Many of us in public relations have been talking about digital transformation plans in recent years, but business leaders haven’t necessarily ‘got it’ or wanted to invest… until now!

Fast forward to a global pandemic when the way in which we work has changed within a couple of weeks, businesses are now trying to figure out the best way to work, going forward and digital transformation plans are the biggest thing since crisis PR.

I’ve written about digital transformation and the role of PR before, last year in fact, plus I’ve spoken about it at the Digital Leaders virtual conference. I think it’s time to revisit the conversation and see how we can progress and maximise the opportunities it presents.

Digital transformation is the renewed thinking of processes, culture, skills and customer experiences to meet changing business and stakeholder requirements.

Rule 1 – find out what the changes are so you can figure out the solution.

The challenge has been that there is a disconnect between leadership, people and the technology. If you consider people and technology, you need to think about skills, resources and timing.

8 steps of digital transformation plans

  1. Establish the purpose and objectives of the business. Put the customer at the centre and build a platform around their needs.
  2. Use data to inform strategy and keep testing, learning and iterating. Good governance is essential.
  3. Develop a manifesto around how you will commit to keep developing. Ensure every change is a step closer to purpose and achieving goals. Flexibility is key.
  4. Use automation to streamline processes and machine learning to keep evolving and getting closer to augmenting decisions.
  5. Get agile. Share ideas and collaborate across the organisation, regularly with the shared ambition of meeting customer goals. Breakdown internal barriers.
  6. Empower people. Identify skills gaps, retrain and upskill, reward thinking differently and encourage entrepreneurial mindsets. Diversity is essential to truly represent customers and bring in new ideas and experiences.
  7. Risk and security. Ensure processes are risk assessed and security is a priority. For example cyber security and data.
  8. Build this into the strategy.

The challenge I find when talking to people about digital transformation, they always think about the technology before they think about the people. The people are the ones with the problem and the technology is part of the solution, so be careful which one you put first!

I’d love to talk more about digital transformation and tie it into the work I’ve done with digital skills businesses and of course relating this back to leadership and change.

Join me on Thursday, 11 June at 10.30am for a FREE webinar. I’ll be talking about all these different elements and taking questions. Register here.

It’s a business-wide strategy and needs to consider all stakeholders. You may not have a PR Director or Corporate Affairs Director, but you can work with people like me, a consultant, to advise and help you develop a strategic project to boost your business. Click here to get in touch.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I hope it made sense and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.