15 Ways to lead the strategic digital transformation

Financial Director’s most recent webinar, in association with Blackline, focused on helping financial directors lead the strategic digital transformation as the need to modernise becomes more immediate and necessary than ever.

The panellists discussed a number of questions including how to choose your technology solution, who is best placed to lead the transformation, and how to bring a team on the digital journey. Here are the top takeaways from the discussion.

Everyone needs to be on board…

1. It’s important to have the whole company on board when it comes to making a digital transformation. From the CFO to the CIO, the IT department to the board, patience is required because just one unruly member of the team can derail an important project.

Are your foundations in place?

2. Before embarking on a digital transformation journey, it’s important to ask whether the technological foundations are already in place to allow the process to happen smoothly. Is there a fully resilient network? Is there adequate IT security? Is cloud software in place? If not, a successful digital transformation becomes less likely.

3. Ensure that the mission and purpose of a digital transformation is clearly defined and aligns with the overall strategic vision for the company.

4. There are four key strategic objectives that any technology solution should deliver. It must reduce costs by streamlining processes. It must deliver quality and create a more consistent process. It must deliver high-quality management insights, so everyone sings from the same hymn sheet and the data is clear. And it must provide value for customers.

5. An end-to-end strategy alongside a single platform technology solution is crucial for any digital transformation

Bottom-up solutions needed

6. A digital transformation is more complex than just not using Microsoft Excel. It’s a process which must start at the core of the company and move from bottom-up not top-down.

7. Be flexible. Technology is constantly evolving and updating. It could be that along the digital transformation journey that moving from the original plan is necessary.

8. Robotics solutions are like papering over the cracks, automation re-engineers the key processes gets rid of the manual process.

9. Technology needs to be appropriate to a business, particularly the size of a company.

10. Its important to have a culture that enables collaboration and modern working features like flexible working. Technology needs to help facilitate that.

Don’t be the next Blockbusters…

11. Ignore the market dynamic at your peril – remember Blockbusters!

12. Think of digital transformation as a constant journey rather than a single project. It is easier to split up into quarter by quarter or month by month evolutions than an enormous, multi-year project.

13. To stay ahead of the curve and ahead of the competition, picking battles carefully is key. A company can’t be ahead of the curve in everything they do, but they can excel in the most crucial areas. Use technology to facilitate that.

Engage your staff

14. Keeping staff engaged, letting them share in the pain and the joy of a digital transformation process is crucial to keeping them on-side throughout the journey.

15. Be honest throughout the process and open about what will change, while aligning people around the company’s purpose.