9 Key Digital Transformation Goals & Objectives (2023)
In our digital-first world, technology that is easy to use and makes employees’ jobs easier is crucial. Digital transformation initiatives help drive companies to keep employees highly productive, meet evolving customer needs and hit growth targets.
But all too often, companies introduce new software or technology, fail to create an effective software implementation plan and provide inadequate training with minimal instructions. This leads to failed transformations due to poor adoption.
In the end, cutting corners leads to frustrated employees and wasted investment. Teams aren’t able to get returns on their technology investment and struggle to be productive with their new digital technologies.
What are the biggest objectives of digital transformation?
- Improved customer experience
- Higher process efficiency
- Increased agility
- Business process improvement
- Cost reduction
- Gain a competitive advantage
- Improve employee performance
- Increase governance and compliance
- Improve collaboration
As long as companies are failing to strategically plan for new digital implementation and adoption, they’re going to fall short of achieving their digital transformation goals.
But what should those goals be, and how can companies prepare to achieve them? Let’s look into 9 of the biggest digital transformation goals and objectives for 2023.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of upgrading legacy applications and traditional processes with digital technologies, altering how a business operates, how value is delivered, how employees work, and how customer needs are met.
This includes the implementation of new technologies and tools to modify, improve, or introduce new business processes and experiences. Digital transformation initiatives are often implemented to keep up with changing market demands, improve team productivity, or offer better customer experiences.
But digital transformation initiatives go beyond just digital innovation and getting teams trained on how to use them. Digital transformation is about changing how business is done — including how to be more effective and efficient. This means strategically planning how to use technology to make it easier to reach overall business goals and objectives.
Digital transformation is also an ongoing process. As our expectations continue to evolve and the digital landscape changes, teams need to be ready to revisit and revise digital transformation initiatives to keep pace with their industries and remain competitive.
6 Factors to Consider Before Setting Digital Transformation Goals
Before you start setting digital transformation goals, you need to assess how prepared your team is to take on such a large endeavor. Here are six factors to consider before beginning your digital transformation process.
1. Digital maturity
How prepared is your company to undergo a digital transformation journey? Is your team experienced and educated enough to adopt new technologies, or what additional training or resources will they need to adjust?
Knowing where your company’s digital maturity helps direct you where you need to go and prevent you from biting off more than you can chew. Understanding your limitations or weaknesses can help you better prepare to overcome them when implementing new tools and technologies.
2. Technological requirements
Digital transformation is a broad concept. What it looks like will vary from company to company, depending on the unique goals they need to achieve. However, there are there main technological areas of advancement:
- Connected technologies. Implementing cloud or IoT software that can make data more accessible or transparent for employees or customers.
- Autonomous technologies. Introducing artificial intelligence or machine learning to automate tasks and improve productivity.
- Programmable technologies. Use of application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect apps and break down silos.
Your digital transformation journey might focus on one of these technological areas, or it might cover all three. But understanding what you’re trying to accomplish and the requirements of the technology you’re introducing is crucial for a smooth implementation.
3. Stakeholder buy-in
Stakeholder buy-in has to go deeper than just getting senior management to approve your digital transformation budget. If employees impacted by the change don’t understand the importance of switching up the way they do things, it can create resistance and make change harder to hold.
Get the entire team on board — from finance and IT to marketing and customer-facing employees. Digital transformation is often an organization-wide initiative, so convincing employees from the start that the change will be good for everyone can help you see returns on your investment faster.
4. IT strategic planning
A strategic plan created by your IT team can make undergoing digital transformation easier — but it needs to go deeper than just setting guidelines and tool rollout dates. Here are things you need to include in your IT strategic plan:
- Establish your “why.” Make it clear the intentions behind this transformation journey. What problems are you looking to solve or what goals do you want to achieve? It should be easy for your team to understand, regardless of their role or position within the company.
- Prioritization plan. Establish what the most important components of your transformation are. Who needs to be trained first? What initiatives will have the biggest impact? Prioritize your plan to complete the journey in small yet strategic steps.
- Feedback loops. As you start to implement your plan, you’ll want to get feedback and insights from your team on how well the new technology is working. Work feedback loops into the process to ensure everyone is on the same page as you go.
It’s typical for your strategic plan to change as you start digging deeper into your digital transformation goals and even as you start implementing new processes and technologies, but make sure you have the capabilities and resources necessary to create a strong plan before you get started.
5. Impact on different departments
Digital transformation typically impacts all departments of an organization, but some will face greater changes and challenges than others. If you’re treating all departments equally, some teams might be getting too much attention while others are getting too little.
It’s important to understand how different departments will be impacted so you can create personalized implementation plans for each. Creating a unique approach to the digital transformation project will give everyone access to the information they need most, without wasting their time or creating confusion by introducing them to processes or concepts they don’t need – and ultimately, will help accelerate digital transformation.
