Digital transformation: one step at a time

Companies are feeling the heat during the race to digitally transform their organization. Under those tense circumstances, organizations don't always make the best decisions. You don't want to impose the wrong change and roll out new ways of working that aren't necessarily a fit.

So how do you ensure that such a transformation is a success? Step by step, the challenges become visible and you set a clear goal for each step.

1. Map all aspects of the organization

Not just digital applications and systems. Also business processes, people and business model.

Dare to go broader than just the domain in which you want to digitize. There are often relevant interfaces in other parts of the organization. Modern organizations no longer work in silos, so you don't want to put a new solution in a silo.

A thorough (technical) analysis and IT architecture diagram provides a helicopter view of the issue. From here it becomes clear what needs to be addressed and where there are still shortcomings. You want to put the puzzle together with the existing IT components with their capacities, data and interactions. You can contact a software agency for this, which can keep a finger on the pulse.

2. Make maximum use of existing components

It is often easier to gain added value from an existing component than to develop something from scratch. For example, it makes much more sense to reuse an existing system for accounts than to set up a new one.

View the capabilities as well as the shortcomings of existing parts to come to a stronger whole. Thoughtful integration utilizes and complements those capacities.

3. Phased approach

It's easy to get lost in the bigger picture and eventually lose sight of the way out. Think about which processes can create immediate value, where the ROI is highest, and where the barriers are fewest. Start with that.

Successfully implementing new processes has suddenly become one of the biggest stumbling blocks in digital transformation. That is why it is important to start small. After all, by starting with a small project, you can switch gears faster. Moreover, people can get used to the new way of working more quickly.

Then you do an initial implementation, smooth out the rough edges and process feedback from a limited number of people. You can then scale up to a larger group. For very large groups, it is sometimes relevant to scale up in several steps. So start with a smaller team, clear assignment and limited scope. Act, learn and improve and only then scale up.

4. Follow up and adjust

Innovation is a continuous process. By measuring from the start, you can easily analyze and adjust where necessary. Doing this in increments gives you more room to make those adjustments.

Use that data in combination with human insights to make informed decisions for your organization.

5. Scale up

If you have successfully digitized a first process in a part of your organization, you can take the next step. In other words, you implement the process throughout the entire organization, or you start with a subsequent process.

6. Human change

The human change, or at least the persistence of a new process is typically very difficult. People must want to work with the new system. Here too the shoe can sometimes wring because people are creatures of habit and also develop their own ways.

7. You're ready… for the next digitization

Congratulations, you have successfully digitized.

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