Experts predict companies around the world will spend over $6.8 trillion on digital transformation from 2020 to 2023.
This enormous amount of money demonstrates the value global business leaders place on innovating in response to digital disruption and technological development, but it comes with a shocking caveat: 70% of digital transformations fail.
Here’s the good news — the reasons why most digital transformation efforts fail to achieve their goals are relatively simple and completely avoidable with the help of a strong digital transformation strategy.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through what it means to have a winning digital transformation strategy and how you can build one to achieve your company’s goals.
What Is a Digital Transformation Strategy?
Before we go further, let's get one thing clear: digital transformation is not a one-off event, an IT overhaul, it is a continuous process affecting how you make decisions for every department of your business.
A digital transformation strategy is a comprehensive, actionable plan to help you transform your tools, processes, and company culture in a way that prepares you for the future.
A strong digital transformation strategy defines the challenges and opportunities you face now and enables you to proactively set clear goals for innovative changes needed for your business to adapt to the digital age.
The First Key to Your Success
Before we go any further, a crucial key to building a winning digital transformation strategy is having a high-performing API portal. An API portal is a user-friendly platform that helps developers, business units, and partners consume your APIs in an accessible way.
Unless you have only a few APIs that are all the same and used by the same type of end-user, you need an API portal to run a successful API program.
By bringing API assets together in one place, API portals increase adoption rates and promote innovation.
Since APIs are increasingly used by people outside of IT, from data analysts to citizen developers, gateways and management tools do not provide the infrastructure to start and grow an ecosystem necessary to ensure API success.
API portals bridge that gap by providing developers and non-technical users alike with the tools they need to use your APIs easily.
With Achieve Internet part of your strategy, we can help you confidently navigate the API landscape and alleviate the work needed to manage your APIs.
6 Steps to Building a Winning Digital Transformation Strategy
Having a strategy isn’t the same thing as having a good strategy. In the complex world of digital transformation, projects fail because the strategy behind them isn’t robust enough to deliver real results.
These six steps will help you avoid common digital transformation pitfalls and build a winning strategy to support your strategic initiatives and business objectives.
1. Get Executive Buy-in
Successful digital transformation projects affect every part of your business and may require large amounts of resources and support. That’s why your digital transformation strategy has to start with securing support from senior leaders in both business and IT.
It’s more than worth the time and effort required to convince company leaders to commit to digital transformation.
Without their enthusiastic and visible support, your digital transformation efforts will either be too small to make a difference or crumble at the first sign of resistance.
2. Perform An In-depth IT Evaluation
Digital transformation involves more than updating your legacy systems with new technology, but there’s no denying that your IT department plays a pivotal role.
Before you start trying to make big changes, you need to make sure your IT leaders and team members are up to the challenge by evaluating your tech stack as well as the capabilities, processes, structure, skills, and culture of your IT organization.
This will help you understand your unique IT opportunities and challenges and account for them in your digital transformation strategy.
3. Identify Your Goals and Desired Business Outcomes
Digital transformation is about harnessing the power of advanced digital technology and new ways of doing business to achieve specific business goals and objectives. It’s critical to understand why you’re pursuing digital transformation and what you’re trying to accomplish.
You must also recognize that your digital transformation strategy is a business strategy meant to support the broader goals of your organization.
Whether you want to boost revenue growth, improve operational efficiency, introduce new business models, establish a future-proof competitive advantage, or all of the above, you need to establish specific goals and connect them to measurable business outcomes which will form the foundation of your digital transformation strategy.
For example, your goals can include technology initiatives such as increasing your use of artificial intelligence or incorporating more machine learning in your processes, but only if doing so helps you achieve a broader business goal.
4. Map Out Your Digital Transformation Initiatives
The previous step was about understanding why you want to make changes and what you’re trying to accomplish. This one involves defining how you’re going to achieve your goals by building an actionable digital transformation roadmap.
Your roadmap should include a list of prioritized actions based on your specific goals, challenges, and opportunities.
This is the time to focus on details — include specific milestones, define roles and responsibilities, identify which initiatives have the most value, list the digital technologies you want to adopt, and set key performance indicators to help measure progress.
Don’t forget to connect everything to your desired business results and to allow flexibility to adjust as you learn and your challenges change.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to API Portals in 2022
5. Help Employees Adjust to Change
Change management is an essential part of an effective digital transformation strategy.
Change is always hard, and digital transformation necessitates major changes to both day-to-day operations and your broader company culture and decision-making processes.
For digital transformation to achieve the results you desire, your employees will have to learn new skills and adapt to new ways of thinking. Help them adjust with frequent, transparent communication, and training as needed.
Be open to questions, address concerns, and make them part of the process by soliciting (and listening to) their input about how to address key business needs.
6. Seek out Feedback and Refine Your Strategy
Digital transformation is both collaborative and iterative. You can’t build a winning digital transformation strategy by yourself — and it’s unlikely you’ll get everything right on the first try. The more feedback you gather, the better your strategy will be.
Ask everyone from entry-level employees to C-suite executives for feedback on your strategy.
Use their input and the lessons you learn once you start implementing it to adjust your methods, priorities, and processes to better fit your specific goals.
Accelerate Your Digital Transformation Efforts with Achieve Internet
Ready to see results from your digital transformation initiatives? Achieve Internet can help you accelerate business innovation, replace legacy technology, and upgrade your team’s digital experience with innovative API portals, effective API management, and tight API security.
Contact our team to learn more about what we can do for you.