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Guide to Digital Transformation

By Christina Burnley | November 15, 2019

“Digital Transformation” looks different for every company, so it can be hard to land on a definition that’s applicable to all. However, digital transformation is generally defined as the integration of technology into all areas of business. To learn more about the general scope of digital transformation, read our digital transformation 101 here.

Companies undergo digital transformations for many reasons. Whether it is to improve their customer’s experience, to better visualize data, or to optimize old processes, implementing new technology will impact your business for years to come. For these and many more reasons, taking on innovation is a must for all companies yet so few know where to begin.

So for those needing a place to start, here is an in-depth guide to all things digital. In three simple steps we’ll help you navigate the complexity that is digital transformation and stay competitive in today’s digital landscape.

Strategize

There is incredible pressure on businesses to transform and deliver at a dangerous pace. This pressure drives companies to undertake transformation before they have thoroughly analyzed their unique needs and the resulting impact.

Remember your reason for undergoing a transformation in the first place. Is it to improve customer experience, optimize old processes, or something completely different? It’s easy to get distracted by the endless capabilities of new technology, but remember to keep your eye on the bigger picture of what you hope to achieve at the end.

Digital transformation initiatives will (and should) affect the entire company, making strategizing a crucial component. The biggest obstacle that stands in the way of digital maturity is the lack of strategy when it comes to digital transformations. At the end of the day, everything must be done with the customer in mind. Walk yourself through the customer journey, identify problems, and find the right solutions with technology.

While formulating your strategy, ask yourself these guiding questions:

    • Where is my industry heading?
    • What role do I want my company to play?
    • What do we need to do to get us there?

Our recommendation: Pick key projects rather than embarking on everything at once. We also recommend focusing on what will impact your customer the most. This means that you generally will see greater impact if you begin with your Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service initiatives.

Activate

Rushed jobs never deliver. When undergoing a digital transformation, it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew. On average, digital transformations have a 45% chance of delivering less profit than expected. This can easily be prevented with the right leadership and strategic approach, increasing businesses’ chances to exceed anticipated profits by 50%.

The idea here is to make incremental changes to what would otherwise be an overwhelming transition.

The first step is to develop a clear vision for the initiative. Change is difficult in business which means it requires finding a common goal that everyone can get behind. While a big-picture vision is inspiring, it can also be hard to swallow. Instead of trying to tackle an entire vision as one, start with a simple keystone change.

It’s always best to walk before you run. To do this, think about a short-term, achievable goal that can pave the way for more complex projects in the future. Rather than beginning with a newly created capability, start by optimizing a pre-existing antiquated process. Turning the big picture into manageable projects will result in far more success than chasing after an overall vision.

Once the vision is set, it’s time to find and empower your champions. Adding new technology isn’t enough. People must be willing to think outside the box and bridge the gap between human and artificial intelligence. The best way this can be accomplished is by investing in digital-savvy talent while fusing together acquired legacy knowledge. This winning combination will create leaders throughout the organization that can drive the vision forward.

Once the champions are identified, companies must provide them with the right resources to create change. Whether it’s internal or external, undergoing a digital transformation is a team effort. Externally, companies can outsource assistance through agencies, consultants, and outside technology. Internally, departments must collaborate to assess how the transformation will affect different sectors. A transformation creates a chain reaction that requires proactive action.

Implement

Undergoing a digital transformation is about more than staying ahead, as it’s also a necessity to prevent falling further behind. Don’t risk losing your position in the market, and take precautionary action.

Many companies often fail to implement new innovations, which frustrates their talented employees. These employees often leave, seeking companies who value the forward thinking they hoped to bring to their last organization.

This happens because digital transformation is not a destination, but a journey. Sometimes companies become paralyzed in the amount of change, not sure what to do next. Other times, they get stall when they feel victorious after accomplishing initial objectives. This feeling of victory can quickly turn to complacency when companies feel they have done enough.

Undergoing digital transformation isn’t a one-time event. As new technology continues to drive the forefront of change, companies must stay agile and ready to change alongside it. This is not about changing a process, but rather about shifting fundamental behavior. If companies can create an innovative culture, they will be in a much better position to adopt new technologies as they come.

Digital transformation is more than implementing new technology, but about implementing new values and beliefs. Companies who do this well will succeed where most others fail.

Where should I start?

Undergoing a transformation is not a one-time event, but rather a continuous investment to evolve alongside today’s accelerated pace of change. The best way to ensure this evolution is to keep customers at the forefront of all decision making.

Customers want a quick, easy, and enjoyable way to shop. An effective experience is one that is interactive with detailed product knowledge and visual confirmation. Without it, customers are quick to turn away, and the money spent on digital transformation is lost.

Thus we’ve created ATLATL Visual. Through 3D Visual Configuration customers can interact with a digital twin of the exact product they wish to buy. This increases speed, ensures accuracy, and improves customer experience.

Companies who have embraced visualization in their buying process are seeing a higher ROI and are winning greater market share than those who struggle to transform without it. To learn more, see how ATLATL's Visual tools are providing impactful buying experiences through Visualization. 

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