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What Is a Digital Transformation Strategy?
Any digital transformation requires a well-planned strategy to help businesses achieve their desired outcomes. Businesses worldwide are embracing digital transformations as they face the challenge of improving business processes and creating new capabilities and business models.
In the new digital economy, businesses can only compete if they embrace and develop a digital presence and valuable data assets. To this end, businesses must create a digital transformation strategy addressing data, technology, business processes, and human factors. The goal is to create an environment conducive and receptive to digital technology.
In this article:
- Digital Transformation Strategy: 8 Tips for Success
- What Is a Digital Transformation Strategy?
- Best Practices for a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy
- Digital Transformation with NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP
Best Practices for a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy
Here are some tips for building an effective digital transformation strategy:
1. Build Your Leadership
Ownership is an important, frequently overlooked element of any digital transformation strategy. Establish who is responsible for what and how each team member can contribute to implementing the strategy.
A successful digital transformation depends on the right mindset and guidance. Therefore, combining your strategy with proper leadership is a critical first step in building an effective digital transformation strategy.
A digital transformation initiative must have buy-in from senior leadership. In addition, the digital transformation program itself must be managed by an individual with sufficient authority in the organization. This project leader must have the management skills needed to move a multidisciplinary project cutting across multiple departments or business units.
2. Encourage a Culture of Communication
Prepare for a major cultural change. Enterprise customers and employees are often hesitant to adopt significant changes, making digital transformation projects difficult to implement. Workplace culture is an important foundation for ensuring a successful transformation. Prepare your employees well in advance, communicating the following points to help achieve your transformation objectives:
- Discuss your digital transformation strategy and how it will benefit all stakeholders.
- Prepare your staff in advance through training sessions.
- Explain the importance of adapting the culture to the new program.
- Listen to feedback from the field and incorporate it into your strategy.
Have a clear training plan, provide regular updates, and be consistent with your efforts to reassure your employees.
3. Choose the Technologies You Want to Implement
Identifying the right technologies and tools for your organization is important in building your digital transformation strategy. Implementing new technologies requires significant financial investments and planning. Correct planning early in the project will avoid unnecessary costs later.
An effective digital transformation strategy should include multiple options, each clear with budget requirements.
Here are the technological aspects that the digital transformation strategy should address:
- Cloud computing—public cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are already mainstream: organizations are moving workloads of all kinds, including mission critical applications and sensitive data, to the public cloud. Hybrid cloud management and models are also a common choice, in which organizations run workloads in a combination of environments, both on-premises and in a public cloud.
- Edge computing—edge computing is the practice of running applications and storing data close to devices deployed in the field. This is important for applications sensitive to latency and requiring data privacy. Edge is also converging with cloud: Gartner predicts that by 2025, most cloud service providers will offer an edge computing option, allowing organizations to run cloud computing services at the edge.
- Data analytics and artificial intelligence—data plays a central role in digital transformation strategies. Machine learning algorithms can enable advanced, real-time analysis of large volumes of data. This can empower enterprise decision-making and automated operational decisions, augmenting human expertise with machine learning insights.
- Digital experience and digital reality—the world’s largest experiment in remote work is ongoing. Intelligent composable businesses allow digitized business activities, automated operations, and new products and business models. Smart displays help unleash the power of these next-generation interfaces, powered by intelligent algorithms and technologies such as the Internet of Things. These tools help organizations optimize individual and team performance and personalize customer experiences with intelligent recommendations.
Related content: Read our guide to digital transformation technologies
4. Work with the Right Partners
Take a forward-looking approach when looking for technology partners. Ask yourself the following important questions:
- Is the vendor or technology scalable?
- Does the partner share a similar vision as your organization?
- Is the partner willing to provide the support you need for your long-term transformation strategy?
- How does the new technology or partner fit into existing tooling and systems?
- Does the partner have the expertise and skills needed for your specific application?
There may be many more questions you need to address to ensure you choose the right technologies and partners. It will be challenging to achieve your goals if a partner does not have the knowledge, expertise, or background in your use case.
5. Implement Agile Development at Scale
Agile is a widely used software development approach. Organizations often struggle to scale their existing agile framework, but achieving a unified agile process across the organization can be a game changer for digital transformation initiatives.
The following elements can help you scale and unify agile development across the organization:
- Promote an agile work culture that encourages creativity and tolerates failure.
- Implement software tools that organize agile processes and automate software development lifecycles. Ensure tools are consistent across the organization.
- Enable self-service environments based on cloud computing to make rapid innovation easier for all teams.
- Prioritize epics and sprints across all development teams on digital transformation activities.
6. Educate Employees
Employees are sometimes reluctant to embrace digital transformation because they fear its impact on their role within the company. Older employees may lose their positions or struggle to learn new roles following digital transformation.
Increase the relevance of post-digital transformation by providing employee training opportunities to build employee loyalty and helping them acquire the necessary skills for a 21st-century enterprise. Investing in employee training allows you to increase employee satisfaction, business efficiency, and consistency.
Digital transformation is not just about technology, business strategy, data, and processes. It’s also about people.
Digital Transformation in Banking with Cloud Volumes ONTAP
Cloud computing is at the core of digital transformation, elevating it from the adoption stage of digital technology to include also the tools, rebuilding process, and the experience of a virtual environment that is accessible from anywhere. In order for an organization to achieve its goals and secure future viability, it needs to adopt a cloud-first or hybrid cloud management strategy.
NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, the leading enterprise-grade storage management solution, delivers secure, proven storage management services on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. Cloud Volumes ONTAP capacity can scale into the petabytes, and it supports various use cases such as file services, databases, DevOps or any other enterprise workload, with a strong set of features including high availability, data protection, storage efficiencies, Kubernetes integration, and more.
NetApp and Cloud Volumes ONTAP play a key role in the cloud transformation process, helping enterprises move workloads and data to the cloud securely, manage them efficiently, and integrate them with modern cloud technologies. This frees the organizations from the burden of managing large-scale storage infrastructure, and allows them to focus on their core business.
In particular, Cloud Volumes ONTAP assists with cloud migration in digital transformation projects. Learn more about how Cloud Volumes ONTAP helps with lift and shift cloud migration.