Digital Transformation:
Steps to an Effective Strategy

The first step to a complete digital transformation is to develop a clear strategy. According to “The Digital Business Transformation Playbook For 2017,” only 27% of today’s businesses have a coherent digital strategy that outlines how the firm will create value for their customers as a digital business..

One reason why many companies are not transforming is fear – fear that a competitor will go to market first, or that a disruptor will leave them in the dust. Concerns like this can be paralyzing. Your first step should be to disregard what your competitors are doing. This will free you up to pursue what’s best for your business and your customers.

Then survey your clients and customers to see what they are looking for in a supplier. By conducting research, you will gain a better understanding of their expectations and preferences, from what factors into their decision to choose a vendor, to how they prefer to pay their invoices or access customer support.

Next, you need to get executive buy-in. Companies who outsource their digital strategy sometimes get push-back from their workforce when it comes time to implement the plan. Clearly explaining the benefits of digital transformation and aiding in the implementation of new processes can make all the difference.

Finally, you need to make sure your company culture can withstand the new innovations. Peter Drucker, the renowned management expert famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Even the most effective digital transformation strategy that has the full support of the company’s leadership will fall flat without the right culture to sustain it. It’s not a one-and-done proposition. It’s ongoing, requiring continual evaluation, updates, and adjustments to fit it into your corporate culture.

Ultimately, the focus must always remain on customers and what they want. If they want to pay from paper invoices instead of online, you need to make sure you provide that option. If they want to chat online with customer support and not pick up the phone, let them. If they want their refrigerator to create the shopping list for the week, allow them to do that.

As Steve Jobs said, “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”

Content originally published by Eureka.


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