Digital transformation
5 min read
22 August 2023

The Digital Transformation Journey

Kelly van der Horst
digital transformation

Technology is advancing at a pace that can leave many businesses scrambling to keep up with the pack. These days, companies need to undertake a digital transformation journey if they hope to stay relevant and be successful.

Digital transformation is when companies use alter their business to operate in a digital world, and use digital technology to improve daily running and ensure better service delivery. The world seems to have been experiencing a digital transformation for years, but many companies have been forced into it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital transformation is not without its benefits. The technologies available optimise operational efficiency and accuracy, thus delivering a better product/service to customers. These technologies can also provide data for analysis. This means that you can more easily identify shortcomings and promptly correct them.

Where to start your digital transformation journey

The concept of a digital transformation journey is easy enough to understand. The steps to achieving a successful one are more complicated. But, we’ll break it down for you in this article. Let’s look at where to start your digital transformation journey.

To begin, you need to encourage a digital culture. If your employees are beginners in the digital space, perhaps focus your efforts on digitally empowering your employees.

You need to assess the level of digital literacy of your employees, and also your customers, are at. It’s unfair to expect them to quickly adopt advanced technological systems with little to no training or experience.

Next, consider the fact that digital tools will grant you access to a whole host of analytics. Decide what you’d like to know and how these relate to your business’s goals so that they align. These will help you on your journey to digital transformation.

5 Steps To Digital Transformation

We know why a digital transformation is a good idea and where to start with one. Now, let’s look at the digital transformation steps you need to follow to achieve a successful digital transformation.

Set clear goals

Companies need to set goals for what they want to achieve through their digital transformation journey. These goals need to be clear and realistic – as any goal should be!

It’s important to determine the “why” at this stage. Why is there the need to change the business, and introduce or upgrade to new digital tools/processes?

Some common reasons are to improve productivity and efficiency of employees. This could ensure a better customer experience and improve your bottom line. Knowing what you’re working towards is always ideal.

Foster an environment that embraces change

One of the reasons why companies’ attempts at digital transformation fail is because employees are not engaged in the changes taking place. A bonus is that engaged employees are less likely to leave.

Back to embracing change, it is important that communication is clear across the company. Change begins with the leadership of the business.

Executives need to show enthusiasm, communicate clearly and be a reassuring presence for employees. The perfect way to do this is to lead by example. Those in leadership positions need to pioneer changes by being the first to make use of the new technology.


Management needs input from various departments and teams to get input on how different tech options can work on the ground level, but still achieve the goals set out at the start.

It could be getting input from your IT department on software options or finding out from your sales team what daily functioning looks like for them. This collaboration ties in with creating a culture that embraces change. Employees who feel heard will be more willing to cooperate. Thus, they will be more engaged and have greater job satisfaction.

Having an adaptive workspace is highly beneficial here. It facilitates easy collaboration and communication and provides a central dashboard with everything you and your employees need.

Analyse and adjust

The beauty of the digital space is that it provides users with data on any and everything. Most digital platforms offer reports and analytics. You can use these to analyse anything from workflow to revenue to the customer experience.

Access to this information and the tools to analyse the data means that companies can easily spot trends. Then, they can reinforce positive ones and rectify negative ones promptly.

Digitisation and personalisation

Once you’ve introduced digital processes into your business, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Next, focus your attention on making the transition from manual to digital processes a seamless experience. This is digitisation.

Personalisation is part of making this transformation easy and seamless as well. One of the things that customers may feel they are losing out on with a digital experience is a personal touch.

With chatbots and automated email replies becoming the norm, it’s easy for customers not to feel special. Whether your business is providing a product or service, a personal touch can add a great deal of value.

Once you’ve rolled out your digital system and processes, you can then work on personalising the experience for your customers.

Keys To Success

In an article by McKinsey & Company, it was said that “transformations are hard, and digital ones are harder”. While this may be the case for many, it isn’t the case for those who put in the work to ensure a successful digital transformation journey. When we looked at the steps to follow for a digital transformation, some key elements stand out.

Setting clear goals is crucial. Knowing what you’re working towards is always vital for achieving success. Engaging with employees is also of utmost importance. This helps you to refine your goals and make them realistic. And, engaged employees are more likely to help you achieve your goals!

It’s important to bear in mind that at the end of the day, your employees and customers are real people. While technology can and will optimise your business’s operations, it has to align with the needs of the people at the centre of it all. If you get this part right, your digital transformation journey will be a success!

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