How to make Digital Transformation work for your business

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation  is the process of using digital technology to enhance or transform existing business processes, customer experiences and work culture to adapt to the changing business requirements in a fast-paced world. It involves a radical rethinking of the way in which an organization uses technology. It is true that a digital transformation can spark your growth, boost your productivity and quickly increase your profits. However, it is important to understand the key factors which will make the digital transformation successful for your business before you embark on the exercise.

Prepare a climate for change – Digital transformation strategy which necessitates a migration from existing technology or manual processes could be a radical change for an organization and its employees. Before embarking on such a major exercise it is important for the organization to get buy-in from employees at all levels. Management teams have to build a clear change story for transformation. Digital transformation is about much more than getting new technological gadgets for employees.  It means adapting your company’s culture to use data and technology to make more informed, faster decisions and ensure a better customer experience. It is important to note that the process involves the adoption of a mentality of continual innovation and quality improvement. The first step in a digital transformation is to establish why you’re doing it. Before embarking on an organization-wide switch to digital technology, it is important to understand which course of action is most suitable for your business. It is important to sit down with key employees to conduct an in-depth study of each area of the existing business and the extent to which it is being catered to by the legacy systems, manual or otherwise, how you use data and any gaps in competencies, resources or buy-in for executing a transformation. Then, explore how digital technology and better data can assist your business. You should also be aware of what your competitors and other industries are doing with technology.

Go to the Drawing Board – It is not necessary that all your pain points will need a change in technology for resolution. However, as part of digital transformation, it is better to explore how technology and improved data flow can help each area of the business. It is of vital importance to create and clear an action plan. It is important to go to the drawing board and chalk out a clear action plan for acquiring and implementing the right digital technology for your enterprise. It is good to identify the milestones for assessment of progress and the steps to be taken to maximize the benefits of the transformation. It is equally important to have a contingency plan in case something fails to work as envisaged. It always helps to break down a large project into bite-sized modules. It helps to keep the team motivated and ensures that results are visible in the short term.

Set up a Transformation ForceMassive enterprise-wide changes have a better chance of success when they get the buy-in from employees. Adapting to change is never an easy process and enforcing change seldom helps. Enrolment has a far greater chance of success compared to enforcement. It is a good idea to have town halls to let employees get a feel of the proposed change and what it entails. It is important for them to understand the efficiencies that the new technology would bring in and why it would make sense to adapt. Employee buy-in has to start from the top. The top management will need to understand the plan, the need for change and then lead the way forward for the adoption of the new technology. It is important to set up a transformation force or change champions who understand the need for the transformation, who have an understanding of how the whole system would function and who would be capable of championing the cause to others. It is important for the right information to be communicated through a set of trusted individuals so that it percolates to every employee. The force could consist of a mix of employees most affected by the current pain points, employees working on the technology change and even some who are currently opposed to the transformation. Once you get the employee buy-in, any technology-based enterprise change has a much better chance of success.

Clear CommunicationWhenever we talk of enterprise-wide changes, it is important to note that clear communication is the key to successful implementation. It is imperative that the change plan is clearly communicated to the team and that employee concerns are addressed quickly. All bottlenecks should be recognized and addressed promptly. Regular progress can be communicated via meetings, town halls, e-newsletters or simply a chart posted in lunchrooms. It is important to keep communication channels open so that noise if any can be fixed early.

Making the changing culture sustainable – The only thing constant in life is to change yet change faces maximum opposition. Even after completing a successful implementation, it is important to sustain the changing mindset. It is vital that employees remain open to adapting innovation on a continual basis. There is never one right way of doing things. As business needs evolve, so do business methods. It is important to realize that learning, changing, adapting and innovating are important steps to be constantly steering the business towards growth. In a fast-paced world, you need to constantly evolve else you will be left behind and even risk extinction.  

It will make sense to regularly invite ideas for innovation from employees. You may ask them to drop in ideas in a suggestion box or you can have a structured innovation process where new ideas are brainstormed. The interesting ones which seem viable can always be taken up by management and developed further. It is important to recognize people and reward them for promoting change. This can be by way of bonus or reward points. Even small incentives keep people constantly motivated and eager to improve performance. Monitoring Key Performance Indicators on a weekly or monthly basis is the best way to track progress. It is a clear marker on how the enterprise is progressing on various parameters and is an important health check which keeps people on their toes. 

ConclusionIt is important to remember that digital transformation need not be implemented across the organisation in one go. It can be customized according to business requirements and designed to fit the existing system architecture. With the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic earlier this year, it has become imperative to figure out ways for contactless, seamless and speedy customer onboarding which is where Digital transformation comes to the rescue. We can take the example of the recent roll out of Video KYC platform by Celusion Technologies in PNB Housing Finance.

In the words of Praveen Paulose, CEO, Celusion Technologies, “The implementation of video KYC Platform at PNB Housing Finance is an important step in building inclusive digital transformation in the financial services industry.” 

On behalf of the customer, PNBHFL, this is what Nitant Desai, Chief Operations & Technology Officer, PNB Housing Finance said ,“At PNB Housing Finance, customer convenience is one of our biggest priorities, especially in a time like this where people are afraid to venture into public spaces.” 

Our video KYC allows us to create a completely digital customer onboarding process, which in today’s time, is not only easier and faster but actually safer for our customers.” added Desai.

Further, “It also helps us reduce the customer drop-off rate. We’re very excited about adding this feature in our entire digital journey that will support our growth story.” he commented.

As PNBHFL Managing Director and CEO Neeraj Vyas said, “The challenges associated with COVID-19 have prompted us to rethink our business strategy and launch innovative products that ensure contactless and touchless customer services. The digitally-enhanced Ace platform will enable customers to apply for loans without the need for the customer to visit the branch or our representative to visit the customer’s residence. It will help our branch offices to track the customer’s loan journey and address issues, if any, from the time he or she applies for a loan. 

Digital transformation without coordinated cultural changes is bound to fail. So it is important to recognize the business needs, but the customer experience at the forefront, align employees with the enterprise goal and change the organizational mindset to reap the full benefits of a Digital Transformation.

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