Skip to main content

Unlocking successful digital transformation: How to revamp your digital transformation strategy

SBM blog CTA mobile 1

Drive growth and reduce costs with omnichannel business messaging

Despite the high hopes of digital transformation, a staggering 70% of these initiatives fall short. The challenge isn't just about adopting new technologies but fundamentally redefining how businesses operate and deliver value to their customers.

Many organizations mistakenly treat organizational transformation as a mere tech upgrade, often leading to failure. 

However, the main issue isn’t in the technology — it’s in the approach. 

In this context, Sendbird, a leader in customer engagement technology, aligns with consultant and author Matt LeMay's insights to navigate these challenges. In this blog, we’ll explore common pitfalls of digital business transformation, learn how to shift static mindsets, and outline actionable strategies for success.

Key takeaways:

  • Success in digital transformation is less about acquiring new technologies and more about fundamental changes in processes and behaviors.

  • Organizations must plan flexibly to adapt to the rapidly changing market and technological landscape.

  • Digital initiatives should align with the business strategy, ensuring they contribute directly to organizational goals and customer value.

Digital transformation pitfalls - The illusion of transformation

While many view digital transformation as the answer to improved business operations, it usually fails to meet expectations. LeMay discussed three common digital transformation pitfalls:

  • Buying technology instead of changing processes: Organizations often confuse organizational transformation with purchasing new tech, overlooking the need to revamp processes and behaviors. Even the best technology won’t yield the full benefits without changing these core aspects.

  • Misunderstanding Agile: Organizations often misinterpret Agile as a quick fix that will double productivity. Without genuine change in organizational culture and practices, Agile becomes just another buzzword.

  • Transformation theatre: Much like the changing backgrounds of a theatre, this phenomenon is where an organization repeatedly adopts new methodologies without fixing the underlying issues. Businesses have the appearance of transformation without real progress or growth.

Core principles for successful digital transformation

When navigating the complex waters of digital transformation, businesses should anchor their initiatives in three core principles:

1. Customer centricity

A recent study revealed that customer-centric companies are often 60% more profitable than companies that fail to focus on their customers. Thus, successful transformation begins with a deep understanding of customer needs and behaviors.

Organizations should integrate customer insights into every aspect of their business processes. The implemented digital strategies must align with customer experience and expectations.

2. Cross-functional collaboration

Siloed operations are a major roadblock to successful transformation. Collaboration across different operations and departments - such as through chat - allows for the seamless flow of information and ideas.

This, in turn, drives innovation and ensures that all parts of the organization align with the transformation goals. As a result, every member of each team contributes to and supports the transformation journey, making the process more cohesive and effective.

3. Planning for uncertainty

Businesses must adopt a flexible approach to planning, acknowledging the ever-changing business environment. This approach allows organizations to respond to changes and uncertainties quickly, ensuring they stay relevant and competitive. 

Team members should prepare to adjust strategies in response to new market insights, technological advancements in communications tech like a chat API, and shifts in customer behavior. It's about keeping your business finger on the pulse and being ready to shift gears for long-term success.

Practical steps for real, sustainable transformation

LeMay emphasized that digital transformation is not a one-off project but a continuous journey for an organization to evolve. Businesses can implement a few steps to see deep, impactful, and enduring change.

1. Direct interaction with customers

LeMay highlights how crucial it is for product managers to stay in close touch with customers, gaining direct, actionable insights. By engaging frequently and directly, you can spot unmet needs and upcoming trends, shaping your products to better meet customer expectations.

The ongoing dialogue is key to refining your offerings and ensuring they resonate with your audience, driving your business's growth and evolution.

2. Simplification and focus

LeMay also advocates for what he’s coined as the 'one-page, one-hour' approach, which is about cutting through the fluff. It's a call to action for companies to distill their ideas onto a single page and do it quickly, in less than an hour. This method is all about clear, fast communication and making decisions without getting stuck in endless analysis.

It pushes organizations to focus on what matters, enabling them to adapt swiftly to market changes and stay ahead. Instead of creating lengthy presentations to look busy, it's about streamlining and simplifying work.

3. Regular course adjustment

Evaluating and tweaking your strategies regularly is crucial to keeping your digital transformation efforts on track. LeMay advises setting periodic strategic reviews—monthly or quarterly—based on your business needs and market shifts.

This isn’t just about checking boxes; it's about staying nimble, ensuring your approach remains relevant, and seizing opportunities as they arise. Be aware of the market and your team's progress, ensuring your product strategy always aligns with the broader organizational goals.

Potential transformation challenges

Facing digital transformation head-on means bracing your organization for challenges that can derail progress. This may include:

  1. Resistance to change: Overcoming the current of established processes and mindsets may be a challenge. Long-standing business company culture and methods could mean that many adapt slowly.

  2. Lack of clear vision and leadership: Successful digital transformations require a clear vision from the top, with leadership actively championing the change. Without strong direction and commitment, initiatives can get lost amidst conflicting priorities and ambiguity.

  3. Inadequate integration of digital and core business functions: Merely adding digital tools to existing business operations without a digital transformation strategy can lead to disjointed and ineffective outcomes.

Tackling transformation challenges

To address these challenges, organizations should:

  1. Foster a culture of innovation and flexibility: Encourage experimentation, tolerate failure as a learning process, and promote a mindset of continuous improvement.

  2. Ensure strong leadership commitment: Leaders can endorse and actively participate in the transformation process. Begin by setting clear goals and aligning resources to achieve them. If leaders are slow to adopt change, results rippling through an organization from the bottom up could turn the tables.

  3. Integrate digital strategy with business objectives: Digital initiatives should be aligned with the overall business strategy, ensuring they contribute directly to business goals and customer value.

Successful digital transformation starts with change

At its core, digital transformation is much more than updating your company’s tech tools. It's a deep dive into changing how your business operates, from your company culture to your strategy, all with the customer’s needs at the center.

Ready to implement technology that works hand in hand with your digital transformation strategies? Implement Sendbird's robust communication platform to enhance your in-app chat and messaging capabilities

When your business decides that the time is right to build chat, calls, omnichannel business messaging capabilities, Sendbird is ready to provide customer communications solutions - including a chat API and fully customizable AI chatbot - that you can build on. 

You can send your first message today by creating a Sendbird account to get access to valuable (free) resources with the Developer plan. Become a part of the Sendbird developer community to tap into more resources and learn from the expertise of others. You can also browse our demos to see Sendbird Chat in action. If you have any other questions, please contact us. Our experts are always happy to help!

Want to join the leading companies revolutionizing their services with Sendbird? Start a chat with our sales team today to get started.

Ebook Grow background mobile

Take customer relationships to the next level.

Ready for the next level?