Digital transformation isn’t only a process of adopting new technological tools – it is a series of changes that will impact every facet of your organization. As such, it’s important for organizations to anticipate the impact digital transformation will have across their departments, employees, and customers.
“Organization leaders need to look at why they want to transform their business,” states Michael Henry, CTO of Singapore Sports Hub and an expert in Experience Driven Transformation, Workforce Strategy and Customer Experience, in Forbes. “They need to be able to link what they’re doing to an experience improvement. Will this change the experience for our workforce? Will it change the experience of how we interact with our customers or sell products? It’s crucial to anchor all that you’re doing to experience and get away from defaulting to technology as something ‘we use’ to something ‘that enables’—forget about using technology just for the sake of using technology.”
How to Leverage the “Business Model Canvas” for Digital Transformation
Before your organization ventures off on its digital transformation journey, first take the time to map out the various aspects of your business. This will give you a good starting point for understanding the ripple effect digital transformation will have across each.
Start by focusing on your business model and the objectives you are trying to achieve, recommends Benjamin Mueller, professor for digital business at the University of Bremen and an associate researcher at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Below is a summary of four steps he suggests, originally published in Harvard Business Review.
Map out your organization’s business model:
Determine the nine key elements of your business model. These include: 1) Key partners, 2) Key activities, 3) Key resources, 4) Value propositions, 5) Customer relationships, 6) Channels, 7) Customer segments, 8) Cost structure, and 9) Revenue streams.
Identifying these elements will create a canvas of your business model that will help you understand how these different areas overlap. It will also help you understand how digital transformation in one area of your business will impact the rest.
Identify and experiment with digital transformation opportunities:
Now that you have pinpointed the key elements of your business model, you can start identifying the main areas you need to pay attention to, then slowly introduce necessary digital transformations, carefully experimenting and examining the “ripple effects” of these changes as you move forward. Rather than focusing on the process of your digital transformation, focus instead on the goal.
Make the necessary transformations:
During this step, it’s not only important to determine the changes you need to make, but to also anticipate the impact they will have on the various elements in your map. For example, you may find that training your employees is just as important as choosing the best technical applications for achieving your goals.
Ensure you have reached your objective:
Digital transformation is not one effort, but rather, a series of efforts that work across your organization. For this reason, staying focused on the business model will help you achieve your overall objective throughout all the various processes. “In other words, rather than focusing on technology, the focus should be on what you can do now that you could not do before,” writes Mueller.
Are you ready to meet your digital transformation objectives? Be sure to consider these steps and understand your goals before you start.
Starting Your Digital Transformation Journey
It’s important to prepare for your organization’s digital transformation journey beforehand. Check out Digital Transformation: Moving Toward a Digital Society, a five-course program from IEEE that provides the background knowledge needed to smartly implement digital tools into organizations.
Henry, Michael. (12 May 2022). Why Your Company’s Digital Transformation Needs To Be Experience-Driven. Forbes.
Mueller, Benjamin. (27 April 2022). How to Map Out Your Digital Transformation. Harvard Business Review.