Many enterprises scramble to kick-start their digital initiatives, primarily due to a lack of clarity when selecting the right tools, associated platforms, and applications, as well as setting performance benchmarks. We advise to take a structured, four-step approach that can avert these issues and deliver expected outcomes with more speed and precision.

To avoid the most common pitfalls, we recommend the following four-step approach:

  1. Understand the application landscape.
    The most common mistake that project teams make when determining the scope of a digital initiative is to limit their focus to applications that connect directly to the end consumer only. What they fail to consider, however, is the impact of back-end and legacy systems that support and inform the overall customer experience. To fully understand their application landscape, companies need to perform a baseline assessment of their current IT environment, taking into account heavy-duty enterprise applications as well as business-process systems. In this way, project teams can deepen their knowledge of how these assets interconnect when supporting short- and long-term goals. Next, companies need to make sure that every aspect of the enterprise – from technologies to people – is prepared to transition to digital business before pushing the “start” button.
  2. Perform a digital assessment.
    We advise companies to develop a blueprint of the applications and business processes that will become part of their digital initiative. This task:
    – Requires a structured assessment of the current application environment and identifies critical business processes.
    – Maps current applications.
    – Looks for interfaces that touch multiple processes.
    – Determines external and internal complexities.
    – Gathers input from customers and users to prioritize needs.
    – Ultimately checks all of the above against the overall business environment and objective.
  3. Develop a digital readiness index.
    Steps 1 and 2 help companies prepare a digital readiness index, allowing them to confirm their priorities and challenges. A proper index will rate adaptiveness, industry focus, security compliance, maintenance, user experience, improved access and enhanced workflows. Once parameters are defined and weighted, this index can be calculated at the business and sub-process levels.
  4. Prioritize digital projects.
    The digital readiness index gives organizations a reasonable idea of the processes that will be easy to digitize, as well as those that will be more challenging. However, the index is only a checklist. Businesses also need to consider priorities – and the overall value that digitization is expected to bring to the enterprise – and prioritize processes accordingly. Either way, it is important to develop a digital roadmap. Some businesses may choose to digitize processes that are less challenging; others may decide to proceed with digitizing a critical application that is more complex, but more fulfilling to customers.

Read more about how to bring method to the digital transformation.