Digital transformation is one of the most trendy terms today. When done correctly, it is an overall change in an organization that leverages modern technologies to create an impactful difference in day to day operations and overall outcomes. Every organization's digital transformation strategy will look different, and there are several steps to be aware of for the transformation to be successful.
Map current processes
Identify holes and pain points. Look at everything that the organization does in and outside of the accounting or ERP system. I met with a client last week who implemented an ERP system with us a few years ago. When I asked them how the system was working, they responded that everything is excellent. As the conversation went on, they revealed that they are trying to provide their employees with information, but they can't figure out how to compile that information. Even though their ERP is working fine, there are still holes, and there are many tools available to us that allow us to extend the functionality of the ERP.
Document your pain points
It's essential to document your pain points and critical requirements to guide any required technology selection. This exercise also allows you to prioritize changes based on strategic importance and process complexity. Enabling you to determine where and how technology will fill the gaps. Be sure to select technology that enables the digital transformation strategy, not the other way around. There are so many programs available today that there is no reason to shift your business processes to fit a particular technology or program.
Often, a digital transformation strategy leads to the need for cultural changes within an organization. There are some key components to the culture change that we will discuss in more detail.
Goals and objectives
Set goals and objectives for what your organization looks like as it utilizes digital technology to transform. Then identify benchmarks and milestones where you will evaluate the changes and how they are impacting the organization.
A successful digital transformation strategy may include many different steps. For companies who have been utilizing an accounting system for under 5 years, the digital transformation may consist of adding business intelligence and analysis tools or integrating other outside programs into the accounting system. In other cases, the full implementation of a cloud accounting or ERP system may be necessary to transform your business digitally.
Building and maintaining a competitive advantage requires a digital transformation strategy that is continuously evolving. Digital transformation builds a foundation to enable continuous improvement. And keep in mind Digital Business Transformation is a marathon, not a sprint.