Connect Yorkshire member and technology firm Razor has identified the common pitfalls of unsuccessful digital projects. Jamie Hinton, CEO and co-founder of the firm, gives his top tips for those starting their digital journey.
According to a 2016 study by MIT and Deloitte, 87% of managers and executives believe that digital technologies will disrupt their industry. The same study also showed that only 44% feel adequately prepared for the projected disruptions.
In this increasingly digital age, businesses know that they must adapt to compete. However, many don’t know the best way to approach the necessary change.
1. How can your technology better complement your people?
Digital transformation should begin with a business’s people. How do your employees or customers currently use your tech? Your employees and customers are the people using the technology and systems you have in place on a day to day basis, so it’s vital you listen to them, their feedback and concerns.
Ask yourself (and them) – is it as effective as it could be? Are there ways that it could work better? What other features or functions do your people want to see?
2. Are you being truly transformative?
The point of digital transformation is to employ the right technology that will help to improve your business. This could be to up efficiency, productivity, or simplify processes.
Some businesses, however, mistake smaller steps into the digital world – like digitalising documents to share online or updating parts of their website – for digital transformation. These things can of course help businesses look as though they’re keeping up with their competition, but by no means provides the opportunity for industry-leading transformation that more meaningful change can.
3. Would a continuous improvement approach be more manageable?
For some businesses, large wholesale change can not only be daunting, but unrealistic and unmanageable. Making significant change to your business doesn’t have to be everything all at once, so consider whether it would be more effective and manageable for you to make smaller, more gradual changes that will contribute to large overall transformation.
4. Are you prepared?
Before undertaking any transformative project, preparation needs to be undertaken. You wouldn’t dive into a pool without knowing how deep it is, and similarly, you shouldn’t commence a digital project without first scoping out the landscape.
Look at what’s currently in place – what systems and software do you use? How is this performing and are you meeting objectives? Then consider what you want to change or achieve and build your digital strategy around those goals.
Your business and technology strategies must support one another, building a strong foundation for development. Preparing effectively will also help to prevent projects from running over time and budget.
Digital transformation can seem overwhelming, but the reality is, that it’s often a necessity. If done properly, the rewards massively outweigh the risks, and it can be the key to surpassing your competitors.
As an expert in digital transformation, Razor has witnessed where many businesses have gone wrong. With a decade of experience in the industry, the business has developed a tried and tested route to ensuring that every transformative project it undertakes is successful, outlined in its latest whitepaper, ‘Digital Transformation: What every CEO needs to know’.