A transformational model is a requirement in today’s digital economy. Mike Shaw, International VP at dataxu offers three key tips to get more out of digital transformation at your company.
Still, the phrase ‘digital transformation’ is steeped in anecdotes, businesses unlocking digital supremacy and sweeping up accolades and investments. However, the excitement surrounding the term lacks focus on the how and why digital transformation is achieved. Every organisation’s definition of ‘digital transformation’ will be unique, but to use a broad definition, digital transformation can simply mean leveraging technology to drive business outcomes. This may be the crux of it, but the transformation itself straddles many different factors, and is
hardly a singular entity or a metric. It encompasses everything from timing to culture to structure, and is much less an outward projection than it is an internal reflection. Honing in on how businesses can build a transformational business model, we raised the key questions to over 200 businesses, asking how is your business preparing? Who drives those decisions? And how long will that transformation take? Having collated the responses, we drew out the key hacks to ensure your digital vision is more than just a dream.
1: Remember that timing isn’t everything
Is technology outrunning business or vice versa? Either way, digital transformation seems to have a vague sense of time attached to it. It is a steadily-burning process over the course of decades, can it be ignited within five years, one year… a month? Many businesses believe the transformation is just right around the corner, others insist it will take years to obtain. The second biggest obstacle named was a lack of time, skills and resources, with 34% of respondents testifying to its hindrance. Nevertheless, of the media agencies and brands we asked, the vast majority claimed they could be fully data competent in up to 2 years – meaning the vital steps to transformation were already in place for their organisations.
When it comes to digital transformation, there is a strong insinuation of cut-throat competitivity. Rather than prioritising agility when scaling operations, businesses need to bear in mind that speed doesn’t mean much without having a good structure in place. Instead of racing towards digital transformation, it is better to establish an achievable timeline. Highlight your priorities over the course of the next few years and envision the likelihood that there will be disruptions and interruptions roadmapping the way forward. Work with greater purpose and intent, not to outstrip your opponents in the ‘race’ towards digital transformation.
2: Accelerate Culture
Driving transformation means realigning a company’s culture. You can invest in the right technologies, you can tune your own strategies to be more forward-thinking, but it is much more difficult to instill a culture of digital transformation across the board.
Of the businesses we asked, 27% of businesses argued that a risk-averse culture hindered transformational operations. Which is precisely why it is important for businesses to adopt a universal, digital-first mentality. When everyone is adjusted to driving transformation forward, building skills and adapting to change, the entire business will thrive well into the future. And with that, leaders should be disruptors. When decision making lies mostly with the C-Suite (as
46% of respondents agreed) and 33% struggle to justify their investments to the board, the structure of transformation begins to fail. Furthermore, 32% claimed there was a lack of corporate vision for digital in their ranks. Organisational development should be a top priority during the shift, and a fresh perspective needs to be adopted across the board in order for this to succeed.
3 : Identify Room for Improvement
To gain a firmer grasp of forward-gazing strategies, we surveyed numerous digitally mature companies on their solutions and whether they felt fully prepared for digital transformation. While these businesses had unfurled advanced data strategies, we found that they still identified a need for reform in certain areas. Of course, deploying valuable dollars into the wrong solutions is never ideal.
Across all the businesses we asked, the greatest issue was a lack of technology. 40% agreed that this posed the biggest barrier to digital transformation overall. In spite of this, we identified five key digital activities for media agencies and brands. In four out of five cases – consent management, data management, media buying and media analytics – over 50% of media agencies and brands claimed they were automated but sought further improvements. Improvement should be continuous in order for various strategies to succeed. So inspect your existing data strategies and ask: what do we need in order to grow?
In an era of such enormous digital change, it is important to keep in mind that transformation is non-linear. Innovation requires time, expense, and organisational shifts. But as we learnt from the study, for businesses already prioritising their data strategies, the dream is remarkably less far-fetched.
New digital strategies have truly become the next key pillar for growth. Data is the new currency, and digital transformation is now a trillion dollar business globally.
By Mike Shaw