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  • Digital Evolution Forum

Ensuring Your Digital Evolution is successful

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Most leaders agree that digital transformation is more important than ever, but according to Forrester over 70% of digital transformation projects fail. Obviously, this is a very low success rate and not something most executives would be happy about.

So, in this guide, we are going to answer some crucial questions to help you take the next steps such as:

What actually is a digital evolution? How can my business benefit from a digital evolution? What things does my business need to consider when deciding to digitise its processes and technology? And finally, how can my business and team start its digital evolution in the right way?

If at any point in this guide you want to find out specifically how investing in digitally transforming your business can add tremendous value, please contact the Digital Evolution Forum team.

What is a digital evolution?

Computer Weekly explained in April 2021 that to digitally evolve was to adopt new technologies and services to improve business efficiency, reduce costs or increase capability, such as migrating to cloud services, automating, and implementing flexible working.

People look at digitally evolving as meaning the same thing as digital transformation, However, digital transformation happens in most businesses whether they like it or not.

As a knock-on effect from a client or provider transforming its processes, you must comply with that new way of working. For example, sending invoices, receipts, and statements electronically instead of by fax or post.

We see digital evolution as an intentional choice by a business to accelerate the business and its team's rate of digital adoption. Instead of being the respondent to change, the business doing digital evolution becomes the catalyst for change.

Having solid foundations in place

Without the right foundations a skyscraper, or any building for that matter, is neither safe nor usable. It's the exact same thing when taking your team and business on a digital evolution journey.

Companies that are already going through a digital transformation project or digital evolution can find themselves crisscrossed by multiple automation programs that each exist in their own silo. For example, a company’s finance team may use RPA while the IT team champions low-code or AI, and the contact centre dabbles in chatbots.

Silos can prevent these organisations from reaping potential synergies between different automation technologies. That’s why it’s important when dealing with these technologies, as part of digital evolution, that your business has solid foundations to support, adapt, change, challenge, and explore creative ways of thinking.

To get you thinking of ideas and aspects that you need to consider, we've put together three fundamental foundations that give a framework for a successful digital evolution.

If you would like to do further reading on these topics, we’ve put together the guide ‘3 steps to prepare your business for a successful digital evolution’ where we go into more detail on these topics to help you.

Team effort

This means everyone in the business. From the leadership team to the middle management through to entry-level roles.

MIT in its April 2020 research shines a light on the importance of how people are crucial, as is transformative leadership. So too is having a digital talent mindset and becoming a business that attracts digital talent.

MIT's research shows that pursuing an evolutionary approach to gradual digitalisation, whilst focusing on producing digitised business operations and units that fit together over time, and building towards creating a digital business, will set you and the team up for massive success.

From the above, we can understand that there is not one person across the business who can be left out when your business is going through digital evolution. Communication needs to be consistent on the changes to get the team effort towards the evolution.

If the business is going to succeed, it needs the people to be behind the change and evolution.

Forbes and the London School of Economics explained that to succeed at digital transformation the whole of the business needs to be involved. It requires a radical redesign, then deployment, of business models, activities, processes, and competencies to fully leverage the opportunities that digital technologies can offer.

Attract and bring in the right talent

After you've got the buy-in to the vision and what is going to happen with the business, it's time to onboard the right talent to support your business's digital evolution.

McKinsey highlighted that 70% of businesses that took part in its research say their team's talent changed and welcomed new people during a digital transformation journey. This was because they needed the right people who understood and were familiar with, the digital technologies that were implemented.

To attract people who can propel the change in the right direction, it's important to have a vision for the digital evolution that they are going to buy into.

This will include aspects such as having leadership commitment, including training programmes that encourage learning, providing the digital tools to do the evolution, and empowering the team to work how they see suitable.

This creates an innovative dynamic that provides creativity and freedom to move the department, team, and wider business towards the digital evolution vision that you set out from the start.

Invest in success

What we mean by investing in success is to focus on the aspects of a business that are working.

Investment doesn't always need to be monetary.

As mentioned, having a team with the right talent focussed on what is working well brings increased results from outputs and action.

With all evolutions, digital or otherwise, certain aspects of business work tremendously delivering a fantastic return on investment, while others won't. It's important to measure this success, as we highlighted in the 5 most important steps to a successful digital transformation journey.

Further to the point in the section above, McKinsey noted that the success rate of digital transformations was bolstered by investment in their workforce and talent practices.

Make sure you and the team keep a check on what's working and what is not. You can do this through data visualisation, communication, and accountability, KPI's, watching workflows, and various other methods that we can show you specific to your business's desired current outcomes.

Ask yourself and the team questions such as:

  • Is this delivering results that will help us hit our goal 12 months from now?

  • Are we measuring the right results?

  • What else can this data show us to improve the way we're working?

  • Have we communicated these results across the company and to our clients in the correct way?

How you can get your digital evolution right

You should now have ideas on how a digital evolution in your business can bring tremendous results. Using the framework above is a great starting point to get a strategy drawn up. However, work is a constant evolution as we continue to implement new ways of working. Look how Covid has shifted the trend to remote working.

Because in a constant evolution there are going to be challenges, questions, and increased opportunities to become more efficient and add increased value to your business’s audience, community, partners, and clients.

If you want to get an in-depth review on how the Digital Evolution Forum can help your team be the catalyst for change, please contact a member of the experienced team who will be ready to help.

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