Digital Transformation – A Seven Step Roadmap by Ira Kaufman

During the first decade of the 21st century, we experienced the Social Marketing Revolution. In 2007, with launch of the iPhone, mobile exploded into a major force in marketing.  As this treasure trove of data began to be collected and analyzed, Big Data emerged as the next force for executives to adjust to and integrate into their business strategy. A recent Forester study  noted “Today’s executives know digital is a threat. More than 90% of global business executives believe digital will disrupt their business in the next 12 months.”7step to digital integration

Organizations acknowledge that digital is not going to go away but will grow and evolve. Digital Transformation is the next challenge for most businesses (large and small) as they embrace the urgency for change. The MIT Sloan and Capgemini Consulting 2013 global executive study, “Embracing Digital Technologyconcluded that “78% of respondents, achieving digital transformation will become critical to their organizations within the next two years. (defined as use of new digital technologies to enable major business improvements such as enhancing customer experience, streamlining operations or creating new business models).”

These companies are searching for an approach to begin the integration of digital throughout their organizations. Digital Transformation is not just pasting new technologies on an old hierarchical organizational structure. It involves adopting a new digital mindset and incorporating their core values throughout the company’s operations. 

Senior Digital Marketing leaders faced this challenge in Adobe’s Digital Marketing Symposium: “When you work in marketing—in particular digital—it’s easy to get lost in all the transformation happening within our businesses. We’re at the center of it—the disruptions around mobile, the critical mass of social, billions of dollars in advertising shifting to digital. And, so our reality is one of facing a new set of serious challenges everyday. The question is – How?”

Below is a  seven-step roadmap for introducing digital transformation and evolving a Digitally Integrated Organization (DIO).   This step-by-step process integrates digital technology and marketing strategy with core values to drive organizational goals that lead to sustainable outcomes.

  1. ASSESS – Determine organization’s preparedness for digital transformation through a digital audit of leadership, literacy, talent, and infrastructure.
  2. ALIGN – Gain leadership team’s support for digital transformation; align organization’s’ values, goals, and strategic vision.
  3. SYNERGIZE – Rethink business model to synergize with the change initiative; identify opportunities for digital transformation.
  4. INNOVATE – Demonstrate value of digital transformation through by creating a Digital Innovation Unit with members from each functional area working on a digital pilot program.
  5. COLLABORATE – Build cross-functional teams with open exchange of information and ideas to foster digital leadership and holistic problem solving.
  6. EVALUATE – Demonstrate the value of digital transformation through measurement and evaluation.
  7.  SCALE – Disseminate the results of the digital pilot to all departments; gain advocates and buy-in from various functional groups. Scale digital transformation initiatives throughout the organization.

The DIO roadmap is designed to evolve change in the organization. It builds upon positive experiences with multi-functional teams to develop advocacy for Digital Transformation across the organization. It supports the conclusion of Econsultancy’s  Digital Marketing Revolution surveying the Global 1,000 companies, “Only after your entire organization is involved can you begin to integrate all of today’s digital channels and data capabilities, giving your brand the competitive advantage over those still struggling to adapt to today’s digital marketing practices.”