Is your company ready to make a digital transformation?

Taking the first step can feel overwhelming. However, there’s a couple things you can do to make the rest of the process easier.
britton lorentzen
Britton Lorentzen Published April 27th, 2022
person typing on a laptop

Your company has seen all the headlines about the digital transformation, the pandemic has made you start thinking about upgrading your technology, and now you’re in this spot thinking “Where do I even start?!” Well, before you start considering new apps and systems you should take an audit of your current situation.

Oof. There’s a ton of applications I use… how do I navigate this?

The best way to think about this is walking through everything as if it’s any normal work day. In most situations, the apps and processes you deal with first will set the tone for the rest of the day. For example:

  • What do I do first thing in the morning when getting into work? Do I check emails, do I check the schedule, do I follow up with customers, etc.
  • As I go through the day, what are some things that notify me about projects? What do I use to get my work done? What do I use to engage with customers and other professionals in my field?
  • As I wind down for the day, are there certain apps I use to complete the day? Do I need to make updates to certain things? How do I prepare myself for the next couples days? Are there apps I use to help me with these things?

Once you’ve been able to nail down your routines, you can start looking at whether or not these apps and processes are best serving your needs.

  • What do I like or not like about these apps?
  • If I could improve these apps, what would I do?
  • Are there certain parts of these apps and processes my customers like or don’t like?

An interesting note about apps… the typical user likes to use apps that they use in their personal lives for work related purposes. For example, there’s a TON of people that use Gmail. I know I love to use Gmail. Knowing this, I decided to move all of my freelancing communications over to G Suite because that was my preferred way of communicating with people in my personal life. Whether is was Gmail, Google Chat, etc. this was my preferred mode of communication during the pandemic. Given this situation, it only made sense to convert my business communications to Google services since I know many people are well established with me using those mediums.

I’ve looked at my whole day and thought about what I do… so now what?

The next step is to look at apps and processes that keep you afloat with your business. These may be things such as your point-of-sale, your website, communicating with prospective customers, and so on. In some cases, what you identified as your day-to-day apps and processes will also fall into this category. However, the most important things to consider will be:

  • Am I able to communicate my services and value effectively to my customers with my current apps?
  • If I am… what’s working well? If I’m not… what could improve?
  • How easy is it for me to adapt or change my apps/settings for different business needs?
  • Am I finding myself not being able to handle certain things? Are they for things I do frequently or are they for things I do rarely?

A couple things to consider… the ideal solutions will be ones that serve both you and your customers’ needs. Depending on the context, it may be difficult to strike a balance between the ideal customer experience and user experience. However, these are all important factors when choosing apps and processes that’ll work for both you and your customers. In some cases, you may need to sacrifice the internal user experience to improve the external customer experience. In an ideal world, the experience would be amazing for both internal users and external customers… but it’s an important consideration when looking at the apps and technology you leverage.

Awesome, so I’ve identified what’s working and what’s not working with my current situation… where do we go from here?

Now comes the fun part: deciding whether or not to get rid of certain apps, and bringing in new apps that’ll work better. This can be a very long process… so it’s best to approach each process one at a time.

  • Look at apps that are used the least and see where improvements can be made immediately.
  • While you’re improving apps/processes that are not as important, starting considering potential alternatives for apps/processes that are not working, and are important to you and your business.
  • Keep in mind how new solutions can be integrated with the rest of your technology. Are there innovations with one service that can improve the experience with other services?

Arguably, this is the most difficult stage of them all. Things are moving quickly, processes are changing rapidly, and ensuring everything stays in sync with one another can prove to be incredibly difficult. However, stay focused on the smaller wins before diving into bigger problems. There are times where businesses will try to handle too many digital transformation projects all at once. It is perfectly reasonable to separate these projects into phases. Making the digital transformation is difficult, and it’s not reasonable to make it all happen at one time. Take it one step at a time, one app at a time, one day at a time, and so on. You’ll make it if you approach your digital transformation one small win at a time.