August 19, 2019

How to Develop a Digital Transformation Strategy

Digital Transformation

Your digital transformation strategy can make or break your business. But, what is a digital transformation strategy? And how do you develop a digital transformation strategy that works?

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What Is a Digital Transformation Strategy?

digital transformation strategy is a plan of action that outlines how to transform the business in a digital economy by leveraging social, mobile, analytics, and cloud. Creating a solid digital transformation strategy is essential to innovation and developing business models that succeed. 

You have to construct a strategy to:

  • Develop new processes.
  • Shape a new corporate culture.
  • Acquire new tools to run your business.

You are not simply using digital technologies. You are transforming your business to improve value creation. The first question you should ask yourself is “What is the problem we are trying to solve?” After some brainstorming and product roadmapping, you need to figure out what technology you need to use. 

View this technology as a capital investment. You would never buy a building with plans to give it away for nothing later. Rather, you forecast how you are going to get a return on the building through leasing it out or selling it at a later date. The same goes with technology — and how it drives your digital transformation and improves your business’s value.

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Why Is Digital Transformation Important?

Digital transformation is important to sustain growth in today's business world. It needs to be part of your ongoing business strategy. Embracing digital transformation can create new routes to market. It can deliver more value to your customers. And it can help you reach your technological and strategic goals. 

The average life span of a company listed on the S&P 500 today is less than 20 years. In the 1950s, was 60 years. Surviving and thriving as an enterprise today depends on how you build a successful digital transformation strategy. 

Your business must disrupt — or be disrupted. Learn how to drive your digital transformation strategy with APIs in our eBook, Disrupt or Be Disrupted.

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A key part of your strategy will be your digital transformation roadmap. 

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How Do You Make a Successful Digital Transformation Roadmap

Most business leaders know digital transformation is important. But the majority are still struggling to implement the necessary changes.

Here's how to build a digital transformation roadmap that ensures success. 

1. Define the Value Up Front

For a digital transformation to succeed, you need to define the value up front.

Set clear goals for your digital transformation. These goals must take your customer journey into account, so you can deliver value on your digital transformation. 

Secure executive and senior management commitment. This can be quite an undertaking, but it is vital to success.

Finally, ensure proper investment in your digital transformation strategy. 

2. Build a Culture Around Digital Transformation

You also need to embrace and encourage the new cultural norms that will come from your transformation. Your enterprise is about to radically change. It should be a welcomed change, but you'll need to nurture a digital culture to ensure success

3. Scale as You Go

Additionally, you need to disrupt your own business, not just your customer experience. There can be great benefits from transforming your internal processes, allowing for greater speed and flexibility to pursue more transformative projects.

Remember, it is a riskier proposition to not disrupt — and face being left behind the competition. View it as a calculated risk. Experiment small at first, gather feedback, and repeat the process until a sustainable model emerges.

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What Are the Key Challenges of a Digital Transformation?

As enterprises build their digital transformation and API strategy, there are two key challenges. 

Change Management

If you are going to fundamentally change your business, you are going to have change management. This is a people problem, which many tend to forget.

You need to involve the people in your company, at least in your strategy development and get feedback from your team. You also explain to them that it will allow the company to become more efficient. This will allow them to focus on other high value work and build new value.

Lack of Strategy

As evidenced by the utility example, getting people involved can help make the company more efficient and build new value. All of this comes down to a simple point.

You have to have a digital transformation strategy.

A strategy isn’t merely saying “I’m going to cut expenses by x and grow revenue by y percentage.” Those are goals, not a strategy.

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How to Develop a Digital Transformation Strategy

Here's how to develop a digital transformation strategy.

1. Know Where to Play

Understand where your business should operate. Firms are not successful if they try to be all things to all people. You need to focus on the market segment you are serving. Once that is well-defined, you can figure out your value proposition.

2. Define Your Value Proposition

What products do you have to serve the segment you defined? Be aware of what audience you appeal to. And be deliberate in deciding where, how, and to whom you deploy your assets.

3. Measure and Manage Progress

 Implement a system for managers (and the whole team) to understand how you are making progress and executing on your value proposition.

4. Execute on Your Strategy

This is an important part that most firms forget about. You actually have to do something. Using the metrics you identified and systems you put in place, you need to evaluate if what you put together is actually working. And then make adjustments where needed.

5. Facilitate a Feedback Loop

This is important internally with your team and externally with your customers. Getting feedback from your people on what is working and what is not is crucial.

Value is important, and the customer determines value. As you develop ideas of where you want to play and how you will win, you need to get customer feedback to make sure you are going in the right direction.

👉 Need Help Building Your Strategy? Request an Assessment >>


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What Are Some Digital Transformation Examples?

Digital transformation applies to every industry today. And some of the most successful digital transformation examples involve using APIs.

API management solves challenges of digital transformation and makes it easier to develop a solid digital transformation strategy. It can significantly speed up systems integration efforts — a key factor in scaling a digital transformation. Plus, it can enable new services, lines of business, or help to replace traditional delivery methods of businesses rapidly facing digitization.

Organizational leaders can use API management to stitch together the right balance of internal and external systems, applications, and processes necessary to rapidly adapt their organizations.

Here are some examples of digital transformation with API management from Akana. 

An Insurance Company

The insurance industry is in the midst of a digital transformation. To succeed, insurance companies need to modernize.

That's why a global insurance company turned to Akana. With the Akana API platform, they were able to:

  • Change their product offerings to meet market demands.
  • Optimize the buying process.
  • Increase market share.

Find out how Akana helped the global insurance company succeed in digital transformation. Read the case study >>

A Healthcare Company

The healthcare industry has rapidly digitized. To succeed, healthcare organizations need to turn themselves into lean, innovative digital enterprises.

That's why a large healthcare company turned to Akana. By adopting the Akana API management platform, they were able to:

  • Comply with government mandates.
  • Enable interoperability across systems.
  • Ensure user satisfaction.
  • Deliver personalized, digital user experiences.

Find out how the Akana API platform helped the large healthcare company succeed in digital transformation. Read the case study >>

A Bank

Digital transformation has already revolutionized the banking industry. To succeed, banks must deliver delightful digital experiences.

That's why a North American bank turned to Akana. Using Akana enabled them to:

  • Modernize services, such as merchant payment services.
  • Integrate processes to streamline selling. 
  • Innovate more by becoming more efficient. 

Find out how the Akana API platform helped the North American bank succeed in digital transformation. Read the case study >>

"Businesses want a seamless partnership. We were tasked with eliminating any resistance to leveraging our services. Our goal is to create a delightful, digital experience — and we’re doing it with Akana." — Senior Vice President, North American Bank

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Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy With Akana

Akana makes it easy to accelerate digital transformation in the enterprise.

That's because Akana:

  • Accelerates time-to-market with faster API deployment.
  • Strengthens security with powerful security policies and controls.
  • Partners with you to build the right digital transformation strategy to succeed.

See for yourself why Akana is the best API platform to accelerate your digital transformation — the easy way. Watch a demo of Akana today.


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