Digital transformation: 4 do's and don'ts for 2022

As you move your digital transformation forward, keep these tips in mind to sharpen your focus and avoid common pitfalls
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Digital transformation is never easy, but it is unavoidable – especially as we approach a post-COVID workforce. By laying out a strategy ahead of time and investing in data and analytics to inform your decision-making as you progress, it is possible to execute transformation with less disruption.

[Where is your team's digital transformation work stalling? Get the eBook: What's slowing down your Digital Transformation? 8 questions to ask.]

The following do’s and don’ts can help you avoid common pitfalls that plague organizations as they modernize:

Do: Pay attention to security

The shift to remote work can leave organizations vulnerable to cyberattacks. Organizations that were unprepared to provide their employees with the necessary hardware and software to fend off cyber criminals left gaps in their security. Now, IT teams may have less oversight into what employees are downloading or the links they are clicking on. Going into 2022, reestablishing a high level of security should be a priority.

What percentage of your employees had their remote work technology (wireless printers, iPads, routers, etc.) vetted by IT at the peak of the pandemic?

Particularly for large companies, it is essential to ramp up your security plans as part of your digital transformation efforts. Think about how you will ensure that your remote teams have the proper equipment and consider re-training current employees on IT guidelines more suited to the new reality of work.

[ How's your digital transformation progress? CIOs who are maintaining speed while preventing burnout share advice in our eBook: Maintaining Momentum on Digital Transformation ]

Don't: Start initiatives without leaning on the data

You may think that you know exactly what digital transformation initiatives are right for your organization, but even the most in-tune executive suites can overlook critical pieces of the transformation puzzle. When you lean on the data to inform your transformation strategy, your resources stretch farther, and you are less likely to cause unnecessary disruptions to the workflow.

As few as four KPIs can help you determine the success of your digital transformation initiatives. Consider the following questions when choosing what KPIs to track:

  • What is the goal?
  • What is your organization’s balance point?
  • Where are you today?
  • What is the cost/benefit ratio for each initiative?

Do: Prioritize the hybrid work model

There is much evidence to support that hybrid work is here to stay. While a flexible work model can have many benefits for your teams, creating an infrastructure that is designed to work long-term requires thoughtful planning. Establishing a strong hybrid work structure will be critical in the first months of 2022.

[ Want more advice on leading hybrid work? Read What is a hybrid work model? and Hybrid work model: 5 advantages. ]

There’s a lot to consider when you’re designing your hybrid structure. As you scale, will you allow your teams to work asynchronously across time zones in order to broaden your talent pool? How often will you ask your employees to come into the office?

Resist the temptation to continue working as you have been throughout the pandemic without evaluating your hybrid structure. There is much room to improve on procedures that were created out of necessity when the pandemic began.

Don't: Underestimate the customer experience

Your customers and clients are at the center of your business’s success, and often, customer experience is the most visible part of your business strategy. As you move to refine processes and optimize operational efficiency, be careful not to overlook places where the customer journey can be improved.

Often, digital transformation and customer experience are innately connected. As you improve data integration and systems connectivity, the customer journey becomes more seamless. For example, when you have a more robust and organized database, customer service teams can address customer needs more quickly, resulting in shortened wait times and increased customer satisfaction.

To improve the customer experience, you must first deeply understand each part of the customer journey. When you are familiar with each phase of the customer lifecycle, it is much easier to identify pain points and adjust. When at least half of your digital transformation resources are allocated to improving customer experience, the whole organization stands to benefit.

[Get answers to key digital transformation questions and lessons from top CIOs: Download our digital transformation cheat sheet.]

Rajan Sethuraman is CEO of LatentView Analytics. His vision for the company is to maximize the value of AI and success for clients with a human understanding of their business needs, guided by expertise in CPG, financial services, technology, healthcare, retail and other core sectors.

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