We are currently living through a digital transformation. As organization leaders, we must face it.

Much has been said about digital transformation, but what do you think about it? Some still confuse the term with that of digitization, but although they have commonalities, each has its own characteristics.

If we want our businesses to remain prosperous in an environment where change is a guarantee, we must know how to maneuver around our digital reality. In the paragraphs that follow, we outline three steps for facing a company’s digital transformation.

Digitization vs. digital transformation

When we talk about exchanging traditional tools for digital tools by giving them essentially the same task, we are talking about digitalization. For example, when one has to organize a sales force, it can be done in an Excel spreadsheet sent by email instead of on a boardroom markerboard. The prior facilitates the execution of tasks, but does not help a company become more productive.

On the contrary, if a CRM is adopted, not only will the project be organized with precision, but the system will provide metrics that will allow for measuring performance and optimizing management. This is digital transformation, a phenomenon that requires a company to have employees with digital skills and develop an organizational culture that values people as the key element for change.

Now that the differences are understood, with the aim of increasing a company’s  competitiveness we identify three steps for having a successful digital transformation.

1- Define what

This phase involves studying the current business model and the objectives sought in the  developing the technological strategy. In this step, you must identify the information technologies that the company possesses: Does it still use it fax machines? Does it use any type of analytics? At this step, one must identify areas where digital transformation can help generate value. How do business and technology strategies align? What can digital transformation do to boost the organization?

2- Define why

After establishing a baseline, it is necessary to determine a reason for the transformation. A process that involves important efforts in technical, human and economic matters should not be addressed in an arbitrary way, without a rudder and a navigation route. Rather, it demands clarity. In general, companies want to evolve by increasing competitiveness, but whether that means having a better customer experience or developing a new product, depends on the type of business and objectives.

3- Define how

Once a business has studied why it needs technology to change,  a framework must be established to determine key areas. In the digital era, it is important to consider disruptive innovation in and out of the organization; a data-based culture, which must evolve as business intelligence techniques advance; and omnichannel, which is necessary for improving the customer experience and working in a collaborative environment.

Regardless of the methodology adopted, one must take into consideration all areas of the company to finalize the digital  transformation. That way, you can truly generate value for the business under a new paradigm. As we say in the business world, it is teamwork that guarantees the materialization of a vision. Let’s do it!