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Digital Transformation: The Questions Every Leader Should Ask


Digital transformation has become a business buzzword. According to research by Meticulous, the global digital transformation business will reach $3,294 billion, growing at a CAGR of 22.7% from 2019 to 2025. This fact illustrates the ever-increasing reliance on technology for improving business performance, reducing costs, and boosting overall ROI.In order to compete and flourish in today's market, organizations must be able to develop digital products, services, and solutions.

According to a survey by IBM published by Performance Improvement Partners, 96% of leaders claim to be digitally transformed, and this will be accelerated by Covid-19 on an average of 5.3 years.


 However, like with other facts such as big data and artificial intelligence, the truth is that the concept of digital transformation is more hype than reality. Another example of shiny object syndrome is when people chase the latest or brightest innovation without considering whether it is appropriate for their industry or business. In other words, there is a lack of understanding of what true digital transformation means, and this is what prompts the following critical questions:

Do you have the right leaders with the skills, attitudes, and capabilities for a digital-first business?

Digital transformation requires a different mindset and approach from management. Some of the likes from digital leaders are:

Digital leaders are comfortable in complex settings, with constant change and more information than they can ever use. They don't get paralyzed when things are complicated; they embrace the challenge. Manage complexity and uncertainty so that they become part of the solution rather than waiting on others to tell them what to do. 

Leaders need to be both visionary and strategic for their communication style to resonate with employees. Digital leaders know how to build teams to develop innovative solutions that deliver results for customers and shareholders alike. Engage, motivate, and inspire people by communicating clearly where the organization is going and how individuals fit into the big picture.


Are your people, process, and technology capabilities aligned to support your digital transformation?

Digital transformation is all about people. Technology innovations are just tools that can help you achieve your business objectives—its your people, your resources- your true strengths, who make it happen. However, putting the appropriate resources in the right jobs is only half of the problem. People, processes, and technology capabilities must all be aligned to support digital transformation success.

  • Are your people equipped with the right skills?
  • Do your processes create value for customers and employees?

Finally, digital transformation programs succeed or fail based on how successfully they allow people to create and adopt new ways of working together, not on the technology alone. It is critical to inquire about the technology and how it enables people and processes to collaborate more efficiently and effectively.

How will you adapt to the fast pace of change in our new world?

In this new world, business leaders are asking:

  • What does it take to adapt to the fast pace of change in our contemporary world?
  • How do we deliver value to the customers we serve and the communities that rely on us?
  • How can we plan for the future when there is so much uncertainty?

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. You may be asking yourself some of these questions and not know where to start. However, all firms must embark on this road, which begins with a mental adjustment. From now on, digital transformation will be critical for all organizations—but with varying degrees of intensity depending on industry and size.


How can you boost employee engagement, cooperation, and productivity across various locations to achieve better business results?

Managers and executives must ensure that their staff has the tools and abilities they require to flourish in a digitally enabled workplace. Your staff must be able to work together on projects in real-time, regardless of where they are or what device they are using. With the use of technology like unified communications, companies can reduce barriers between teams and promote greater collaboration across their entire workforce.

How can you boost customer loyalty by increasing client engagement by giving them a fantastic experience?

Knowing your consumer is the first step in establishing a positive customer experience. This means that you need to acquire as much information as possible about them and utilize it to tailor a 360* experience. It's also crucial to make your customers feel cherished and valued; to increase their brand engagement and loyalty.

Do you have a plan for your company's end-to-end digital transformation?

A digital transformation journey should include a detailed plan for all aspects of your business, timelines, and budgets for each phase. An audit of your current business processes and systems can help you determine which technologies will help you create value. Once you've identified which technologies are most effective, build-out scenarios based on different combinations so you can prioritize which ones deliver the greatest return on investment (ROI).

What is the impact of your digital transformation on procurement and supply chain management?

In a world of e-procurement, you can streamline your supply chain management. Using software and online tools, you will create more visibility among suppliers and identify new opportunities for cost savings. And in a time when sustainability is a huge goal for many businesses, you can use digital transformation to reduce your carbon footprint.

What is the financial impact of investing in digital transformation? Is it worth it – what is the cost versus the benefit, not just today but in the future?

Consider your company's financial impact on other businesses in your industry. There can be a substantial cost associated with investing in digital transformation, and you must weigh both sides carefully. If your company is not digitally transforming, it may not be able to compete or even survive in its market.

Consider whether or not it is worth pursuing digital transformation for your company and its stakeholders. Digital transformation is an iterative process that involves ongoing learning from trial-and-error experimentation and feedback from customers on what works well enough versus what needs improvement. The latter will often require further development effort while working closely with partners across many levels within each organization involved throughout such initiatives.


The bottom line is that leaders have to engage in honest dialogue about the changes and disruptive forces currently reshaping the business environment. They have to ask who, what, why, when, where, and how of these changes. And they have to act as catalysts for both innovation and change. In short, in the coming years we'll likely see more "real time leaders" emerge—leaders who are digitally savvy, and capable of both driving their businesses forward through digital transformation, and understanding where their organizations need to go to meet customer demand or face disruption from competitors.

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