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The business landscape is in a constant state of flux. It is evolving at such a rapid pace with new innovations and models cropping up each and every day that it may seem daunting to keep up with it all. However, to stay ahead of the game and futureproof one’s business, one has to embrace the culture of change and the technologies driving it. Below are six stages that organizations go through along their digital transformation journey.

Business As Usual
Companies at this stage do not wish to venture outside their comfort zone. They do things according to how they’ve always been done and are heavily reliant on the tried and tested recipe of achieving organizational goals. Upper management isn’t keen on change and regulatory frameworks within the organization act as roadblocks to discourage out-of-the-box thinking. Operational processes, technology, approaches to customer experience and business models within the enterprise are all rigid, static, outdated and functioning in siloes. Interdepartmental collaboration is non-existent and digital literacy is minimal.

Present and Active
Companies at this stage have identified new opportunities and beginning to appreciate the benefits digital transformation can render. They are beginning to explore and experiment with the latest channels and platforms (mobile, social, digital) to reach out to new and existing customers. Things are still being done in silo and knowledge sharing is limited at best throughout the enterprise. Successful experiments that yield positive and impactful results begin to turn heads and build cases for upper management-sanctioned digital transformation initiatives. At this stage of digital transformation, the emphasis should be on enhancing definite processes so that they may improve the effectiveness of the enterprise.

Companies are in a transformative stage, where they have begun to intentionally venture outside of their comfort zone with increased frequency. Company-wide collaboration and experimentation have begun to take place. Data and outcomes from these initiatives are persuading management decision-making as they are deliberate and result-oriented. As more of these ventures yield successful results, upper management has started to appreciate the need to modernize their customer experience. The enterprise is beginning to invest in technology, processes and people, paving the way for further amalgamated digital transformation endeavors. Gaps within the organization are identified and concerted efforts are undertaken to plug them.

Companies at this stage have actioned on the sense of urgency for change, have gotten the eyes and ears of their C-Level executives and are now attentive towards becoming more customer-focused. The organization has made digital transformation a top priority and various departments are now working in tandem to actualize this directive, sharing insights and outcomes so that everyone can learn from it. The digital transformation roadmap is now being redefined by set goals that compel the need for changes in order to accomplish crucial outcomes and remove digital transformation roadblocks. This is the stage in which all factors stalling the enterprise’s progress towards success are to be identified and overcome.

At this stage, the company has figured out their entire digital transformation framework and has assembled a dedicated team of experts to successfully implement their digital transformation strategy. This team’s goal is to strategize and oversee operations to achieve desired outcomes and ensure their business and customer-focused goals are met. This is also the juncture where the new organizational infrastructure has begun to take form with respect to roles, expertise, systems, business models and operational processes. Data is now the spine of the organization’s operations. Nearly all technology being utilized is cloud-based. Technology and processes are now one, in which actions no longer need execution and oversight, merely approval.

Innovative and Adaptive
The company is no longer in a state of digital transformation. Digital is now deeply embedded into the enterprise’s DNA and encompasses all aspects of the organization. This change is embraced at all levels and has become the new way of life. This transformation is now the new “business as usual”. There are established teams working to monitor market trends, run pilot programs, identify emerging technologies and understand customer habits. These actions fuel a variety of initiatives and infuse deeper functions within the business, in order to regularly improve and enhance key areas and processes. Successful programs are rolled out at scale. With this mindset, the organization is able to diversify its business models and revenue streams in a more expeditious manner than previously possible. In today’s rapidly evolving business world, getting invaluable insights quickly and utilizing them to achieve desired outcomes is key. Businesses that do so are the ones that are able to flourish and succeed.