Part Two: Digital Transformation See Part One here

By Lisa Croft

You’ve successfully gone digital. Now what? As with any new process or strategy, you have to be committed to sticking with it to make sure it has a lasting impact. Organizations need to ensure simple, secure solutions while going digital, since 80 percent of document processes currently rely on paper. In phase one, we talked about how going digital was not a “one and done” implementation. In this article, we will discuss how you can approach the iterative process of digital transformation and learn how to stay digital. Technology is moving forward at breakneck speeds, which means that staying digital requires dedication and effort to stay on top of an ever-changing landscape.

What does it take to stay digital?

In some respects, staying digital is harder than going digital. Many companies start down a path of a new way of doing things only to have it fall by the wayside within a couple of months. If you’re truly committed to going digital, you need to avoid apathy and have a plan for making it succeed. Additionally, organizations have to find a way to mobilize their workforces, given that 75 percent of workers will be mobile or distributed in some way by 2020.

This begs the question: How does my organization stay digital while also making advances toward improving our digital infrastructure and processes? There are several strategies to staying digital, but here are some tactics we recommend:

Be clear with your team about what you’re trying to accomplish

This is an overlooked, but critically important part of staying digital. Your team knows the ins and outs of your business in a way that you might not, they may see things that could go digital that would be overlooked by others. However, they will only have this opportunistic mindset if you are clear about your goals. Hold a company meeting, not only at the onset of going digital, but at some point in the middle of your transformation. This will serve not only as motivation for the staff directly involved, but it will have the double effect of inspiring employees to suggest how their daily tasks may be digitized. Call it a snowball effect, the more people that have digital transformation top of mind, the easier it will be to keep the momentum of staying digital.

Set a point person

At the end of the day, there needs to be an individual tasked with keeping this project on track. Whether it’s the head of a department, a project manager, or some knowledgeable individual, accountability is key in keeping the digital process moving. This may seem obvious, but the last thing you want is ambiguity in whose responsibility it is to oversee this transformation and stay on top of the state of digital transformation. We’ll talk more about this person and their expectations below.

Set KPIs

Staying digital will be almost impossible if there are no benchmarks for what you have accomplished. Key Performance Indicators (KPIS) are a great way to gauge how well the digital transformation is going. These KPIs should be focused not only on your point person, but on your organization as a whole. This has the added benefit of boosting morale of team members working on the project. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as checking a task off a list or reaching a goal you’ve been moving toward. Most importantly though, it’s a great way to track the progress that you’ve made and inspire you to keep going.

Whose responsibility is it?

As we mentioned above, for any project to run smoothly, there should be point person who is tasked with ownership. The question you might be asking is: “Who?” This is a common concern among any company undertaking the digital transformation process. Most likely, there’s someone qualified or competent enough to undertake this leadership role. Look for team members who already have a breadth of experience in technology and digital content management. Consider interviewing internally for the project management position instead of just assigning it. This generally will let qualified people come to you instead of you digging through the ranks.

It should be understood that this person will be a cheerleader for digital work. They will champion it from beginning to end and look for ways to onboard work to a digital process. Whomever you end up going with, they will need to stay ahead of the curve on digital trends as well, which means dedicated to researching emerging technology and best practices. Likewise, this person should have a seat at the table for any new ventures being started by the company. A great way to keep digital transformation going is to integrate new opportunities right from the start.

What comes next?

It should go without saying, but you will never achieve the true digital transformation that you’re after if you don’t stick with it. It can be tough, but your company wouldn’t be pursuing this path if you didn’t think there was long-term benefit.

There’s a final phase to the digital transformation: Thinking digital. There’s a massive gap between staying digital and thinking digital, but the latter cannot come without the former. Keep this in mind when you inevitably hit road bumps along your path, because the payoff of thinking digital is well worth the work of getting there and is something we’ll explore in our next article.

Lisa Croft is the Group Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Document Cloud.

Digital transformation stock photo by Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock