Updated: Oct 15
A digital strategy defines the transformation and reinvention of your business for the digital economy. With this strategy and a roadmap in hand, you’ll have a plan of action to reinvent your business and make it sustainable for the future.
While this may appear straightforward and simple, there has been a big misconception about digital transformation since it became a buzzword. This buzz has driven many businesses to expensive and unprofitable expenses, even digital death, but it is imperative to stay focused.
This article will lead you to actionable intelligence for you and your company to achieve profitable digital transformation, and a sustainable future with a 360° digital transformation strategy and roadmap approach. Within a few months of implementing the 360° digital strategy and roadmap, businesses already measure and experience significantly more efficiency and profitability.
What is a 360° Digital Strategy?
A 360° Digital Strategy is necessary to transform your entire business to thrive in the digital age. One big misstep costing business leaders a fortune is siloing digital transformation, which is when a company invests in transforming only one or a portion of its business units. Often, this siloed transformation leads to automation of part of the business. The most common are digital marketing, sales, and customer service.
There are five main problems with the siloed digital transformation approach:
1. The business is automated and not reinvented for the digital age
2. The automated portion will create challenges for the non-automated segments
3. Business resources are not optimized throughout the company. Therefore, the ROI (return on investment) will be highly diminished.
4. The digital vision and sustainable growth strategies are often lacking or minimized
5. The business is vulnerable to changes both internally and externally
Here are how these problems affect the business:
When a business is automated but not reinvented, many unnecessary or valueless processes are also automated. In other words, humans are replaced by machine that repeat the same processes – regardless of whether they ad value or are relevant. This approach exacerbates the problem, as any error, misalignment, or poorly designed process you give to the computer, they will be multiplied and create more complex issues down the line. Machine intelligence differs from human intelligence; therefore, the digital approach should also differ. Thus, process optimization is a must before process automation. Otherwise, the efficiency is partly or entirely lost, as is the ROI.
Many businesses do a poor job automating their businesses, but as problems arise, they make the client pay for their error or poor automation - intentionally or inadvertently. This leads to poor customer experience and frustration on their client’s side. As a result, these businesses are inundated with calls from clients for help, customer service, or problem-solving - many more problems than their employees can solve in a reasonable timeframe. The employees may be incapable of solving the issues, become defensive and resolve to send the clients to read more documentation that often doesn’t solve the problem.
With so many clients calling their support or helplines at once, the business’s operations begins to crumble and becomes a source of stress, burnout, and costly failures. The transformation backfires. They receive poor recommendations on their social media pages, clients walk away, employees are exhausted, and the business does not perform as expected. The company is experiencing pressure and breaking down internally.
The Big Employee Exodus or the Great Resignation
Many people in today’s business climate leave their jobs because of this poor employee experience, beyond other things. All while business executives are struggling to find “competent employees” to replace them. Employees have more choices and run from companies that seem mentally and emotionally draining, as mental health is a top-of-mind priority today. This situation did not start with an employee competence issue but with a lack of understanding of digital transformation and an absence of a 360° digital strategy.
With the digital era continuing to bring change and innovation, any competitor or market disruption may cause a significant recess or give these businesses the “coup de grace” if control isn’t quickly regained.
Even when such businesses are operating fully, the internal pressure of continuous firefighting and intense problem-solving prevents them from growing. In addition, three out of five businesses lack a complete sustainable growth strategy. In many cases, their transformation choices were activated or accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis and were made for survival, not sustainability.
As we exit the COVID-19 crisis, the businesses that had their transformation in progress and well-stabilized during the previous months and years are expanding to the next phase. For many, this next phase is a disruptive innovation in their market. As a result, businesses that have engaged in siloed transformation are the most likely to be driven out of business by true disrupters.
Consider your business a lever or scale; putting weight on only one side holds it down while sending the other higher. The weight must be well distributed and proportional for proper balance and flexibility. The same goes for transformation, and in a business transformation, there are a multiple of these scales to balance together.
For business continuity, the correct transformation approach requires considering all these issues simultaneously when leading the transformation. No organization can afford to pause for change or transformation; business continuity, transformation and growth for scaling should coexist. It is now or never to embark on a 360° transformation.
The Opportunity to Thrive
The digital age is an opportunity for businesses to thrive, so don’t fall for the “fake it until you make it” approach. I have rescued many companies from this mindset, from Fortune organizations to small businesses. We are in an open architecture environment, with a wealth of data as a competitive resource - silos only restrain efficiency and increase costs in the long run.
In 360° digital transformation, I use, reuse and leverage business resources across the
organization to increase efficiency, create a new value chain, reduce costs and generate maximum profit. Build digital wealth in your business with this 360° digital transformation approach!
Depending on the situation, we can shift our clients’ business prospects in just a few months, and for those with more innovative or disruptive solutions, a bit longer.
Start transforming your business ROI and future today by requesting for an initial complimentary consultation to discuss your business' digital maturity level and achieving your vision of success.
About M. Nadia Vincent, MBA
Marie Nadia Vincent, MBA, is a Digital Transformation Executive Advisor, Author, and Senior Technology Management Consultant specializing in digital transformation leadership, artificial intelligence adoption, and strategic business innovation. She is ranked in the Top 10 Global Thought Leaders in Digital Transformation, AI, Innovation, Business Continuity, and Leadership by Thinkers 360.
She has over two decades of international experience leading and implementing digital transformation for Fortune and large organizations. She also has coached executives of small and medium-sized businesses internationally, principally in Europe and North America. She is the author of Leveraging Digital Transformation, a digital transformation leadership book.
Nadia has led and implemented many businesses and IT transformation initiatives in industries such as international banking, trading & settlement, financial services, energy distribution, electronic payments, insurance, European airline traffic control, retail market, petrol distribution, and the European Commission Government, and more.
Nadia holds two executive certificates from MIT SLOAN School of Management in Management & Leadership, and Strategy & Innovation, an MBA in Global Technology Management, a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, and an associate’s degree of Applied Science in Informatics. She speaks English, French, and Spanish and consults worldwide.