The term "Digital Transformation" has been widely used across all industries and the imperative call to "Innovate" echoes around us.
Businesses and industries are quickly changing the way they operate, adopting new technologies to fulfil consumers' needs. And, even though the use of digital technology has always been changing fast, this is now accelerating even more rapidly.
Customers are getting used to self-serve services, privileging experience over price and product, and expecting faster and easier access to assistance.
Let's just think about how Uber has provided a faster and cheaper taxi service and how Amazon has simplified our way of doing shopping. Even though we now take this for granted, lest us forget that this has been made possible not only by the use of technology but by the audacity of agile business models and a fearless inclination to change.
In fact, new technologies are providing solutions but also posing great challenges which force businesses to rethink their strategies and internal organisation.
The reasons why such a high percentage of businesses are failing to take up digitalisation are to be found in their approach to change. Lack of planning and collaboration, talent deficit and general resistance to change are among the main reasons for the scarcity of success. 
It is important to remember that digital transformation is an umbrella term covering a huge amount of processes, factors, both internal and external, and industries. So, when thinking about strategies to adopt that, it is essential to consider that, although there are common goals and challenges, every company is unique.
For this reason, a digital transformation journey will need a holistic approach with a clear roadmap, that will take into account specific processes and various stakeholders without losing the focus on the main goals.
So, how can this be embraced profitably?
Whether your organisation is a small company or a larger one anchored to legacy strategies, the following points can help you start off on the right foot:
1. Change your company culture
An agile company finds it easier to adapt to new technologies. If your company is resistant to change it is more likely to be disrupted by newer businesses. Grow a sense of curiosity within your team and train them to think innovatively.
2. Rely on data to inform your decisions
Collect information about your customers and understand how digital can help you provide them with a better experience. Information about your internal processes are also important, for instance, understanding where your team is using time and resource inefficiently will help you decide which tasks to digitalise.
3. Be realistic
Do not expect technology to magically solve all your problems nor to find the perfect tool that precisely follows your processes. Most SaaS (Software as a Service) tools are very flexible and can accommodate a variety of businesses but they require you to be ready to adapt. Remember, focus on the final goal and forget about what you are used to, not least you are digitalising to be more efficient!
4. Find the right people
Be clear on the role everyone in your organisation will have. The transformation must involve everyone, but different departments will have different roles. Make sure you communicate this effectively and understand whether some external help will be needed.
5. Be agile
Embrace the cloud as adopting flexible and scalable technologies is key to staying competitive and survive.
The SaaS market includes applications for all your needs available on a pay as you go basis, that do not require setup fees. This reduces the risk associated with change and does not require you to make upfront investments or long commitments.
6. Be driven by objectives
Set yourself a few objectives to reach and make sure you involve the whole team in finding the best strategies to achieve them. Remember, a few little successful steps are better than a great plan half implemented!
7. Don't be scared
Keep learning about your customers and your company and be prepared to change with them.
Don't be scared of changing the way you use your tools and how you operate. Be realistic, and always focus on improving your company and customers' position. This way, you cannot get it wrong!
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