If you haven’t yet heard, business transformation is set to be the biggest buzzword in 2017. But just because everyone seems to agree that business transformation is important, doesn’t mean that all business owners know how to execute it.

It’s easy to use companies that are getting business transformation right as an example (such as Ford which is aiming to get fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2021), and ignore those that waited too long and dropped the ball. (Remember MySpace?)

Many business owners can get overwhelmed by the idea of business transformation, but it doesn’t have to be hard.

Here are 7 tips to help you transform your business:

business-transformation

1. Focus on customer experience

Ultimately, the whole idea behind business transformation is ensuring that your customers receive the best service possible. Customers expect convenience, easy access to information and support, friendly interactions with staff, and efficient product or service delivery. To implement business transformation, it’s key to examine whether each step is being taken with your customers in mind.

2. Consider both front and back-end operations

While customer experience is obviously a large consideration, prioritising customer-facing activities can actually leave your back-end operations lagging, and running with legacy systems that simply aren’t doing the job they need to.

Without proper attention, backend operations may end up minimising the impact of your business transformation.

3. Commit to collaboration

Operations, IT, marketing, sales, and finance all need to be collaborating and sharing their knowledge and expertise around customers and the business. Customers and suppliers can also be an excellent source for business intelligence, and this collaboration will allow you to prioritise the most important changes for both your business and customers.

4. Embrace innovation

Many of the most successful businesses have a focus on innovation to thank for their ability to scale quickly- just look at Apple and Uber. Innovation can be achieved in a number of ways, such as encouraging team members to bring ideas to the table, using social media to better connect with customers, updating IT and software to make it more intuitive, and using big data analytics.

5. Measure each step

In order to know if your business transformation is working, you need to be able to pinpoint where you started and continually measure progress along the way. This will allow you to readjust your plan as necessary if you know that something isn’t working early on in the game.

There are many different types of business process management software on the market which can capture real-time data during your business transformation and provide useful management with timely analyses.

Businesses that clearly know where they are at each stage while undergoing transformation are ahead of their competitors since they have the vital insight that allows them to take the most effective actions.

6. Slowly but surely

When aiming for a complete transformation, projects will often have one “big bang” go-live date which is set for years away. This minimises the perceived complexity and costs of multiple incremental releases, however it can also set these projects up for failure, and the “big bang” approach means that businesses will often miss key benefits.

Longer lead times also increase the chances of project specifications and requirements changing over time, or critical team members moving out of the company.

Instead, take a multiple-release approach to reduce risk and allow management to learn and improve after each release.

7. Use a Holistic Approach

Often business transformation can be treated as “just an IT project”, and while technology is an important element for successful transformation, it’s still just one part of the overall strategy. In order to be successful, business owners should aim for a holistic approach to transformation, incorporating every aspect of their organisation.

Interested in learning how you can begin transforming your business this year? Get in touch today to hear how we can help.

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