Sparks from a sparkler

Small Steps to Keep Moving in Digital Transformation

Digital transformation sounds like a big deal, and it can be. But there are several practical things you can do now that advance your organization. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking.

Upgrade Your Platforms

Whether it’s your CMS, CRM, or another key tool supporting your business, platforms running on the latest version integrate more readily with other systems. So when you’re ready to do more streamlining, your tech stack will be, too. It’s easy to let these needed upgrades get bumped down the queue of more urgent day-to-day work, but as we’ve said before, that can cost you.

Automate Where You Can, Now

Automating rote, repetitive processes is a great way to introduce digital transformation to your company incrementally. Try a pilot: Identify a process to test using robotic process automation (RPA) and see how a bot could free up a few colleagues to design the strategy that would transform your business.

Take the pressure off of developers and QA teams with test automation. It can speed up software delivery and improve quality simultaneously. You can start with a pilot to make sure you’re managing risk.

Another area to automate is reporting and data analysis. Decide what data you need to gather and report out regularly or let a data scientist help you figure out the best dashboarding for your needs, then build it out. Pulling metrics each month from several sources and populating them into an Excel sheet is not the best use of your time.

Think Bigger

Companies that grow fast can get siloed just as fast. Think about all the processes and tools inherited through mergers and acquisitions alone, not to mention quick-fix work-arounds to facilitate burgeoning growth.

Take a step back and think about all the departments or functions that need to know the same thing, use the same information, communicate with the same customer, or pull the same reports. Oftentimes, companies end up creating three or more versions of the same content, report, or other document because they didn’t know someone else was doing the same thing.

Break silos with content management and reporting tools. This takes time in interviewing stakeholders to find out what exactly they need, how often, in what form — but helps you decide how your technologies can support this need. One of my favorite technologies is a digital asset management system, because I’m focused on content. I like having one library with robust taxonomy that the whole organization can access as self-service (with some restrictions, of course). For you it might be a code library, or a set of custom reports in Salesforce, or a pattern library, or a dashboard. Remember that what you do likely affects a lot of other people in your company. And shared information facilitates business growth.

If digital transformation seems daunting, try smaller steps to keep your company evolving. Every step counts.

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