February 11, 2019

Driving Digital Initiatives

Digital initiatives have heralded the winds of change for the past decade. They are now integral to the very core of businesses around the world. From the higher-level enterprise applications, they have filtered down to bottom-of-the-pyramid activities and processes. Digital has carved a niche for itself within every level of every industry. Over the years, it has proven to be transformative when executed correctly. Smaller companies were agile enough to adapt to this trend and led the revolution. Over the past few years, this shift has gained momentum and forced larger, more established companies to sit up and take notice.

Digital Transformation: What is it and how does it affect you?

Digital Initiatives have grown from being merely vehicles of digital technology and have expanded their scope to become the engine of change which uses new technology and perspectives to solve age-old challenges. Rather than merely enhancing and supporting traditional methods, the bleeding edge of the digital wave encourages path-breaking innovation.  

What this translates to for an organization is the potential to radically transform the customer experience expectations by positively influencing employee experience. By putting people at the center, digital holds the potential to radically transform the way companies interact with consumers. Blending digital elements within each business process and designing it into the DNA of an organization encourages business strategy to evolve and grow organically around digital initiatives, which widens horizons and places flexibility at the forefront. This increased agility translates to faster reaction times to emergent market conditions and this can be a significant differentiator in today’s volatile business world.

Naturally, digital transformations involve change, and this change needs to be managed deftly to ensure a smooth transition. Organizations often underestimate the impact a digital initiative will have on its culture and its business processes. Digital initiatives impact behavior profoundly, and this behavioral change is a woefully overlooked aspect of change management. There is an inherent resistance to change and it needs to be communicated explicitly why these sweeping changes are not just necessary, but also as beneficial to individual employees as they are to the business as a whole. There will be valid concerns and emerging needs, and this is a crucial period where keeping communication open and free-flowing is of vital importance.

Over time, we have noticed a few markers that point to the success of a digital initiative, and we have striven to inculcate these into our clients’ companies for maximum impact.

  • Industry and Domain Solutions

In our experience, this is the single most significant factor in the success of newly adopted digital initiatives. An in-depth understanding of the industry and domain ensures that the initiative is oriented perfectly towards driving growth. Knowing the nitty-gritties of the field ensures that regular checks and balances are built into the project. These help a project stay on course and maximize impact by staying agile and relevant. This, in conjunction with efficient change management, have led to some of the most successful digital initiatives of the past few years.

  • Change Management

Digital Initiatives gain significance in the context of change management. By definition, digital initiatives will often involve a change in processes and culture, which is something employees may be resistant to. By understanding this and proactively helping them transition seamlessly, companies could turn critics of digital into its greatest supporters. Experience has shown us that solutions which help people learn and grow are vital to the success of a digital initiative. This could be achieved with a multi-pronged approach that disseminates information while also ensuring the channels of communication are open. This helps employee’s feel like an intrinsic part of the initiative, and that helps them feel invested in its success.

By modifying and aligning processes to businesses to result in Process Excellence and placing relevant emphasis on non-technological aspects, one ensures that the process is as smooth as possible.

When the change management aspect of transitioning to digital is thought through right at the start, it shows the seed for immense growth. Integrating digital initiatives into the design framework ensures that the change is future-proof and that, in turn, drives the success of digital initiatives.

  • Roadmap mapped to clear Business Benefits

Change is important for growth, and that growth can be efficiently optimized when it is consistently mapped via digital initiatives onto a roadmap that targets clear and tangible business benefits. By mapping stakeholders and efficiently managing the process of change, digital initiatives hold the potential to be game-changers.

  • Bringing Experts On-board

One would need dedicated resources to shepherd an organization through its transformative phase, purely to ensure that employees are integral and enthusiastic partners during the change. This may not always be the case, and it takes diligent management to ensure that employees are convinced and enthusiastic. All these factors put an additional financial strain on a company, and it is far better to err on the side of caution when budgeting for change management since costs have the potential to increase drastically based on how change management is undertaken. All these factors may disquiet leaders who want to take the plunge and incorporate digital into their organizations. However, these can be surmounted with care and caution.  

While they have their negatives, digital initiatives hold the key to immense growth and a shift in processes. Digital may require a large outlay of time and resources, but the rewards are immense. When digital initiatives are combined with the right data, relevant understanding, thorough planning, and clear mapping, the change becomes much easier to adapt to and this drives success. This is the arena where digital shines, as it paves a path towards the future.