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6 Tips to Reassess Your Digital Transformation Roadmap

By Nick Epson on February 26, 2021

After last year, businesses across all industries rushed to implement solutions from either their digital transformation roadmap or ideas pulled out of thin air that would allow them to continue to provide services as safely as possible. For some, these decisions were made in haste to confront obstacles created by the pandemic. In other cases, especially in larger corporate environments, changes executed over the last year or so were a result of planning and decision-making that transpired before COVID-19.

In either scenario, it’s a good time to take a look at how your solutions have performed when compared to your expectations. We’re going to take a look at why it’s beneficial to reexamine your efforts and walk through some steps to reevaluate your strategy.

Why it might be a good idea to reassess digital transformation efforts

For both those that confronted change on the fly and those who carefully planned their transformation, there’s a good chance that either the solutions you’re using yourself or those being offered to customers are less than ideal. If you made moves to execute a digital transformation effort in a hurry because of the pandemic, it’s quite likely issues you overlooked are on the cusp of turning into real problems. Though certain tech might work at the moment, there could be issues with scaling, features, and tuning other parameters down the road.

Now that we’ve had a chance to see byproducts of digital transformation solutions in action, information gathered from observations and feedback needs to be assessed to form a plan and pivot where necessary. Items on your digital transformation roadmap that were supposed to be rolled out over time were likely compressed such that they could be executed in short order, resulting in a degree of technical debt. This is a common problem that occurs after a company expedites actions to move forward with a plan far ahead of schedule. Here, adjustments can be made to get a product or feature on track but in other situations, a company might have made an all-around bad decision that’s only going to get worse in time.

One good example from a company that was already offering a pandemic-friendly solution is Sonder. They provide an Airbnb-like hospitality service in several cities scattered around the globe. When travel slowed down in favor of extended stays for those “including emergency healthcare workers, people who are moving, stranded students, and staycationers,” the company quickly implemented Amazon Connect in mid-March of 2020 to supplement their Salesforce Service Cloud Voice which improved their efficiency at meeting increased demand.

Fortunately, Amazon Connect seemed to be the right solution for Sonder. Had they gone with another popular call center solution like Cisco CJP or Zendesk, the experience would be different. Now would be the time, even if recent changes seem to be working in your favor, to look at performance metrics and crunch the numbers to gather insight into the future viability of anything new you’ve implemented. In Sonder’s circumstance, they could well find that Amazon Connect isn’t quite hitting its marks which could mean anything from further augmenting their base Salesforce solution with some additional service or transitioning to something entirely new.

6 tips for adjusting digital transformation roadmap

For the most part, altering your plans for digital transformation look much like the initial planning phases with a few key differences. Below, you’ll find a handful of effective tips for managing digital transformation changes.

1. Readdress cultural readiness in your organization

There is usually a heavy resistance to change as employees and customers will anticipate failure and use any evidence that supports this notion as absolute proof, no matter how insignificant. It’s classic confirmation bias yet if you’ve already gone through the motions of preparing for change only to have to backpedal, it’s necessary to admit your failures to move forward. This is how Inova Health Systems overcame a major obstacle that stemmed from trying to actively improve every KPI the company measured during an early phase of digital transformation. By realigning to a simpler mindset centered on the idea that healthcare’s main objective is to “do no harm,” they were further able to adjust how they utilize their analytics. Rather than shifting to a new analytics system that wouldn’t have fixed the core problem, they realized they simply needed to realign how they evaluate metrics.

2. Bring in a second set of eyes to help you out

It’s common for a company to have all the necessary information in front of them to make decisions that would lead to better outcomes but be unable to find the answer. Sometimes, this is because we get so attached to an idea that we want to succeed that it becomes near impossible to consider a different option or tweaking the formula. It’s much like those of us who always seem to lose things we carry on our person – we can pace the house looking in all the areas we typically set items but not see them until an annoyed significant other comes along to find our phone openly sitting on a couch cushion. When we have the information needed to make a decision related to our digital transformation roadmap, it’s a good idea to bring someone into the mix who isn’t as close to the inner circle of decision-makers, whether this is another person on staff or a consultant. An example of this is how Lebara, a virtual network operator in Europe, used a consulting agency to get their digital transformations underway. This would ultimately lead them to N-iX that developed a centralized data system that now acts as the hub of their omnichannel network.

