By Kevin Mortimer, Triple4 CEO

One defining trait in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry is the ability to create hype around buzzwords and three-letter acronyms. One could argue that 4IR, or Industry 4.0, is just that – hype and buzz. Coupled with that is the movement called Digital Transformation.

The reality is, digital transformation is not just costly hype. There is a real and significant cost to its implementation and the adoption of processes around it. Much of the pain in the digital transformation journey can be alleviated by rational, methodical thinking and taking one’s time to get it right.

Triple 4 recommends five key steps organisations should follow to have the best chance of success when implementing a digital transformation strategy.

  1. Be clear on your motivations

There is no doubt that successful digital transformation can improve a business. It’s critical to have a clear understanding of why your organisation is pursuing a digital transformation strategy and what it stands to gain from it. This makes the rest of the process simpler and far less daunting.

  1. Plan and check twice. Change once

Once you know why you want to bring disruption to your organisation – you have a clear vision of the benefits this disruption will bring and what the future could look like – you then need to analyse your identified change areas in the business and carefully consider the impact that these changes will have on organisational efficiency.

Repeat your planning and checking until satisfied that you will have the desired outcome, and then implement.

  1. Communicate

Change rarely comes without stress and painful challenges, and disruption can cause anxiety and stress. Take the time to prepare your teams for the changes to come and avoid pushback.

Steven Hawking famously said: “For millions of years, man lived just like the animals, then something happened that unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk.”

Communicate frequently and clearly on the changes to come. Explain why you are investing in new digital technologies and what the many benefits will be. This will drive engagement and expand your scope to include any transformation opportunities you may have missed.

Manage the change and adoption to guarantee success.

  1. Start with the quick wins

Start with the changes that deliver the most business value with the least amount of effort and disruption. These quick wins will act as a catalyst for further transformation and transform any doubters into believers. Identifying the quick wins should be easy if you followed the previous three steps.

  1. Measure the results before moving on

Lastly, measure the results on your efficiencies post your first tentative disruptive transformations. Knowing your motivations will help you quantify success and pave the way towards the ultimate end goal.