Over the past several months, brands across the world have had to deal with dramatic changes to their business. Today we take a closer look at the topic of digital transformation and how technology has been used – or misused – to survive what the Vonazon team has nicknamed ‘The Year of the Life Preserver’.

Companies are often asking about the certain tools and applications that are necessary to function properly as many businesses have gone fully or partially remote. Many also want to know how they can also gain a competitive advantage and come back even stronger as many industries experience a post-pandemic boom. According to a recent TEKsystems digital transformation report, there “was actually a direct connection between success during the crisis and the maturity of an organization’s digital transformation before the pandemic”.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the act of adopting digital technology to change the way work gets completed. This includes using software and tools to transform your services by replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital ones—or replacing older outdated technology with new technology. Implementing Zoom or Slack into your company’s workflow is simply not enough anymore. True digital transformation is all about making big-picture, core changes to your company’s operations to increase efficiencies and experience significant growth as a result.

Our VUCA World

Things are looking positive so far this year, but the challenges of 2020 aren’t going away anytime soon. COVID-19 was simply the latest crisis to impact us both personally and professionally. We now live and work in what many management professionals call a VUCA world:

· Volatility: The speed of change in an industry, market or the world in general

· Uncertainty: The extent to which we can confidently predict the future

· Complexity: The number of factors we need to assess a complicated set of variables

· Ambiguity: A lack of clarity about how to interpret something

You may be asking how to survive and thrive in such an unfamiliar landscape for many businesses today. You can counter our current VUCA world while surviving and thriving with:

Vision: Tap into something bigger. For example, your organizational culture

Understanding: Know how to harness the latest technology

Clarity: Streamline and simplify by integrating your technological platforms

Agility: Remain nimble and leverage adaptability

Succeeding with Digital Transformation

While there may be a rush to implement a plethora of applications and tools that seem productive and successful for your workforce, digital transformation should not be a last-minute emergency drill. Successfully transforming starts with the three P’s: People, Process, Platforms. There are a few steps you can apply to make this transition as seamless as possible.  

1. Create a culture of transformation. 86% of leaders agree that digital transformation requires the right mix of culture, processes, and technology. Culture is everything from your company’s values and mission to collaboration and teamwork, transparency, and adaptability. Ultimately, your company’s culture is what cultivates modern-day leaders who aren’t afraid of sudden change.

2. Activate change agents. 76% of business transformations fail. According to a recent report by Boston Consulting Group, the reason for this is that ‘they fail to nail the people component’. In fact, the Annual Edelman Trust Barometer states that “Employees drive performance. Transformations that effectively shift people behaviors and mindsets are 8X more likely to succeed.”

3. Formalize processes and training. You can’t just push digital transformation without modernizing your processes. This translates to implementing training initiatives that help employees succeed through the transition of your company. Since remote work became standard this past year, a practical application of this would be to facilitate better