Digital transformation for SMEs, Part 4: Implementation of digital transformation

digital transformation

This is the fourth and final article in this series of helping SMEs chart the course of digital transformation.

We will now look at arguably the most important stage of digital transformation, and that is its implementation into the organisation’s structure and processes.

How to go about implementing?

First and foremost, the CEO/Board/Entrepreneur should be passionate, educate themselves, and amply set clear objectives.

The absence of in-house expertise, as well as security concerns, cannot be an afterthought. While the security concerns can be handled technically, an enterprise’s lack of requisite skills does dissuade and further delay adoption.

Then create a small Digital Transformation team- include youngsters and experienced staff. Send the senior employees for credible training.

Identify and join hands with the right partner who can help lay the digital transformation journey roadmap and identify the priorities that can ensure a quick return on investment (RoI).

It also helps to define the budgets broadly and do a rough RoI calculation. A well laid out digitalisation plan can simplify enterprises to consider the whole while taking manageable small steps towards the larger goal.

As in the above table, many areas within an enterprise can benefit from digitalisation. It is important to prioritise the ones with maximum impact to set the momentum and build confidence.

Specific parameters vary in a small range that would give you a significant impact or identify the low hanging fruits in layman’s terms. The right technology applied in the right way on a well-defined problem can provide a very quick return on investment. Implement the solution and book profit.

Also read: Digital transformation for SMEs, Part 3: Data analytics in the enterprise

Next, identify critical bottlenecks, convert them into an appropriate business use case. Once a business use case is established, it becomes the focal point driving all other decisions- technology, domain experts, integration, and solution partners.

  • Measure the current process. Remember, if you can’t measure, you can’t improve.
  • Implement the technology solution meticulously. Your team should be as much involved as the partner organisation.
  • Measure the benefit.
  • Continuously refine to reap better benefits.
  • Replicate the process for the rest of the objectives.

Don’t spend too much time and effort trying small initiatives across multiple business areas with no definite value coming forth. Letting technology fatigue set in that dissuades the team from pursuing all such initiatives further.

I want to leave you with a thought.

Often in small and simple changes lie big gains

The uninformed CEO might look at the 10 per cent year-on-year profit (per left bar chart as below) and be happy with the outcome. At the same time, a data-driven one would realise shedding (discontinuing) which products could have made more profits and take corrective measures unless they are produced for strategic reasons.

A Delta Drill chart is capable of segregating the loss-makers from the profiteers.

Delta Drill

Delta Drill

Malaysia may have scored high on digital readiness rankings. Still, digital adoption by SMEs and traditional businesses are often hindered by, among others, a lack of awareness, readiness, know-how, and appreciation of the benefits of digitalisation, as well as the oft-misperceived high cost of implementing new technologies.

I hope this series has given our readers, particularly SMEs, a better understanding and more positive attitude about embracing digital transformation, starting with small but impactful areas in the organisation.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic.

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: stnazkul

The post Digital transformation for SMEs, Part 4: Implementation of digital transformation appeared first on e27.

,
digital transformation

This is the fourth and final article in this series of helping SMEs chart the course of digital transformation.

We will now look at arguably the most important stage of digital transformation, and that is its implementation into the organisation’s structure and processes.

How to go about implementing?

First and foremost, the CEO/Board/Entrepreneur should be passionate, educate themselves, and amply set clear objectives.

The absence of in-house expertise, as well as security concerns, cannot be an afterthought. While the security concerns can be handled technically, an enterprise’s lack of requisite skills does dissuade and further delay adoption.

Then create a small Digital Transformation team- include youngsters and experienced staff. Send the senior employees for credible training.

Identify and join hands with the right partner who can help lay the digital transformation journey roadmap and identify the priorities that can ensure a quick return on investment (RoI).

It also helps to define the budgets broadly and do a rough RoI calculation. A well laid out digitalisation plan can simplify enterprises to consider the whole while taking manageable small steps towards the larger goal.

As in the above table, many areas within an enterprise can benefit from digitalisation. It is important to prioritise the ones with maximum impact to set the momentum and build confidence.

Specific parameters vary in a small range that would give you a significant impact or identify the low hanging fruits in layman’s terms. The right technology applied in the right way on a well-defined problem can provide a very quick return on investment. Implement the solution and book profit.

Also read: Digital transformation for SMEs, Part 3: Data analytics in the enterprise

Next, identify critical bottlenecks, convert them into an appropriate business use case. Once a business use case is established, it becomes the focal point driving all other decisions- technology, domain experts, integration, and solution partners.

  • Measure the current process. Remember, if you can’t measure, you can’t improve.
  • Implement the technology solution meticulously. Your team should be as much involved as the partner organisation.
  • Measure the benefit.
  • Continuously refine to reap better benefits.
  • Replicate the process for the rest of the objectives.

Don’t spend too much time and effort trying small initiatives across multiple business areas with no definite value coming forth. Letting technology fatigue set in that dissuades the team from pursuing all such initiatives further.

I want to leave you with a thought.

Often in small and simple changes lie big gains

The uninformed CEO might look at the 10 per cent year-on-year profit (per left bar chart as below) and be happy with the outcome. At the same time, a data-driven one would realise shedding (discontinuing) which products could have made more profits and take corrective measures unless they are produced for strategic reasons.

A Delta Drill chart is capable of segregating the loss-makers from the profiteers.

Delta Drill

Delta Drill

Malaysia may have scored high on digital readiness rankings. Still, digital adoption by SMEs and traditional businesses are often hindered by, among others, a lack of awareness, readiness, know-how, and appreciation of the benefits of digitalisation, as well as the oft-misperceived high cost of implementing new technologies.

I hope this series has given our readers, particularly SMEs, a better understanding and more positive attitude about embracing digital transformation, starting with small but impactful areas in the organisation.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic.

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: stnazkul

The post Digital transformation for SMEs, Part 4: Implementation of digital transformation appeared first on e27.

Leave a Reply