3 Best Practices for Digital Transformation
August 12, 2019

Brendan Bank
MessageBird

Share this

Advancements in technology innovation are happening so quickly, the decision of where and when to transform can be a moving target for businesses. When done well, digital transformation improves the customer experience while optimizing operational efficiency. To get there, enterprises must encourage experimentation to overcome organizational obstacles. In other words:

1. Break Through Organizational Barriers

Successful digital transformation is best achieved by breaking down the silos that often exist between technical teams and business operations departments. Both sides have to be willing to reexamine their existing business models and agile enough to realign their organizational structures as the needs of the customer change.

To build cross-functional teams and processes, it's crucial for leaders to align on a clearly-defined, customer-centric vision that gets everyone moving forward in the same direction. As a leader, ask yourself what you want your customer to experience, then provide your teams with a jumping-off point, and give them the space and autonomy they need to determine what it will take to get there.

2. Give Up an "All-or-Nothing" Mindset

One way of getting more comfortable with challenging the status quo is to give up an "all-or-nothing" mindset. Digital transformation is not a goal in-and-of-itself. It's a means to an end. That "end" is an enhanced customer experience that creates happy and loyal customers.

Digital transformation can, at times, seem daunting because leaders don't know what they don't know. The pace of innovation today is far quicker than the release cycles of past technologies. When a company is locked into legacy hardware and processes, status quo can seem appealing. But, the status quo can't keep pace with the expectations today's customers have when interacting with a business. And it can't keep up with disruptors across many industries who were (and are) being born in the digital era.

Along the path to digital transformation, it's common to start with a small implementation to test it out before proceeding to a phased rollout. A full rip-and-replace isn't common or even advisable. Let's take cloud communications as an example. Many companies have legacy hardware that they've spent a fortune on, but that hardware isn't keeping pace with how customers want to interact with businesses today. What we find is that businesses start by adding one or two channels to their communications mix. Over time, as they get familiar with working in the cloud, they learn how easily they can implement additional communications channels. For the provider of such services (in our case, cloud communications), it's crucial that the change management of implementing such channels be easy and non-disruptive.

3. Iterate and Experiment

Enterprises can sometimes view digital transformation as a "do-it-all" or "do nothing" proposition. But, with technology broadly available via self-service portals at our fingertips, it's easier than ever for enterprises to explore disruptive technologies and pilot programs at little cost, with little risk, at a pace that suits your business strategy. You start with the customer need, and then you can play in the sandbox, so to speak, to see what works. If you find that something works for your business, you can move it over in pieces, instead of worrying about a rigid, large-scale migration plan.

Pilot and project failures aren't just acceptable, they're necessary. If you're not experimenting, you're falling behind. Finding out what isn't working for your customers puts you on a faster course of learning to find out what will work. Encourage failure. Fail fast, fail cheap, reiterate, and fail again until you hone in on the right solution. With each "failure" (or, as I like to say, each "learning") analyze the available data at your disposal to optimize your development cycle. Keeping the customer as your focal point during the transformation will ensure you come out on the right side.

Brendan Bank is CTO of MessageBird
Share this

The Latest

August 21, 2019

For the first time, a majority of companies are putting mission critical apps in the cloud, according to the latest report by Cloud Foundry Foundation ...

August 20, 2019

The cloud continues to transform IT in every industry. But in order to migrate to the cloud, embrace these new technologies and truly evolve their business, organizations need an underlying network that can support digital transformation ...

August 19, 2019

One common infrastructure challenge arises with virtual private networks (VPNs). VPNs have long been relied upon to deliver the network connectivity and security enterprises required at a price they could afford. Organizations still routinely turn to them to provide internal and trusted third-parties with "secure" remote access to isolated networks. However, with the rise in mobile, IoT, multi- and hybrid-cloud, as well as edge computing, traditional enterprise perimeters are extending and becoming blurred ...

August 15, 2019

The configuration management database (CMDB), along with its more federated companion, the configuration management system (CMS), has been bathed in a deluge of negative opinions from all fronts — industry experts, vendors, and IT professionals. But from what recent EMA research on analytics, ITSM performance and other areas is indicating, those negative views seem to be missing out on a real undercurrent of truth — that CMDB/CMS alignments, whatever their defects, strongly skew to success in terms of overall IT progressiveness and effectiveness ...

August 14, 2019

The on-demand economy has transformed the way we move around, eat, learn, travel and connect at a massive scale. However, with disruption and big aspirations comes big, complex challenges. To take these challenges head-on, on-demand economy companies are finding new ways to deliver their services and products to an audience with ever-increasing expectations, and that's what we'll look at in this blog ...

August 13, 2019

To thrive in today's highly competitive digital business landscape, organizations must harness their "digital DNA." In other words, they need to connect all of their systems and databases — including various business applications, devices, big data and any instances of IoT and hybrid cloud environments — so they're accessible and actionable. By integrating all existing components and new technologies, organizations can gain a comprehensive, trusted view of their business functions, thereby enabling more agile deployment processes and ensuring scalable growth and relevance over the long-term ...

August 12, 2019

Advancements in technology innovation are happening so quickly, the decision of where and when to transform can be a moving target for businesses. When done well, digital transformation improves the customer experience while optimizing operational efficiency. To get there, enterprises must encourage experimentation to overcome organizational obstacles. In other words ...

August 08, 2019

IoT adoption is growing rapidly, and respondents believe 30% of their company’s revenue two years from now will be due to IoT, according to the new IoT Signals report from Microsoft Corp ...

August 07, 2019

It's been all over the news the last few months. After two fatal crashes, Boeing was forced to ground its 737. The doomed model is now undergoing extensive testing to get it back into service and production. Large organizations often tell stakeholders that even though all software goes through extensive testing, this type of thing “just happens.” But that is exactly the problem. While the human component of application development and testing won't go away, it can be eased and supplemented by far more efficient and automated methods to proactively determine software health and identify flaws ...

August 06, 2019

Despite significant investment in AI, many companies are still struggling to stabilize and scale their AI initiatives, according to State of Development and Operations of AI Applications 2019 from Dotscience ...