December 14, 2021 / 6 min read
First things first: Suppose you haven’t started your digital transformation yet. Why would you be interested in such a time-consuming endeavour? And why do you need a digital transformation roadmap? Once we clarify these questions, it will be easier to show you the full value of a digital roadmap and how to create one.
Shortly put, the main goal of a roadmap is to illustrate how to get to the place you want your company to be in the near future. A digital transformation might be the most challenging project for your company so far. It's good to be aware that it involves some significant changes on three main levels:
Generally speaking, the main idea behind digital transformation is to digitise your company, to make everything digitally-enabled – from IT and marketing, through customer service, to manufacturing and HR. You could say that digital transformation is all about the transition from analogue to digital.
You've probably heard all these IT buzzwords: artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, the internet of things, automation, industry 4.0. etc. They are all based on modern digital solutions that help your company become more effective. But to make the most of them, you need to lay the groundwork first.
The first thing you have to do is to define your digital strategy.
Obviously, you don’t need all these modern digital technologies in your company. At least not at once. If you're just beginning your digital transformation journey, start with baby steps. There is no universal recipe or template that you can apply to your company. Each project is unique and should revolve around your company’s and your customers’ real needs.
There is no art for art’s sake here. Everything has to have a clear and measurable purpose. A digital strategy will help you ensure that it has. Here’s what you should do:
In general, digital strategy shouldn’t be separate from the rest of your business strategy. If you have marketing plans, business plans, various types of analysis or KPIs already done, use them to improve your digital strategy.
Once your digital strategy is done, you can start thinking about creating a brand new digital transformation roadmap.
If we had to coin one universal roadmap definition, we’d say it’s a blueprint of how your digital strategy should be implemented. The digital roadmap is all about identifying the stages of the process and the end result you expect to see. This process can be challenging; that’s why many companies cooperate with external strategists and digital consulting companies that help them grasp the big picture and make sure everything has its place.
At the beginning of the digital roadmapping process, it’s vital to conduct a comprehensive review of how your digital strategy works with your company’s development plans and customers’ needs. With the help of an experienced consultant, you develop an objective view of your strategy and assess how much it will cost to implement all these changes.
As we already mentioned, there are no ready-made templates out there. When you’re working on a digital roadmap template, try to find answers to the following questions:
We want to show you two examples of what a straightforward digital transformation roadmap could look like:
Image source: https://pl.pinterest.com/pin/557179785142508155/
There are several crucial benefits with a digital transformation roadmap. For starters, it allows you to organise everything from A to Z. With a roadmap, you never have to ask yourself, “where do we go next?". Everything is clearly explained on your blueprint.
Secondly, with a digital roadmap, you can easily assess how many of your goals the company has managed to achieve so far and what's still to be done. This way, you don't get lost in the process or end it prematurely. And lastly, because you have it all written down, every involved party (including your IT team, marketing team and management) has an instant view into your strategy and the roadmap itself, which helps to keep everyone up to speed, without the need to conduct numerous meetings with everyone who's interested in the progress.
When you’re working on your own digital roadmap template, think about dividing each element into two major sections:
To make your digital business roadmap even more legible, it would be extremely helpful to divide it into every department in your company. In many instances, the HR department will have different goals and challenges than your IT department. Let’s use a simple example:
You run a family-owned FMCG company. The time has come to improve your processes and equipment and make it more digital. The IT department will probably want to increase their computing capabilities, for example by investing in a data warehouse or a cloud computing service. The HR department, on the other hand, is looking for a solution for streamlining screening candidates. Most likely, they will be happy to get a smart AI-based tool that facilitates analysing incoming resumes. As you can see, we have one company but two different challenges and two different solutions.
Therefore, your roadmap should comprise the following elements:
If you've never developed a digital strategy, let alone a digital strategy roadmap, you might see this task as extremely complicated and time-consuming. Thankfully, you are not alone. If you feel like it's above your competencies or you simply don't have enough time, think about outsourcing. In that case, it's important to work with experienced professionals who have done hundreds of digital roadmaps over the years. Professionals like us!
At NoA Ignite, we help our clients grow digitally. We will gladly help you discover your needs and possible options and develop a comprehensive digital strategy along with a roadmap. Once that's done, it's our job to help you implement all the agreed changes and innovations. You don't have to worry; we will guide you through the entire process.
And believe us, when our job is done, your everyday work will be considerably smoother and more efficient, and your customers will get improved customer service tailored to their expectations. Does this sound interesting? If so, go to the contact section and drop us a line!
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