When considering digital transformation, it helps to think of the process as a cultural and technological change that applies to all segments of your business operations. Transformation carries a different connotation for every industry and organization. To be more efficient, customer-centric, and competitive, companies must modernize to the new digital age. Going on a digital transformation journey is a marathon, not a sprint. It is guided by ever-changing industry market trends, as well as workplace and customer expectations.
We define digital transformation as a holistic approach to upgrading business processes, operations strategies, IT ecosystems, and company culture. With the support of advanced analytics, user experience, mobility, and cloud, companies that go through digital transformation can significantly change how they work and interact with customers and within the company.
Benefits of Digital Business Transformation
The year 2020 brought many challenges and hardships that made digital transformation seem daunting. Now that 2021 has arrived, it is time to reset and embark on your digital transformation journey. According to a 2019 poll that included 400 C-level execs, almost none said their digital transformation endeavors were fruitless. The benefits of pursuing a digitalization strategy are well worth the time and effort. Some of the major benefits that digital transformation brings to organizations include:
- Better working environment
- Removing guesswork around digital marketing efforts
- Improving the customer experience
- Better reacting and adapting to changes
- Staying competitive in volatile markets
- Increasing your business’ profitability
The First Steps
Before you begin making a shortlist of potential digital transformation partners, you should decide what you are expecting to achieve with digital transformation. In other words, you should map out a digital strategy. Take a look at all the available digital tools and technologies, and think about how your organization could benefit from them. Define how digital transformation should help you innovate, make your operations unique, and deliver services to your customers in a better or novel way.
There are two scopes to consider when deciding your digital business strategy and evaluating how digital transformation will improve your company:
- How will the advanced digital solutions of transformation affect your company’s business model as a whole?
- How will transformation affect your company’s go-to-market customer engagement?
Identifying your strategy can be the most challenging part of moving forward.
Prioritizing criteria for executing the strategy
After you determine which digital strategy you want to implement, the next step is prioritizing and weighing the features you will develop. Priorities may vary depending on your situation, but there are a few key points that you do not want to overlook when choosing a digital transformation consultant:
- Workflow compatibility
- Experience in your industry
- Access to team
- Management oversight
The above list of priorities is not exhaustive and these should be considered at minimum.
Choosing Between Digital Transformation Consulting Companies
The time has come for you to choose your DT consulting company. You need to be sure that you have made the right choice. Some consulting companies (especially those in non-IT related industries) might not have all the required skills to conduct a successful digital transformation initiative. That is why it is essential to partner with the right digital transformation consulting company with enough experience to guide you through the process. Such a company can help your business understand all of the digital transformation stages more clearly and comprehensively.
Let’s take a look at these valuable tips that will help you choose the right consulting firm to make sure your organization receives proper strategic guidance, helps carry out digital innovation, and leads you to a lucrative ROI.
- Industry expertise
Reviewing the experience your potential partner has in your specific industry is among the most critical considerations. Have they worked with other companies that are similar to yours? Do they understand your market as well as your clients’ requirements? Ask for a list of their top clients in your domain, then analyze the case studies as well as their current workload. This will give additional insight into choosing between digital transformation consulting companies. The partner you choose should offer the resources to visualize your transformation goals and develop your digital strategy. To avoid surprises and minimize losses, it’s best to narrow your search to partners with extensive experience working on projects specific to your line of work and industry.
- Technical capacity and capability
When evaluating your potential partners, ask them whether they have a good team of dedicated tech experts who have a vision for your digital solution. Ask for details about their workforce models, working prototypes, digital technology focus, and operations scalability. Ensuring that your partner’s technical expertise is the perfect fit for your specific requirements is crucial. This is the point where choosing an agnostic consulting partner over a particular product partner makes sense. Discuss your current business process and technologies to make sure your partner can step into your shoes and understand your pain points, competitive advantages, and long-term challenges.
Remember to be wary of consultants who overstate their expertise and abilities, especially if their implementation experience in certain industries or project types is limited.
- Versatility and agility
Your digital strategy consulting partner must be well-versed and able to handle the scalability and flexibility required for the administration of recent trends and new technology. You need to know if they are using the most recent technologies, platforms, and innovative solutions. Your digital transformation will progress more smoothly if your partner is always on track with the latest advancements and can offer you a complete stack of services. Having separate partners for different DT solutions is counterproductive and should be avoided.
An important point to discuss with your potential digital partner is to what extent your business is loaded with an internal network of different processes. This can be a severe obstacle on your path to digital transformation. Your consulting company should be able to measure up or down and set momentum for your company’s transformation according to its needs.
- Process or client priority
When choosing a digital transformation consultant, consider the proposed partnership structure and how your partner plans to support your organization. What are their ideologies when working during high-priority and time-sensitive requirements? How do they solve their clients’ needs during difficult times? Do they adhere to strict processes, or are they willing to go the extra mile to address a challenge, even if it doesn’t align with their processes? Your teams and the teams of your partner need to collaborate effectively.
- Ability to analyze your customers behavior and preferences
Customer experience often steers the requirements of digital transformation. That is why it is essential that your consulting partner conduct comprehensive research to analyze and understand your external and internal customers’ varying behaviors and patterns. Their capability to conduct primary and secondary research is a solid starting point in identifying the key factors for digital transformation and validating them. Your digital transformation partner must immediately know what your customers want in order to make the most of it.
- Organizational footprint
Digital transformation consulting organizations can range from large global IT firms to boutique marketing consultancies. They crowd the digital environment, and you need to narrow down your choices. You should evaluate each firm’s dynamic development strategies, engagement process, organizational strategies, consultants, and methodologies. Pay attention to their infrastructure, security details, capability landscape, and toolsets.
- Sharing your goals
To make sure that both you and your partner are going in the same direction, there must be an alignment of work processes, priorities, thoughts, and ethics. Does your partner understand and believe in your company’s digital transformation strategy? Share your transformation goals and ask them to suggest the best approach for achieving them.
- Development method
Ask them about their development methods. One of the most effective methods of project delivery is agile methodology. It provides enough room for change and growth, especially as the project moves through different phases. There are many advantages to this approach, including greater cost control, alignment to business values, risk reduction, and continuous improvement.
Make the Right Choice
Digitization is disrupting traditional business rules and provides new ways to create and capture value. The right combination of physical assets, information, and digital technology can give your company a digital edge that will constitute a competitive advantage.
Every digital transformation demands a certain level of organizational readiness. It requires you to make tough decisions and to tear down the walls protecting your customers, digital teams, and operations. The best digital transformation consulting company will want to understand your methods for greater involvement in the value-creation process. By hiring a digital transformation company, you will open up to new styles of leadership and uncover underutilized resources, ideas, and processes.
The i4 Group can help. Our Digital Transformation Consulting processes are scalable, iterative, and proven. Reach out to the i4 Group and explore our Digital Transformation Consulting services.