If your business currently finds itself struggling to adopt a digitally driven approach, you’ll soon come to appreciate what a profound difference a good digital transformation roadmap can make.
According to Adobe’s 2019 Digital Trends Report, brands that made the move to digital-first were 64% more likely to exceed their top 2018 goals than their peers.
Meanwhile, Deloitte reports that 45% of companies that reported a positive impact of digital transformation also noted higher net revenue growth.
Still, what does this actually mean for your business?
Why is designing a roadmap for your digital transformation strategy so important, and how do you go about creating one?
It’s these questions—and more—that we’ll answer in this digital transformation guide.
What is a digital transformation roadmap?
A digital transformation roadmap is a means of defining, managing, and measuring your transformation efforts as your business adopts new technologies, processes, and even a new culture designed to deliver a digital-centric approach to meeting the needs of your customers.
It’s a living, breathing document with multiple components, which outlines your vision of a digitally driven business and the steps you’ll need to take to achieve that vision.
You can easily distinguish a successful roadmap from a poorly done one because it will contain all of the following five key elements.
Five essential elements for a successful digital transformation roadmap
1. Start where you are
You can’t map out your digital transformation journey until you’ve taken stock of where you are currently.
This might mean an analysis of your current assets and liabilities, what you’re currently doing well, and what you need to be doing better.
2. Define your destination
This is where you’ll set out the goals you want to achieve with a digital transformation strategy and what it will look like when you achieve those goals.
It may even mean that you have to rethink aspects of your ideal customer profile and consider how the demands of the digital age may have changed their needs, wants, and priorities.
3. Identify challenges
As you look ahead at the journey from where you are to where you ultimately want to be, it’s time to identify those obstacles that may get in your way.
This might be a lack of skills, knowledge, or resources. It might be certain ideologies that have been so entrenched in the company culture that they may end up hindering progress, or it might be something else entirely.
Either way, think about what’s currently stopping you from being where you want to be and what challenges you may encounter as you strive to get there.
4. Determine how you’ll overcome the challenges and move forward
You know what’s standing in the way of your successful digital transformation, so now’s the time to determine what you’re going to do about it.
This isn’t necessarily the place for detailing every micro-action you and your teams need to take, but it is the perfect place to think about the big steps that will need to be taken in order to make progress.
You can break this up into three key components:
Do you need to bring in a specialist to deliver digital transformation consulting or to fulfil a skills gap in your workforce? Do your existing people need additional training? Will you need to recruit outside help for a particular project?
This can include any part of your business that needs to be modified—whether it’s reconfiguring your supply process, changing the way you promote your business online, or simply adapting your day-to-day operations to a digital-first approach.
What are the systems, devices, custom software solutions, and other technologies that are going to help you get to where you want to be?
5. Set your milestones
Finally, set milestones so that you can keep track of your progress.
Your overall vision might determine the direction you’re heading in the long term, but having smaller, short-term goals and targets will help you manage expectations, measure progress, and keep tabs on any actions you may need to take if you start veering off course.
The defining characteristics of a successful digital transformation roadmap
Since every business is unique, no two companies’ digital transformation road maps are going to look exactly alike. But there are a few defining characteristics that separate an effective roadmap from an ineffective one:
- First of all, they should be holistic. When you think about digital transformation, it’s easy to get swept up in the technology side of things, but people and processes are an equal—if not even more important—part of the equation.
- Secondly, they should define tangible metrics that will help you measure progress. Without these, it’s next to impossible to determine whether you’re on the right track.
- Thirdly, above all else, a successful digital transformation roadmap should be customer-focused and designed to help you meet the needs of modern customers in a digitally driven world.
Ready to take your big idea to the next level? Talk to Belighted today to find out how our one-day strategy workshop can help you provide a roadmap that will get you where you really want to be.