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How to create a roadmap for digital transformation

how to create a roadmap for digital transformation

With advancements in computer technology continuing to progress at a rapid pace, there are more opportunities than ever before for businesses to embrace digital.

At almost every level of business, there are new software and hardware solutions that can help to improve efficiency and reliability, streamlining and standardising processes to free up time for business leaders to invest elsewhere.

Making the most of digital solutions needs a well-thought-out and comprehensive strategy that allows the organisation to monitor and evaluate results.

We’re talking about a roadmap for digital transformation. A clear and concise strategy to embrace digital technology within a business with the ultimate aim of improving efficiency.

Business transformation can include embracing new technologies, modifying existing ones, or a combination of both. 

It’s important to remember though that whilst technology can improve internal processes to benefit your end-users and your business, your staff are a vital cog in the machine. Staff buy-in and understanding are central to ensuring your digital transformation is successful, which is why a roadmap needs to be clearly communicated across your entire team.

Let’s take a look at where to start.

Benchmarking

You may have an idea of the types of technologies your business or organisation could embrace, but before you start making decisions, you need to fully understand the current state of play.

An assessment across each area of your organisation, involving department leaders and management, needs to be undertaken to provide a snapshot of the current landscape.

What technologies are currently being employed? What are the pain points? Where can efficiencies be achieved and does this require new technology or modification of existing systems?

This benchmarking across the entire organisation will help you to understand common themes, and how issues can be addressed. It may well give you a sense of whether inter-department solutions can be implemented and whether there is unnecessary replication of work at any level. 

With benchmarking undertaken and assessed, you will be able to see where your organisation currently stands. The next big question is, where do you want to get to?

Setting your goals

A digital transformation roadmap is not much use if there are no targets to aim for. You can adopt as much new technology as you like, but will it make a tangible difference in the areas that matter?

Your benchmarking themes, and conversations with key personnel across your organisation, will allow you to establish and prioritise objectives. The pain points that have been identified need to be assessed – is fixing these going to improve your bottom line? This needs particular consideration in the context of the cost of implementing any solutions.

With objectives set and prioritised, you will now be in a position to consider the best solutions providing the best return on investment (ROI), both in the short term and the long term. 

Seek guidance

With so many options available in the digital landscape, knowing which ones to consider and understanding elements of scalability and cross-department usage is a huge factor. It’s important to seek advice from experts to allow you to gain a firm grasp of the options, time and cost implications and the effectiveness of solutions. 

Whether using off-the-shelf technologies or investing in bespoke software solutions, experts in close consultation with your organisation will help to steer you onto the right path.

With benchmarking done, objectives set and solutions fully considered, you can now create a comprehensive roadmap to digital transformation success – your sat nav to guide you through the entire journey.

But it doesn’t end there – you need to get your passengers on board before you set off…

People power

As we have already mentioned, your team is going to be central to the success of your digital transformation.

There are three main elements to consider in terms of people power. 

The first is buy-in from your leadership team. Your senior managers will play an important role in communicating the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of your digital transformation across your entire organisation. You need to demonstrate to your senior team the difference that a digital transformation will make. What are the benefits for them and their departments? How will it help the organisation as a whole? How will customers and end-users be affected? 

Buy-in at a mid-high level in your organisation will make any digital transitions smoother, with all parties understanding the long-term benefits of change. 

Secondly, your digital transformation team. Who is going to guide you through and implement the necessary changes? Whether you have an in-house tech resource or you are outsourcing to specialists, you’ll need assurance that any aspects of your digital transformation are implemented with minimal disruption to your day-to-day operations. 

You need to have confidence that the solutions will be implemented correctly and effectively, with a well-planned and cohesive approach across all departments. You’ll also want to feel secure in the knowledge that, should the worst happen, there is a back-up plan to ensure business continuity.

By assembling the right team to undertake your digital transformation, you can focus on ensuring buy-in and understanding across your organisation.

We would recommend sharing the roadmap across your team to allow everyone to understand the timescales involved and the reasoning behind any changes. With help from your management team and department leads, you can ensure there is open dialogue with all members of staff throughout the process.

You will also need to train staff on any new technologies so that when the button is pressed and new systems go live, everyone is ready to adopt new ways of working.

Prepare for change

At this point, you will have considered all options and implications, with a good understanding of why digital transformation is needed and how it will benefit your business or organisation.

With ample time given to departments and staff to raise concerns or ask questions, and to address these, you will be ready to implement changes in a logical way, with disruption to operations minimised and mitigated where possible. This could include making clients aware of any disruption to services, along with expected timescales and short-term work-arounds.

Your digital transformation team will ensure that when the new systems are up and running, there is adequate support at every level to address any issues.

Monitoring and assessment

In creating your roadmap you will have considered the tangible benefits of your digital transformation, so it’s important to understand whether these have been achieved. 

Your benchmarking has given you the stick to measure against, and from this point you will need to monitor and evaluate progress at regular intervals to understand your ROI and fine-tune any ‘snagging’ issues post-launch.

Speak to the experts

At Parseq we make it easier for you to benefit from optimised document, financial and payments processing through to digital transformation.

If you’re considering developing a roadmap to transform your business through technology, we can help you get from A to B in a methodical, logical and efficient way. 

Contact our team today to get your roadmap started.

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