Ensuring a successful digital transformation

In this blog, we explore four key areas to help businesses ensure change is successful.


Ensuring a successful digital transformation

In this blog, we explore four key areas to help businesses ensure change is successful.


Ensuring a successful digital transformation requires a balanced view of its employees, customers, technology and business. All too often, aspects of a digital transformation stall if one of these is forgotten; goal misalignment within the business, the wrong technology stack is chosen, the customer requirements are forgotten or employees are not brought along the journey. 

Transformation doesn’t need to be a hair-raising ordeal. Our experts have identified four key areas to help businesses ensure change is successful.

Aligning the business strategy

Aligning the business strategy means understanding what you’re aiming for. This guiding star is the point on the horizon to help everyone in the business pull in the same direction from the start. 

Getting alignment on the strategy isn’t however always straightforward. Teams often have different priorities and starting points so it’s important to get everyone in a room to agree at the beginning on a change effort. It can be helpful to use a roadmap to articulate this vision and help stakeholders visualise the change. Typically, where people can tie a change back to the overarching goals and understand the journey, they are more accepting of the change. 

Once you have agreed your strategy, ensure all stakeholders are kept accountable for their part in the change effort with trackable KPI’s and measures of success. Frequently refer back to these KPI’s and associated goals to understand how well you are achieving your strategy. These measures will also help with decision-making; when someone requests an extra element, the decision on whether it will add to, or take away from the goal will help stakeholders view impacts within the wider context of the change.

In referring back to this strategy it will remind others where you’re trying to get to. It will support you in not losing sight of what you are trying to achieve when you are stuck in the day-to-day detail. 

Understanding the organisation’s pain points and requirements

Understanding pain points and therefore what the change is trying to mitigate, can be a challenging area. Often, change is commissioned at C-level but the transformation impacts teams and leads. It’s unlikely that an out-of-the-box solution will cover every need of each stakeholder from day one, or that the C-level endorsing the change fully understand the needs of their employees. Being clear about where the benefits will land for each team is key when discussing priorities.  Make sure people understand how and why you are prioritising certain things to avoid a fractious audience. We recommend creating personas to help understand your audience, their pain points and what they require from the transformation.

Is the organisation as a whole ready for change? You can aggressively want the plan to work, but if people or teams aren’t ready for change, a transformation will falter. Be honest about how ready your organisation is for change. Look at what else is happening in the business and the world – will other things put a strain on the transformation? Listen to your employees and have honest and regular feedback sessions to flex the transformation to their needs. Importantly, action feedback when it is sought. Employees will quickly become disenfranchised when their feedback is asked for, but not acted upon. 

Conflict sometimes arises because the delivery team is focused on finishing the project, whereas the people receiving it will be living with it for much longer. Try bringing people into the change with an initial transformation wave that is smaller and less risky. This will help people gain an understanding of the delivery, feel a part of the transformation journey and increase buy-in to support the strategy. 

Understanding the customer

Do you understand your customers, what they want now, and what they are likely to want in the future? A transformation that responds to emerging trends might seem like the obvious thing to do, but don’t forget the here and now. We also need to build in flexibility because we don’t want to have to rebuild systems in a few years.

The world moved online quickly during Covid, but in our post-Covid world, not all parts of the customer journey can, or should be, digital. Perhaps certain customers, for accessibility or bespoke product reasons, need a heavier human touch. Segmentation will allow you to differentiate between customers and surveying clients about their wants and needs will give an understanding of where you should differentiate from your competition and where it is useful to be the same.

Too much disruption will turn customers off. Ask yourself whether your transformation is affecting your current customer base. Are you targeting new customers or do you need small iterations to enhance the existing experience? Always inform customers and employees in advance of any changes. This way, your customers will know what to expect and teams can gear up to deal with inconveniences.

Throughout this process, keep an eye on your KPIs. How successful your transformation is will show up in these indicators, therefore, be prepared to do smaller releases if necessary.

We can heavily design for customers but to be truly successful, we must also think about employee experience. Are we empowering people to make the right decisions at the right time? Do employees have data that allows them to make good customer-focused decisions? This doesn’t just apply to customer-facing roles, other areas are impacted too. For instance, if marketing isn’t having a good experience, it will come across in messaging.

Choosing the right technology

This is the opportunity to make things better for customers and employees. To choose the right technology, we need to look back at what we are trying to solve. The first thing to consider is the business capabilities, then we can think about tech stacks to support those capabilities. Once we have considered this alongside the customer journey, we know where our priorities are.

We should also look at the data needed to support these capabilities and technology, where the product data sits, and how we are going to process order data.

Be wary of getting drawn into buying the latest technology. If it isn’t aligned with what you’re trying to achieve and your customers’ need, it’s pointless. Bespoke code is only useful in a handful of situations such as the unique nature of a product or pricing. Often, something out of the box will meet needs straight away, and you can build on it to meet new requirements.

We all have different interpretations of what good looks like. Tech organisations can now create tailored demos to illustrate how EX and CX will look.

Using agile principles in a technology delivery allows you to test, learn, and iterate. For this to work, we need to think about what the customer wants, what our EX should be, and our architecture principles and technology strategy. From a business strategy point of view, being agile reduces overall cost, increases ROI, and helps with longevity.


It’s worth remembering that no digital transformation, however well-planned it is, will be a smooth road. But by focusing on your guiding star, ensuring people are pulling in the same direction, understanding your customers and your business, and by constantly testing, learning, and iterating, a transformation is more likely to be successful in the long term.

If your organisation needs help on your change management journey, get in touch to speak with an expert.

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