Digital Transformation Guiding Principles

Written By: Bob Blanchette
Date: January 14, 2021

For most companies, COVID-19 has been an awakening as to the importance of the value of crisp, high-performing technology. Few industries have escaped the need to innovate or reimagine their operations. We watch as restaurants try to develop new economic models, digital healthcare kicks into full throttle, and education grapples with inequalities of the tech needed to learn remotely. It’s safe to say that digital delivery is here to stay.

High-growth companies are adapting and here’s how they’re doing it:

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Five Guiding Principles

  1. Technology is the catalyst. Companies will always need to reinvent themselves and tech is a big part of the answer. Get used to it and promote a culture within your organization that places a high priority on it. Change brought on by the pandemic reinforces this fact while also emphasizing the need for speed and urgency. A good example of this is the shift to work from home and the tech needed to support it.

Many businesses have not placed enough importance, budget, or resources on technical innovation. What gains could you achieve if you automate the “pain point activities” your employees have long endured – the busywork that keeps them from more important tasks?

  1. Assess risk highly. Whether it’s cyber-related or supply chain-related you can’t be profitable if risk is not managed and mitigated. How many companies were ready for global pandemic-related supply chain disruptions? Supply chain management used to place the heaviest emphasis on price. Availability and quality have now taken precedence (think PPE) or the advent of digital supply chains. The world as we knew it has changed and companies should be better prepared for the next major disruption if they have learned and grown. What’s the risk of not enhancing your online presence in today’s world?
  1. Use the needs and wants of your customers as a guide. Your plans for innovation must have a strategy that’s consistent with the values of your company backed by what your employees and customers are telling you. Your ambitions should be matched with an execution strategy and your technology should be able to track and report on your progress (think reporting, real-time status updates, inventory management, etc.).

Don’t overlook or ignore innovation as part of your company’s path forward. Clothing companies have learned to design effective masks while distilleries have figured out how to make hand sanitizers.

  1. Pick your partners carefully. Companies can benefit greatly from the right outside expertise. We commonly see this during ERP implementations – where “hands-on experience” matters and time has been taken to coach employee involvement. Bigger is not better and one size does not fit all – so choose selectively.

Hire independent resources to add a layer of expertise to the initiatives you need to tackle. Digital transformation can be implemented in bitesize pieces as well as large chunks. As a consultancy, we’re seeing the trend towards efforts that can quickly be implemented to maintain or enhance the flow of business.

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  1. Empower your organization to embrace efficiency. Coordination, collaboration, and information are key. Are you proactively managing alignment and fostering continuous improvement on an ongoing basis to create synergies? Process improvement is a powerful tool that can be implemented at any time - alongside new technology or as a separate effort.

Sometimes it takes a drastic event like COVID-19 to emphasize the key points of why technology is as important to your business as it is. While some of the rules of business have become more fluid, digital transformation remains a top-level issue and a game-changer for businesses wanting to not only survive but thrive. Have questions or feedback on these principles? Contact us today.

Bob Blanchette
Bob brings a creative blend of understanding operational benefit and navigating employee resistance to change, ultimately helping organization realize success and benefit through maximizing the effectiveness of people. He holds a successful track record of HR leadership and promoting fair and unbiased outcomes.
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