The use of digital technologies is essential in today's business environment. Digital transformation (DX) is no longer a nice-to-have. If you aren't digitalizing your business operations and customer interactions, you're falling behind.
But companies also recognize the challenges of DX initiatives—they take months, if not a year or two, to complete. By the time a project is finished, the business environment and consumer expectations may already have changed.
That's why more organizations are applying the agile methodology to their digital transformation initiatives. Let's look at what agile digital transformation is, what agile pros and cons are, and how to apply agile digital transformation principles to ensure success.
Digital transformation is the process of implementing digital technologies to replace or modify manual business workflows. The goal is to streamline internal processes, increase operational cost efficiency, and improve customer experience. Automation plays a critical role in many DX initiatives, enabling foundational changes to the organizational structure and how a company delivers value to its customers.
An agile digital transformation process applies the agile methodology to a DX strategy to achieve a specific objective through continuous delivery and improvement. The iterative approach allows organizations to take measured steps to launch, measure results, make adjustments, and re-launch. Companies can achieve radical improvements in their business models and capabilities while ensuring that the changes align with market conditions and customer expectations.
Agile is an approach that helps organizations adapt to uncertainties or difficulties efficiently and successfully. An agile digital transformation methodology focuses on collaboration and accountability. It involves ongoing assessments to ensure the continuous delivery of an outcome that meets the needs of business users and/or customers.
An agile mindset is particularly suitable for today's fast-changing business world because it helps organizations understand the interconnected pieces in an environment, identify and handle ambiguities, and measure the effectiveness of a strategy regularly to get the highest ROI from an initiative.
By incorporating an agile approach to digital transformation, you can achieve continuous refinement of business workflows. The iterative process reduces time to market and speeds up value delivery. This helps ensure that your DX strategy adjusts and adapts to changing market conditions to achieve specific business objectives.
There are many advantages of applying the agile methodology to digital transformation:
Understanding what could trip you up in an agile process can help you navigate it more effectively:
To navigate potential challenges and reap the benefits of agile digital transformation, follow these five principles:
The nature of an agile methodology is about adapting to changing conditions. To adopt new technologies and processes without losing sight of your long-term business objectives, you must establish a long-term strategic vision to guide the implementation of new workflows and tools. Clearly communicate this vision to everyone in the organization to empower teamwork and collaboration, which is the foundation of an effective agile process.
Digital platforms built for customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and business process automation (BPA), etc., enable businesses to leverage cloud computing, big data, and more to support business operations. However, their connectivity and open architecture also lead to security risks. Organizations must prioritize information security when selecting digital platforms to support their DX initiatives.
Customers expect to interact with brands across all digital touchpoints. To become a customer-centric organization, you must combine various applications to create a digital ecosystem to break down internal silos and automate real-time engagement. Implementing the right digital platforms can help you leverage user data, cloud-based technologies, social channels, mobile devices, etc., to deliver a seamless customer experience.
Real-time data analytics can help unlock insights to inform the iterative process that's the signature of agile transformation. Besides gathering and analyzing data, you should use various techniques to connect the dots, visualize the information, and communicate the outcomes. You can also generate actionable insights to inform the next iteration of your strategy and tactics by adding context to the analysis.
Agile organizations must constantly experiment and adapt to market demands using emerging digital technologies. You should constantly learn, deploy, re-learn, and re-launch to refine your approach in manageable iterations while delivering the best customer experience through frequent updates.
The agile methodology helps ensure that a digital transformation initiative stays current and relevant as the business environment evolves. It allows you to deliver value quickly and often, so you can optimize business operations, improve customer experience, and realize ROI.
A successful agile digital transformation initiative must be supported by a clear roadmap and the appropriate digital technologies. At the core of any DX strategy is automation, which allows you to streamline business processes to increase operational efficiency while minimizing costly errors and delays.
Kuali Build is a business process automation platform designed to support agile digital transformation. Our best-in-class features allow you to automate workflow, perform process analysis and reporting, and integrate with exiting tools through a secure cloud-based platform.
Learn more and request a demo to see Kuali Build in action.