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How to start your digital transformation

The transition from the paper-based office to paperless is full of risks and challenges and it’s obviously disruptive.

If implemented properly, though, there can be a lot of recompenses. Here is a list of 10 things your business need to know before embarking on a digital transformation:

1. Live in an information chaos or live in an information opportunity

In the next years, a digital wave will sweep through business. If you can get it right, the prize can be a mix of reducing costs and increasing revenue whilst embracing .f not, you will be probably be left behind and, maybe, cease to exist.

2. Determining what should be kept and why, where and how it is stored

If, as a business, you don’t have a firm grasp of what information you have, its status and possible associated value or risk, then in a GDPR age, you’re playing a dangerous game.

3. Sometimes a clean-up is required!

If you want to be a digital player, then a very clear understanding of where all the cobwebs live is a must. What are the (digital) liabilities in the business? Where does the personal identifier data (PID) – account numbers and sort codes – sit across the organisation? What level of risk are we sitting on under new legislation, such as GDPR, and how does that impact what we do?

4. Think of data as the New Oil

The Internet Revolution has helped create new industries, solve very human problems and created more data in recent years than in the last 5,000. If data can be harnessed correctly, it’s set to usher in the next new wave of growth.

5. Ensure your digital assets

File formats refresh means that some file formats are at risk of going out-of-date or are already corrupted. Ensuring your digital assets – be they online materials, graphical designs or maps – will be secure, accessible and readable for 10, 20, 50 years to come requires a considered approach to active digital preservation.

6. Update your brand

Breaking new ground doesn’t have to mean parting company with the heritage of the business. If your online presence doesn’t reveal the brand vision and mantras that are discussed internally and what made it great initially, there’ll be a digital disconnect.

But just as the organisation wants to move forward, a brand repositioning may also be required. What worked offline doesn’t always work digitally – and vice versa.

7. Implicate Stakeholders from the beginning

To achieve buy-in across the organisations, stakeholders such as Senior Management, Procurement, IT, Marketing, HR, Finance and existing customers, all need to be involved from the get-go.

8. What would a Data Breach cost your business in reputational Damage?

The lasting reputational implications of a data breach can be more damaging than just a fine. What this means for a company in the digital economy is that a well-thought-out contingency plan for dealing with data breaches is a must – rather than existing in a reactive bubble.

9. The journey to a digital transformation is a Strategic Investment

‘Digital Transformation’ has now become a necessity to avoid getting left in the dust and attaching a clear ROI to it isn’t always feasible. It can be a complex and difficult journey. As such, creating new, digital key performance indicators (KPIs) is likely to be a better approach than hard-and-fast financial returns.

10. Aligned the Digital Transformation to your core business

As such, a well-developed strategy, with some SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and targeted – aligned to the core purpose of the business, is a must.

It shouldn’t be transformation for transformation’s sake; change is a challenge, at the best of times. What constitutes success, both for the business and your customer?

Keeping the end-user close to your transformation will ultimately pay dividends.

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