Essential steps to digital transformation

8 Essential steps to digital transformation

Successful digital transformation is the transformation of business in the digital age. Digital transformation is not just the implementation of technology in business operations. It is about transforming business models, customer experience, employee experience, and the entire business to grow in the digital age. The success of digital transformation initiatives also depends upon how well your organization adopts ever-evolving digital cultures like agile, data-driven decision making, failing fast, customer centricity, and adoption of emerging technologies such as Machine Learning, RPA, and Artificial Intelligence across all business departments. 

Here is a pragmatic framework that you can implement to bring a successful digital transformation to your organization:

  • Creating Sense of Urgency When you wish to bring digital transformation at any stage of your organization, you have to obtain a sense of urgency within your organization first. Such an atmosphere allows employees to stay focused and motivated while performing their everyday activities. Only this type of atmosphere can allow you to adopt digital transformations on an urgent basis whenever they are required.

How to Create a Sense of Urgency

Only crises, potential crises, or significant opportunities can help your organization create a sense of urgency.

Recognize any crises/potential crises and use data based on them to define the threat.

Study your market and competitive realities. Your competition may be already taking over digital transformations. The best place to find the required data is:

  • Their job sites
  • Platforms that provide competitive analysis
  • SEO platforms
  • Your competitor’s conferences where they share their digital insights
  • Vendors serving in your industry
  • Put Together a Guiding Coalition 

Coalition refers to an alliance, especially a short-term one between two persons, factions, states, etc. This alliance offers a wide representation from

  • Different silos/business divisions/departments
  • Assorted background and dissimilar expertise
  • Singular organizational levels

The coalition of digital transformation mostly starts small and becomes extensive over a few months.

The coalition helps with guiding digital transformation

The alliance should have the intellectual ability to design the digital transformation. They should understand the necessity of digital transformation and help the organization create a strategic vision for it. Members will have to express their excitement to others and make everyone interested in mutual efforts.

Perfect candidates for digital transformation guiding 

Early Adopters: These individuals are those early leaders that are always welcoming new ideas and open to trying them. These leaders are connected socially to an organization and are reliable. They serve as the prime element in adopting digital transformation within an organization due to their reliability and influence.

Executive Stakeholders: Make sure that one of the early adopters is from the executive team. Positional strength always plays a vital role in digital transformation initiatives.

  • Develop Vision & Strategy

We must ensure that we have a vision and strategy once we have established a sense of urgency and guiding coalition for Digital Transformation. The Vision and Strategy section provides the Why and How of Digital Transformation.

A vision is a picture of the future that includes some implicit or explicit commentary on why people should work to realize that future.

Importance of Vision

  • A vision clarifies the general direction of change that guarantees that everyone is moving in the right direction.
  • It encourages taking action in the right direction.
  • It allows coordinating the actions of different individuals. Individuals and team receive their autonomy while reducing conflicts.

To explain how a vision can be realized, the strategy gives logic and the first degree of detail.

 A solid digital strategy will give you clear instructions on: 

  • Current situations
  • Analysis of Competitors and the Industry
  • High-level initiatives are defined in a roadmap
  • A high-level timeline
  • Benefits of Required Investment and Return on Investment
  • It’s crucial to remember that a digital transformation is about more than just technology. Any digital transformation strategy should include the following four elements:
  • Technology
  • Projects
  • People
  • Processes and People Enablement

Strategy-making tools: There are a lot of different tools on the market, but the most basics tools like Excel, Word, and PowerPoint can always help you effectively build your strategy.

  • Enlist Volunteers

The second stage of digital transformation explained how building a guiding coalition is essential. Enlisting volunteers allows for achieving this goal. The intention is to have more adopters who can participate in the transformation. The other purpose is to have more co-authors of this change.

As more and more volunteers engage in the earlier stage, they will turn into trustworthy carriers of the vision.

  • Remove Barriers

This stage allows for overcoming any barriers that hinder the digital transformation. The barriers could be anything from your organization’s structure, skills, systems, or supervisors. 

Good training with the right kind of experience allows digital transformation in a good way. Encouraged employees can make a big difference with the successful implementation of digital transformations 

  • Generate short-term wins

Produce, track, analyze, and celebrate many little and large accomplishments regularly – and link them to the digital transformation’s outcomes. Leading digital transformation or any other significant change requires high motivation. Motivation is derived from organizational momentum generated by digital action and tiny or huge wins at regular intervals.

  • Sustain Acceleration

By this moment, you already have significant momentum in your digital transformation. Now will be the right time to introduce the seventh step of digital transformation. Small wins and the guiding coalition are already on your side for digital transformation to move to the next big and bold steps that will prove suitable for your organization. 

 Even reaching this point will generate ROI for your business as you are already confident about bringing all the required changes to accelerate the program.

So, consider it to be the right time to change the systems, structures, and policies that don’t align with the vision that you have for your organization. If you can identify the efficiencies in your organization, then this is the right time to make your move and restructure your team.

  • Institute Change

Develop ways to assure leadership development and succession by articulating the links between new behaviors and organizational success.

Here are some of the things that are put in place to help consolidate change that has been launched or produced as a result of Digital Transformation initiatives:

  • Begin a program of digital enablement.
  • Encourage to think about ROI.
  • In the long run, align digital KPIs with performance KPIs.
  • Whatever else you think will work for you depend on your organization’s culture.

This is the eighth and last phase in the eight-step process for digital transformation in your company that I advocate.

The critical points that each digital transformation leader should consider for success are:

1. Customer and employee experience transformation to ensure business growth in revenue, profits, and retention. 

2. Think about customer lifecycle experience besides leading to profits.

3. Don’t limit your transformation just to technology. This transformation should allow digitization and digitalization in every field of the organization.

4. Include experts in digital strategy development and the execution of the digital transformation.

5. The digital transformation aimed at Marketing and Sales will never lead to long-term business growth.

These few considerations and following these eight steps can always allow you to implement your digital transformation successfully. Keep yourself updated with our regular posts on digitization and digitalization in the business sector. It will help you better understand the aspects of digital transformation.


Rohit is a visionary digital & marketing leader skilled at disrupting and transforming small to Fortune 500 companies. Renowned for designing and executing digital transformation that has enabled major business growth.

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