6. Avenues to drive digital adoption
Your digital transformation will only be as strong as how well your team adopts your new technology and changes. One of the biggest digital transformation challenges is the complexity of new tools, and without an adoption strategy, digital transformation can become a massive waste of investment.
Before you start introducing new tools, you need to have the right training systems in place to drive digital adoption. A digital adoption platform (DAP) like Whatfix can make learning new software easier.
With a DAP, you can add how-tos, guides, and self-help tools right into your software or application. Users learn in real-time and access guided instructions whenever they need them, making it easier to onboard, train, or up-skill employees to adopt digital transformation initiatives more efficiently.
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9 Goals & Objectives of Organizational Digital Transformation
What do companies hope to accomplish with their digital transformation journeys? Here are the top nine digital transformation objectives.
1. Improved customer experience
Happy customers are the key to any successful business, so an opportunity to improve the omnichannel customer experience is a great reason to undergo a digital transformation journey.
By implementing new software that can help deliver products or services more efficiently, make it easier for customers to make the most out of their purchases, or just support employees in helping customers, you can improve customer satisfaction and create more long-term, loyal buyers.
Examples of implementing new digital technologies to improve customer experience include:
- Hospitals and patient care centers launching new online patient portals
- Insurance companies launching new automated claim filling portals
- Companies utilizing chatbots to handle customer support issues.
2. Higher process efficiency
Our companies are only as efficient as our processes. If employees are wasting time with convoluted processes, it leads to frustration, messy work, and eventually unhappy customers.
A digital transformation journey can cut down on process steps, including automating certain phases or connecting data to remove silos. This can make employees more productive, reduce the number of manual errors, and help deliver superior products or services to end-users.
Examples of implementing new digital technologies to improve process effiency include:
- Automating routine, manual tasks to improve efficiency and reduce errors
3. Increased agility
Companies today need to be ready for change at any moment. Our digital landscape is constantly shifting, meaning customer expectations can change overnight. Companies need to implement agile change management so they can keep up with the latest trends and technology.
Digital transformation helps companies break away from complex legacy systems so adapting to change is easier. Introducing new technologies, such as cloud or IoT, can free data from silos so employees and teams can easily shift to new systems and processes.
4. Business process improvement
Improving process efficiency isn’t the only way digital transformation can make business processes better. Digital transformation can also help companies implement entirely new and improved business processes, allowing their team to expand their offerings or learn new skills.
Business process improvement through digital transformation looks to elevate the company as a whole — not just make certain processes and procedures faster. Teams become more competitive, employees become more fulfilled in their roles, and customers get more needs met.
5. Cost reduction
While undergoing digital transformation can be expensive upfront, implementing new technology often leads to reduced costs. When teams are more productive, they can get more done in less time and with less manual overhead. Services and products are more cost-effective to provide, improving revenue.
Digital transformation can also improve revenue by creating stronger relationships with customers and encouraging them to buy more. If digital transformation initiatives also improve business offerings, you can open new revenue streams to further increase profitability.
6. Gain a competitive advantage
Companies always need to find ways to stand out from their competition, and in our digital-first world, one of the best ways to do so is through technology. Customers are always looking for what’s “hot,” and staying up-to-date with their technological expectations can set you apart from the crowd.
Digital transformations can also create competitive advantages for attracting talent. When you’re on the cutting edge of technology, high-quality candidates can get excited about working with your team. When you employ the best-of-the-best, this can translate into happier, more satisfied customers.
7. Improve employee performance
Not only does digital transformation make employees more productive by making it easier for them to do their job, but it can also increase performance by allowing them to focus on the work they do (and enjoy) best. Using digital transformation to reduce the administrative or busy work employees need to complete frees them up to focus on more important or complex tasks.
More free time on the job also means employees have more opportunities for growth. They can take on new projects, learn new skills, or otherwise focus on their professional development. Opportunities for growth can improve their satisfaction with their job and increase retention.
8. Increase governance and compliance
If there are particular regulations your business needs to keep up with, digital transformation can make compliance easier. Depending on the tools you introduce, they can take compliance factors into account so it’s less stress or pressure on your team.
Digital transformation initiatives can also help introduce new documentation processes to ensure you have all the information you need to prove compliance.
9. Improve collaboration
As we move further into a remote and digital-first work environment, our teams need ways to collaborate with each other and with customers. Digital transformation can help introduce new tools that make staying in touch as easy as possible.
When it’s easier for teams to collaborate, they can work more productively, develop new ideas faster, and support customers more efficiently.
New tools and technologies are popping up every day. As teams start to introduce these tools and customers’ expectations grow, implementing the right tools becomes more and more crucial for staying competitive.
But any time you introduce new technologies to your team, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to pick up on what they should be doing. Regardless of your digital transformation goals, a DAP tool like Whatfix can make it easier to achieve them.
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