Once you have your new systems in place, you will need to perform extensive testing to ensure they function properly before they are launched in production. The last thing you want to do is launch new digital solutions, only to have them fail to perform as desired. Whether you are launching all of your new systems at once as a major event, or one at a time, the testing is one of the most important steps. Make sure you get it right.

Continuous Digital Improvement 

Once you have moved all your digital transformation changes into production it can be tempting to sit back and enjoy the benefits. While it is appropriate to do a little celebrating, you will want to immediately begin working on updates and improvements to your organization. Technology is constantly evolving, and you need to keep up with the changes to stay ahead of the competition.

Always be measuring the performance of your company after your digital transformation and think about how you can further reduce waste and improve profitability. In addition, stay informed about new technologies and trends so you can implement them as part of your ongoing digital transformation.

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