Digital transformation is the modern-day solution for enterprises looking to improve customer experience and stay competitive in today's digital age. So it's no surprise businesses spent over $1.6 trillion on digital transformation initiatives in 2022, which is all set to reach $3.4 trillion by 2026, according to Statista.
With more businesses going digital, you need to make your processes agile, automatic and cost-effective to create a customer base that purchases more and is a loyal brand advocate.
But the question is how.
Customers are willing to pay more for personalized experiences. As a business owner, you can monetize this sentiment by adapting to the latest digital technological trends. Understand what tools can help you improve customer engagement and customer satisfaction, thereby creating long-lasting customer relationships.
Digital operations is your key to digitizing operations correctly and at scale. In fact, 56 percent of CEOs reported improving profits with digital improvements. But this is no ordinary feat.
If you’ve been trying to implement a digital operations framework without any luck — or if you’re totally new in this technology game — this blog will help you understand:
- Digital evolutions and transformations.
- How they affect your business.
- How you can implement a digital operations strategy.
Let’s get started.
What are digital operations & how have they evolved?
Digital operations is the process of leveraging digital and automation technology and tools to improve an organization's overall productivity and performance. You can use them to fill the gaps between previously used technology and areas needing greater technical assistance and what's needed in the future to unlock better results.
As times are evolving, digital operations like A/B testing, technology, personalization, customer experience and platform, are becoming crucial for enterprises and businesses looking to facilitate process transformation and eliminate common digital transformation challenges.
Digital operations are also the driving force behind digital transformation, enabling businesses to combine resources and incorporate mechanisms to identify, respond to and sustain dynamic learning. Improving customer experience is the most important part of any marketing plan, and digital operations help you understand the customer journey and customer interactions to market customers where they are.
Likewise, you can deliver value using digital platforms and technology in real time to increase agility, respond to customer needs and adopt innovative methods in pursuit of your enterprise's digital transformation journey.
What are the business benefits of digital operations?
If you’re thinking about how digital transformation affects your business, we've got you.
A digital operations strategy helps an organization re-engineer, digitize, manage and run its core business processes to:
- Reduce operating costs.
- Improve user experiences.
- Deliver better outcomes.
- Achieve top-line growth.
A business can achieve process excellence and more effective operating models by creating automated data-driven platforms.
Digital operations & digital transformation: How do they interact?
At the start of this blog, we discussed digital transformation. So you're probably wondering why we're talking about digital operations.
Digital transformation or digital evolution is quite often interchanged in the industry, but they are not the same.
Digital transformation involves combining all the areas of a business using technology and creating time and cost-efficient ways businesses can operate and provide value to their customers. It's a challenge for businesses to change the status quo and to experiment with technology and their strategies while getting comfortable with failure.
Wikipedia defines the concept as “the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology.”
If you take a deep look into the world of digital transformations, you’ll notice that:
IT sectors and teams have been using digital transformation processes for years. Teams are replacing manual processes with automated software improving output and reducing time involvement.
IT organizations are creating better services, thanks to “digital transformations.”
However, there are arguments about whether this wave of technological change should be denoted as—transformation or evolution.
Is digital transformation the right word to describe this change?
After the pandemic, the way digital technologies have created an impact on the future, companies don’t want to go back to the old days of working. Be it Zoom meetings, or working from home, enterprises are seeking a more enlightened way of working. They believe that at its heart, digital transformation is not just evolution.
The digital way of operating is no longer a trend.
We believe that transformation may be the right word, as it's not just about evolving technologies, but more about the impact it has created.
Digital ops evolution implies a continuous process toward a transformative destination. Yet, it's also true that today we’ve crossed the evolutionary path. Technologies will come and improve themselves, but the impact that it has created is not leaving the scene anytime soon.
What is the importance of digital operations?
If you want to provide a personalized, agile and digital experience that surpasses customers' expectations, you need to digitize operations.
Digital operations play a crucial role in the development of the digital economy. It's helping legacy enterprises replace old models that stop a company from growing to its full potential with new technologies and services that help them adapt to changing customer requirements.
It helps you create processes that continuously improve performance and fill the gaps between customers and associates with the help of automation, approach and acuity platforms.
Now that you know why you need to make digital operations a part of your strategy, let’s see exactly how you can do it.
How to implement a digital operations framework
There’s no cookie-cutter method of implementing a digital operations framework.
A digital ops framework depends on your enterprise's challenges and requirements. You need to consider a few constants and common themes among existing case studies and published frameworks while embarking on digital transformation.
Before diving into the steps of creating a digital operations framework, let's understand what an effective framework looks like.
What makes a good digital operations framework?
A well-designed ops framework prioritizes the following:
- Experimentation and adaptation to new technologies.
