GCIO Focus: 5 Steps to Digital Business Transformation

It's a journey, not a one-time event.

Digital business transformation is not just a technology project. Of course, technology is an important component of transformation, but the real focus should be on getting to an end state that enables the business of government to continually and rapidly act and adapt to meet its business and mission objectives.   

When embarking on this journey, transformation efforts may initially focus more on internal operational excellence, improving digital customer experience, or a combined hybrid approach depending on the organization. Regardless, successful digital business transformation will ultimately require digital operational excellence and digital customer experience mastery.  

Accomplishing this requires an organization successfully navigate five essential steps to digital business:

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Assess: A critical first step is to determine your organization’s preparedness for digital transformation through an assessment of culture, organization, technology and measurement. Important things considered in this phase include whether you have the right skills, structure, incentives and metrics.

Build the team: It is important not only to have leadership support, but also to have alignment throughout the cross-functional team(s) that will execute the transformation. These teams support the digital transformation by helping align the organization’s’ values, goals and strategic vision and enable the open exchange of information and ideas to drive holistic problem solving.

Innovate: Innovation in digital transformation can take many forms, but the most impactful and important innovations are related to business processes — streamlining, adapting and creating processes to enable transformation. Innovation must also be structured in a manner that enables sustained strategic innovation to occur.  

Measure: Whether you begin your transformation with an inside-out operational focus, an outside-in customer experience focus, or a hybrid approach, it is essential to track metrics that demonstrate the business value your transformation is creating (or not creating). This approach allows for rapid adjustments to how you prioritize your investments and efforts.

Embed: The ultimate goal is to embed the previous four steps into your organization, to make it the way you operate naturally on a daily basis. This move allows you to accelerate and scale your digital transformation initiatives throughout the organization.

Digital business transformation is a journey and not a one-time event. Following the five steps above will help your organization successfully transform to the agile and adaptive digital business.

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