3. Realign business efforts to factor in current trends

Many activities changed to accommodate safety concerns because of COVID-19 like dating. The popular Tinder platform historically worked as a tool for users to find each other and carry out conversations for as long as necessary until the parties either decide to meet or pursue other interests. However, with gathering spots like restaurants, bars, and other venues closing, meeting up for a traditional date was out of the question. For Tinder, this meant substantial user disengagement from the platform so the company introduced a new video calling feature called Face to Face beginning in June of 2020 for select markets. The system requires both users to opt into the service that offers a unique layout, displaying both party’s feeds in equal proportions to promote conversation. While the company has yet to release an official statement to convey performance metrics, this feature seems to have helped keep the service afloat.

4. Identify better long-term solutions

As a handful of virus-related buzzwords entered everyday conversations, so did the likes of contemporary platforms like Zoom. Individuals and businesses around the country adopted this service to conduct virtual meetings, mostly because it garnered so much attention from the media. While Zoom is a great product, it might not be the best solution in the long-term for any number of reasons. Some companies will be better off using conferencing features from other platforms like Slack, for example. With Slack, it’s easier to make calls to your teammates who are likely perpetually logged into the system. Unlike messaging in Zoom, your conversations stay in Slack channels or DMs so anything that’s transmitted during a call remains in its channel or direct message. In other cases, businesses may want to stick with Zoom but use it differently – perhaps as a Slack integration – to be more effective.

5. Explore user feedback from competitors

Despite the many digital transformation efforts that transpired across the globe, some businesses rolled with punches to see how things would play out. Many established restaurants turned to a carry-out-only model to at least keep some revenue coming in throughout dine-in bans and strict social distancing policies. Too, a growing number of locations adapted their space for use as a ghost kitchen, with some turning to platforms like Kitch and CloudKitchens, while others latched on to food delivery trends by partnering with companies such as DoorDash or Uber Eats. The pandemic caused many foodservice businesses to realize the necessity for digital contactless solutions and delivery so now is a good time to look at how others fared using these services. By asking friends and colleagues in the business about their experiences, you might realize that it’s worth it to adopt an existing food delivery service as part of your digital transformation roadmap or possibly, take the road less traveled and develop an internal solution like PF Changs.

6. Put together a training curriculum for new digital transformation efforts

Digital transformation doesn’t always fail because new features or systems are “wrong,” sometimes it’s simply because of a lack of adequate training. For those who are several steps into their digital transformation journey, it’s a good time to reflect on past initiatives to understand when users caught on the quickest and why. With that said, every digital transformation effort is different so plan to adjust accordingly. For example, if you have an app, you might use an overlay tutorial every time you make a change or add a new feature – if it’s worked in the past, stick to the general formula and fine-tune it to be as comprehensive as possible without overwhelming the user. In another example, Nestle implemented a digital acceleration team (DAT) that converges at the company’s global headquarters for lengthy periods and churns out immersive training programs for every brand they own which has afforded multiple opportunities to progress through innovation.

We drive successful digital transformation initiatives through knowledge and experience

By virtue of big-picture, market analysis and focused testing, Blue Label Labs’ teams of designers and engineers develop solutions that fit the mosaic of digital marketplaces. Extensive research combined with our existing knowledge allows us to deliver products and features that make a lasting impact. Further, we’re not the type of company to simply build a sophisticated system and then leave it for you and your users to figure out – we help you every step of the way.

Our mission is to serve our customers as comprehensively as possible through whatever means necessary and ensure the execution of your digital transformation roadmap is a success. Visit our contact page to get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help your business take the next step in your digital transformation journey.

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