HB Blog

Insights from the leadership at HB on technology and culture

4 Steps to Surviving Digital Transformation

on December 20, 2016

We are in the midst of a technological revolution, which means businesses of all sizes are working to embrace digital transformation. As new technologies emerge, businesses must constantly evolve to stay competitive, grow, and prosper. Yet despite much change ahead, there are some fundamental business principles that remain consistent and which will lay the groundwork for successful digital transformation. Let’s explore those fundamentals, shall we, and how you can put them to use for your business as you embrace digital transformation in the new business era ahead.

  1. Take a Future-Conscious Approach 

One business fundamental that has withstood the test of time is the “be a leader, not a follower” mantra. With regard to technology and its impact on business, it’s important to lead by being aware of advancements in technology, how they might impact your customers and their businesses, as well as trends that might be on the horizon.

This means you should regularly reassess your business strategies as new technologies develop and new opportunities present themselves. As you guide your business in the process of digital transformation, keep your finger on the pulse of your customer and prospect base, and put customer experience at the very top of your priority list. Use data and analytics to help inform and drive your decision-making process and this will ensure you are ahead of the pack.

  1. Create a Forward-Thinking Workforce and Company Culture

There is no overstating the importance of corporate culture and the role it plays in digital transformation. In fact, digital transformation is less about tools and technology and more about corporate culture than anything. Forward thinking leaders already understand the value of creating great corporate culture and if this hasn’t been high on your priority list, now is the time to embrace culture.  

Why does culture matter? Change is hard, and as you work to move your company forward from a technological standpoint, you’ve got to concurrently move your company, and your workforce forward as well. Add to this a younger generation of workers who often have different values and career goals than their predecessors. These young folks want to be part of something that offers some real value to the world, and when you can create an internal culture that allows them to do that, it’s a win for all.

  1. Keep Things Simple and Agile 

The thing about this digital first world in which we live, powered by cloud technology and mobility means that things are always changing. And the more time passes, the more quickly things change. When you can focus on breaking down the complex and making each transition and each step forward as simple and as efficient as possible, it will go a long way toward success. Adopting an agile mindset for your business is crucial in the modern industrial world. Learning to let your business ‘think on its feet’ and be able to shift focus and adapt quickly in light of new and unexpected developments will often be a key factor in your successes.

  1. Hone Soft Skills

Successfully navigating the process of digital transformation is going to rely on your company’s ability to embrace and capitalize on new technologies—including the things we mentioned earlier like cloud computing, mobility, and big data and analytics. However, it’s equally as important that leaders remember the basics of good business management and the role that soft skills play in the workplace. Soft skills include things like communication, negotiation, and collaboration, and are always integral components of success. Encouraging the importance of teamwork and investing in systems and processes that facilitate a collaborative work environment will lead to increased productivity, improved processes, a happier, more engaged workforce and, ultimately, happier customers.

Wrapping it All Up

Every business in every industry is either currently undergoing or will be undergoing the process of digital transformation and focused taking their business to a new level. By understanding that transformation is really all about these four steps: Being a leader, focusing on creating great corporate culture, embracing agility, and fostering soft skills that enable greater collaboration, you’ll be on the road to success. 

Where is your business in the process of digital transformation? What challenges have you faced that you didn’t expect? Any advice of your own to share—we’d love to hear your thoughts on this.


Photo Credit: josephduzgun Flickr via Compfight cc