- Implementation of a standard digital transformation strategy, which gives businesses a competitive edge.
- Provision of cost-effective, efficient, and secure technologies and frameworks to benefit businesses.
- Facilitation of digital adoption and support for organizations in managing IT-related issues, such as cloud computing, data flows, and multiple endpoints.
- Development of reusable frameworks to save time, effort, and resources that would otherwise be expended in creating a framework from scratch each time.
Now that you know what makes a good digital operations framework, let's discuss how you can replicate one for yourself.
Step-by-step process of implementing a digital operations framework
Here's a step-by-step breakdown of creating a digital transformation framework.
1. Find out the key players in your organization
Find out and bring together all the stakeholders and decision-makers — team leaders, team members, suppliers and customers — who have a say in the decision-making process to carry forward the framework.
You don’t have to limit your search to chief executives or managers. Anyone who can help you implement the process, in the long run, should make it on your list.
2. Analyze the business model, processes & systems of your organization
Once you’ve identified your key players, it's time to investigate your business model, processes and systems to ensure you’re leaving no gaps for improvement and find places of opportunity.
Your business model tells you how the organization works and emanates value from its customers. You'll have a better understanding of the planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling processes of the company. Plus, analyzing the systems also involves examining the hardware platform, software application and databases your company uses while operating, enabling you to pinpoint and eliminate any problems.
3. Define your goals & objectives
Your goals and objectives help you stay focused in the long run. This is important for building a framework. You need to make sure you don’t get distracted on this journey.
To do this, ask yourself if your goals are:
- Small steps that lead to big changes.
This type of goal setting will help you take small steps that will help you crush your bigger objectives. The key is to understand where you currently are and leverage the available resources to get where you want to be.
4. Conduct gap analysis
A gap analysis will allow you to gather existing data, analyze it and identify "gaps" between your business's current state and its desired future state. This will give you a bird's eye view of what gaps need to be filled on your digital transformation journey towards change.
Here's how to conduct a gap analysis:
- Define the current state. Document the current situation, including processes, systems, and resources. Use interviews, surveys, and observation to collect information about how things currently work.
- Define the desired future state. Identify the ideal outcome or objective for the area you're analyzing. Use the goals and objectives you identified in Step 3 to define what success looks like.
- Identify and analyze the gap. Compare the current state to the desired future state. Determine the impact of the gaps and prioritize them based on importance and urgency to identify improvement areas.
- Develop an action plan to close the gaps. This could include changes to processes, systems, or resources. Determine the resources needed and implementation timeline, followed by the final execution.
5. Chalk out the key aspects of your strategy
This step is all about refining your digital operations strategy to ensure the best possible outcome.
- Find the problem you’re trying to solve. If your organization faces a lot of issues with its social media marketing strategy, for example, you need to dig deep and find out what problems is your marketing team facing. Is it motivation or communication — or something else altogether?
- Stop being the victim of the shiny object syndrome. You don’t need to follow in the footsteps of your competitors to create a framework. Double down on what works for your company and what you need now. You don’t have to stick to it, you can always change steps and strategies as you go.
- Don’t be rigid with your framework. As you implement your transformation framework, you’ll encounter a lot of failures. Be careful to make an adaptable framework that allows you to make changes whenever needed.
6. Develop governance and compliance guidelines
Organizations use processes and policies to ensure they're operating efficiently and effectively, as well as aligning their actions with their values.
Having a good governance framework helps you stay on track with your transformation journey, while a compliance program ensures your business stays compliant.
7. Seek input from all stakeholders
The success of a digital transformation depends on the buy-in of all stakeholders, including the employees, customers and partners. Getting their insights on the process will help you create a solution that meets their needs.
By seeking input from stakeholders, you will be able to create successful digital transformational models that help you execute digitized operations and achieve your desired goals.
8. Examine new technology and platforms.
Change is the only constant when it comes to technology.
Digital operations aren't static but dynamic — and they'll keep evolving and improving. It's why you don't have to stick to one solution for the long run, you can always change technology and providers when you want.
For instance, you can use Scribe to automate creating visual how-to guides and SOPs to automate process documentation at your enterprise or train employees on new technology. The tool also lets you combine multiple Scribes on a process document and customize it as needed by adding text, descriptions, hyperlinks and videos using Pages.
The key takeaway here is to not commit to a specific product or service but to understand how technology can help you crush your business goals.
Digital evolution can help you improve your business operations and increase profits by helping you execute digital initiatives in a cost-effective and efficient way. And a digital operations framework will help you set the scene for implementing the initiative. The best part is any type of company can improve its processes and business models using the framework to keep up with market demands and customer needs, and yours is no different.
Apply our tips and guidance to kickstart your digital operations journey, and see your business and people thrive.