By Jordan Saunders, NextLink Labs

Digital Transformation is much more than buzzword soup and is something all organizations are capable of and can benefit from.

Digital Transformation is putting a long-term view on how an organization or team reacts to daily challenges and a market that is rapidly changing. While this seems simple on the surface, in practice this can be a challenging experience for many businesses.

For every company, the Digital Transformation story is different, but most successful DT shares a few things

  • Start with defining desired outcomes – If you don’t know where you want to be, you can’t plan to get there.
  • Measure your success – A big part of Digital Transformation is being honest about where you are today compared to where you want to be. Without a way to measure your progress, you are leaving a lot up to chance.
  • Adopt an all-hands-on-deck attitude – Without buy-in across business functions, individual departments are not enabled to transform and key business requirements are missed.
  • Plan for short- and long-term change – It’s a delicate balance to plan for the future while continuing with day-to-day operations but this balance is essential.
  • Continuously Improve – Iterating on people, process, and technology improvements over time will multiply your efficiency and lead to optimal ROI.

We see some common pitfalls when companies attempt their Digital Transformation

  • Adopting tooling aimlessly – There are hundreds of tools created each year. Adopting the latest and greatest may lead to some benefit, but without a strong purpose and the associated cultural and process changes needed, a change in tooling can be a large cost with no ROI.
  • No transition plan – Setting a goal without solving for the means to get there is nothing more than hoping. Practical implementation phases that consider current capacity and expertise are essential to reach your desired state.
  • Siloed implementations – If you let each business function transform on its own, you will end up going in many different directions. This can lead to even more expensive changes in the future or worse.
  • Lack of expertise – Technology moves fast, even for subject matter experts, when it comes to the 2019 tech landscape. Trying to implement modern tooling and process can be a disaster without the proper expertise. Thankfully you are not alone.

How a third party like NextLink Labs can help:

  • Subject matter experts – Experts in TODAY’S technology and process landscape. Engaging an expert can dramatically lower risk and help to bring new and impactful knowledge into your organization.
  • Outside view – A third-party team is able to take a holistic and unbiased view of an organization and its needs. It’s difficult to enact real change internally, due to conflicting motivations among different business functions.
  • Experienced in Digital Transformation – For many companies, they know they need to change but are not sure where to start. Change is scary; lean on someone who has been through this before.

Digital Transformation doesn’t have to seem so daunting. With the right goals, process, plan, and people you can start taking advantage of the tremendous tooling and process advancements available to companies in today’s digital age.

NextLink Labs is focused on delivering strategy and executions with the goal of identifying a company’s business challenges and optimizing business outcomes. If you are not sure where to start, take our Online Readiness Quiz to learn where your gaps may be today. For more information, visit nextlinklabs.com.