3 Reasons to Start Digital Transformation Before 2019
Summer’s over. Kids are back at school, and the end of 2018 is fast approaching. You look back at the last 9 months and realize, “Wait? I need a digital strategy this year! Hell, what is digital transformation, anyway? It’s too late!”
The good news? No, it’s not too late to get an innovation plan in place. But, time is running out. Each week, your company falls behind what your competitors are doing. Every month that goes by, you’ve lost more money to inefficiency or wrong decisions.
Before 2018 is over, you can plan your 2019 digital strategy, and then execute in 2019. Let’s get to it.
Digital Transformation Definition
Whether called “digital transformation,” “digital strategy,” or “innovation thinking,” digital transformation means using technology to solve problems.
Since technology usually means digital, the term has stuck. Innovation happens during transformation, and problems get solved. Hence, digital transformation!
Sound ambiguous? Sort of. Overwhelming or impossible? Not if you get your organization on the right path as soon as possible.
Have a large organization? Then you start the transformation as soon as possible. Identify stakeholders, discover who is affected, and know who is feels the most pain from the problem. Above all, define a plan to put the right technologies in place.
What qualifies as Digital Transformation?
- Taking old data or systems, and bringing them onto computer systems and the cloud
- Discovering and implementing new processes for any type of department, from safety to HR
- Deploying new techs to solve the problems, like AI, VR, MR, drones, wearables, IOT, or any other buzzword you can think of
- Transforming antiquated software into modern, usable interfaces that people actually want to use
Why you need a Digital or Innovation Strategy
Everyone uses process, programs or software they hate. Make it a job requirement, and it’s a required 8-hour a day pain. Bad software means people don’t want to use it, or they use it slowly. This results in lots of human error, weeks or months of lost productivity, and a culture of unhappiness. Good people leave. Historical data gets lost. Now the company must train a new generation on broken systems.
Today, people have different expectations for how software, infrastructure, and companies will work. When you engage in digital transformation, you suddenly see just how broken systems are, and how much an organization is regularly losing.
So, why does it need to happen before 2019? More so, what should happen and when?
1. Surveys & Interviews Lay the Ground Work
Doing it right means building solutions people will use. And, typically, internal or industry software is insufferable.
Whenever Rocksauce starts our innovation strategy at a company, the first step is getting deep domain knowledge on the problem. Our team becomes your team, and your problems become our problems. Getting to know what problem a company is facing is vital to defining the scope of the effort.
- First, we survey CTO, CIO, and Technology Managers to understand the problem as they see it
- Next, interviewing the people who will use the solution every day is necessary. We learn how they see the problem, what they think will fix it, and why their current attempts are failing
- Finally, we perform analysis to discover common threads
2. Innovation Product Strategy
By now, the people were surveyed. We grasp why the current solutions failed. After crunching the data, we identify the right technologies/approach for correcting the issue. Maybe we’re designing a custom industry-specific pieces of productivity software like we do for Bechtel. Or, maybe the goal is large-scale internal branding & marketing campaign around growing the culture of innovation.
Here’s how we lay out a product strategy:
- Initially, we build high-level UX wireframes or messages. Then test these with the survey groups.
- Up next is an increasing level of detail. We create medium-fidelity prototype designs, whether it’s software or some other deliverable
- Eventually, we embark on prototype A/B testing to get feedback. Then we revise.
3. Scoping the Digital Innovation Execution
All of this brings the scope into focus. Tasks that seemed impossible to know now have form and focus. With solid quality user stories, user personas and a reasonable prototype, you can begin to lay out the internal “go-to-market” strategy.
Launching an internal innovation project is a lot like launching a new consumer app. You can’t simply build it, send out an email or two, and expect magic to happen. Planning out your execution strategy, and ongoing support strategy with it, is necessary to gain adoption so productivity and efficiency can happen.
- First, use the prototypes and user stories created to estimate out the effort to build the project. Things like the number of development hours needed, or how much printing, producing, and deploying hardware will cost can now be defined. You need these for the 2019 budget requests.
- Then plan out how you will promote the product and go to market. Signage around the company? Will you be doing a yearly conference to bring like-minded people together? Once it’s planned out, this strategy can be earmarked for your 2019 digital transformation costs.
- Last, and most importantly, get your internal champions lined up. Consumer projects hire influencers on Instagram or Twitter to push their goods. Whatever your digital strategy is will need people in the company who tell employees that they should be utilizing your initiative. Higher level managers, VPs or Executives supporting the project can make all the difference.
Innovation is More Than Just a Piece of Software
Every organization has different needs for their digital strategy. Company cultures are disparate, and procedures vary even within the same industry. Working with an innovation agency like Rocksauce Studios ensures you do the important work of identifying the actual problems affecting you and planning to solve them the right way. SaaS platforms can sometimes play a part in this, but knowing how they fit, and what problems they solve, requires experts in human experience.
So, it’s already September. Let’s get started!