Businesses embrace transformative technologies in hopes of enhancing processes needed to survive and thrive in the long term. Collaboration between firms, better customer engagement, simplified operations, and valuable insights are just some of the benefits of implementing new technologies to help businesses prosper.
According to a study by IDC, services and technologies that enable digital transformation will be worth $2.3 trillion by 2023, powered by steady growth in the number of businesses that opt-in. Furthermore, the digital transformation market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22.7% (2019) to $3,294 billion in 2025.
This steady development reflects the importance of investing in and implementing new, viable technologies. Businesses that ignore digital transformation or are slow to adapt might get left behind by their competitors.
The most significant reason for this explosive growth is that digital technologies increase business growth speed more so than conventional processes. The agility and resilience you can get from modernizing your systems and software can change your business's future for good.
However, it is essential to understand that there is 'no right way' to transform digitally. This is because every organization has its unique goals, culture, needs, leaders; and obviously, what worked for one business won't necessarily have the same results for others.
In a recent study, 71% of respondents said they were exposed to increased risks, data breaches, and cybersecurity exploits in a rush to implement digital transformation. So make sure that you prepare beforehand for any such issues, and prevent the free flow of information into the hands of hackers and other unscrupulous individuals. Encrypt all your data, have proper authorization processes in place, and monitor all the aspects of your digital transformation strategy. The process of digital transformation may leave your organization vulnerable to new threats during and after the initiative.
So instead, implement these eight general principles to turn your effort to transform into real and lasting change:
Analyze Your Organizational Culture
Your organization’s overall culture, background of employees, products/services or offerings, business models, and location can all dictate the effectiveness of digital transformation for your company.
A thorough understanding of your company culture determines how well you can implement new technology across the organization, how employees will adapt to change, and its overall impact on company processes.
Some technologies like chatbots, artificial intelligence, network security, influence certain cultures and industries differently than others.
Set Organizational Goals
While it's enticing to leverage novel technologies, they may not be suitable for your needs at this exact time.
For example, some businesses are better off updating their security specifications before anything else, while others believe new customer service technologies are a better choice for them.
Set goals that protect and enhance your current business processes. Also, separate your organizational goals from technology goals, which may be poles apart.
Document The Risks
You are about to change all your systems and processes in a bid to make them better. But this may expose you to unprecedented risks and obstacles that may derail you from your business objective.
From internal data and departmental silos to faulty digital transformation premises, a lot can go wrong during the exercise. You can make it all worth your while by documenting these issues as and when they arise. It is essential to leverage transparent risk methodologies to document these risks including NIST 800-30 or FAIR to understand where the risks to the organization lie and how new technologies will impact its risk profile.
This makes it easier to track the anticipated threats and analyze their impact on the overall technical execution.
Conduct Pilot Tests
It's a good idea to check the new tech on a small test population to see how your people respond to and adapt to it. For example, introduce transformative technologies like chatbots to one sales team or a few product support staff.
Running pilot tests is a great way to work out the glitches, bugs. More importantly, it helps you see the impact of your digital transformation strategy on your culture and overall business.
Ask For Feedback
The pilot test phase is useless if you don't get feedback from the test subjects. Conduct surveys and focus group interviews several times over to ensure that you get accurate responses from all participants.
This is the most effective business strategy to ensure your success when implementing new technology on a large scale.
Roll Out The New Technology
Don't wait forever once you have the results from your pilot test. If digital transformation looks like a feasible option, it's time to go full steam ahead and implement it organization-wide as quickly and effectively as possible. Make sure to keep security part of the rollout process, as you start to scale up the adoption of new technologies, risk and security teams need to be aware of the stage of adoption to track and manage risks as they emerge.
Keep Analyzing The Impact
Like any other tactic, it is imperative to monitor the rollout of your digital transformation strategy continuously. When you execute a significant technological change, such as leveraging artificial intelligence for customer support, use measures to gauge if it works well for everyone and embrace its business outcomes.
Furthermore, as we discussed during the rollout, risk and security teams need to be prepared to absorb the new risks that emerge as a result of the digital transformation effort. Be sure to stay aware of risks in as close to real-time as possible for your organization. As digital transformation can accelerate the velocity of the organization, so too can it accelerate the rate at which new threats and risks emerge.
This can also help you determine the changes made and the improvements needed to leverage them more effectively.
Digitally mature organizations enjoy numerous benefits such as customer satisfaction, better product quality, increased workforce diversity, better financial performance, etc.
But it is essential to understand that effective digital transformation requires assimilation between teams, employees, departments, and the overall functions. It is also essential that risk teams be prepared to evolve to support the newly transformed enterprise. Cyber and IT risk teams must be prepared to embrace a dynamic approach that leverages cyber risk automation technologies such as CyberStrong to offset menial tasks and allow teams to focus on risk management and remediation.
Furthermore, make sure to put security at the forefront and prioritize people when leveraging technology to streamline existing business processes. As long as you manage the risks, nothing can stop you from reaping the stellar rewards of digital transformation.