If we analyze Google trends, there is almost no search data for "what is digital transformation" until 2014. However, the "popularity" of the concept, which started to rise afterward, seems to have reached the highest level, especially after 2019.
Of course, our aim is not to evaluate the importance of digital transformation according to its popularity in Google searches. Since the beginning of the 2000s, companies have been working to position the transformation strategically. Although the concept is unique, we observe extensive application practices.
Gartner defines digital transformation in its IT dictionary as anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models. As a result, the differences in applying a concept covering such a vast area become quite common.
So let's change our perspective a little and approach from a different viewpoint. Let's focus on the entire journey and the elements that build it up, not on the definition itself. The idea was that digital transformation is an on-the-spot change in business management by technology in the beginning. Today, it addresses a continuous process.
We can evaluate the digital business transformation process in 3 stages.
The first stage is the formulation of digital transformation strategy. The main question here is “What will be the direction of the company?”.
For this, it is crucial to understand the existing situation of/for the company. Hence, having a data-driven approach should be a priority. However, focusing only on digitally generated data is one of the most generous mistakes made at this point. One of the needs for digital transformation indicators is that companies do not produce enough digital data. Therefore, methods such as obtaining information from employees through interviews and surveys, analyzing existing documents, and conducting research on understanding the market and competition can provide valuable data sets at this stage.
At this stage, digital transformation strategies are shaped with a holistic view. Some companies position a digital strategy approach above company strategy inadvisedly. It is better for technical and commercial teams to develop a digital strategy aligned with company strategies. This is the key to a sustainable transformation.
The second stage is designing the transformation journey. This is a crucial stage where we need to answer more questions than strategies. The first question is "who will lead the transformation?". At this stage, the word "digital" may sound like a manipulative character. However, transformation is a process that has significant cultural impacts as well. Therefore, a visionary and persuasive executive team takes this responsibility because the transformation has consequences that directly affect multiple functions. The CEO may be the sponsor or even the spokesperson for the project, but they should not be in operation except to lead the transformation leaders as a conductor.
The most critical mission of the leading team is to embrace and internalize the transformation vision within the organization. This is crucial for different functions to correctly understand their responsibilities on the transformation and contribute to this goal. One of the problems experienced within companies is that the teams do not recognize their contribution to digital transformation projects to their careers and performances. The right design should also have a positive impact on the productivity of all business units.
Another design point is to determine how existing processes will evolve. Digital transformation seriously affects the systemic changes in the processes of companies. Shaping the change in business methods with employees is valuable in terms of the effectiveness of the transformation. The proper selection and shaping of technologies that will form the basis of digital transformation will be possible by effectively using employee experiences in process studies.
The integration of different digital transformation technologies that complement each other will be required to achieve digital transformation. Etiya's digital transformation services designed with the connected customer-first approach and powered by artificial intelligence include products and solutions that will provide integrity for an institution:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - an end-to-end, integrated lead-to-cash process flow for customer management.
- Omnichannel digital frontend - seamless, consistent, and integrated customer experience from any device or channel
- CPQ - customizing quotes to determine the best offer for the customer
- Product catalog - the detailed list of the inventory of a store
- Order management - flexible, catalog-driven order capture, decomposition, validation, negotiation, orchestration, and execution with jeopardy, exception, and fall-out management.
- Billing and charging - real-time and flexible billing and charging for complex packages of voice, data, video-based products, and value-added services.
Another critical point in the design phase is determining how the decision will be made. Although the planning and design are perfectly planned, methods and tools should be created to enable the senior management to make precise decisions in possible unexpected situations in the process. Regular check-in meetings with the leaders who will manage the transformation and strict monitoring of the development with the dashboard will facilitate the work of decision-makers. Remember that transformation is a long-term process, and robust follow-up methods assist leaders in making the right decisions.
The final stage of digital business transformation is implementation and follow-up. At this stage, the primary issue is how to do resource management. Resources should be considered not just as budgets but also as teams. During the transformation process, companies may have to manage their budgets more frequently than they used to. Thus, possible financial risks are eliminated. Similar methods can be applied in the management of human resources as well. For some processes, it may even be possible to switch to agile methods. The essential thing here is that the institutions can also make human resource planning parallel with budget management.
Monitoring and management of outputs is another vital issue during the implementation phase. Monitoring the work done, the budget used for them, and the human resources is an indispensable element in managing the return on investment and its compliance with the plans. For this, the existing financial reporting and resource management systems should be reviewed and renewed to ensure the follow-up of the transformation.
As can be seen, the process between the creation of digital transformation strategies and their implementation has to be managed in a very planned and controlled manner. Therefore, Etiya continues to support its business-partner companies with its digital transformation and professional consultancy services and enable them to succeed in their digital transformation journey.