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5 key factors of digital transformation consulting

 It’s not easy to sell a digital transformation initiative to the higher-ups. The time and money is one barrier, but many organizations are simply resistant to change. Why would your business’ leaders even think about hiring a digital transformation consulting company when they have already invested time and effort into processes that have worked fine up until now?

The answer is probably in the palm of your hand. Or it’s in your pocket. Maybe it’s even around your wrist.

Over  5 billion people now have a mobile connection. Your customers are walking around with digital devices that have become their window into the world. Rather than learning about products from salesmen or browsing potential purchases in a store, they’re doing their research online and having items shipped right to their doors.

As consumers' lives are made increasingly more convenient by personal devices, they will gravitate toward businesses that can accommodate their digital habits. But digital transformation is about more than catching up to the latest technology.

A comprehensive digital strategy will give your business customer insights that weren’t available in legacy systems, more efficient operational processes, and could even open new sources of revenue.

That’s where experienced digital transformation consulting companies come in. Not only can these companies develop and implement a comprehensive digital strategy for your business, but they can communicate its value to your organization’s leaders and outline exactly what the benefits will be.

With so many consultants fighting for your attention, it can be hard to sift through the noise and find one that can truly deliver. Here are five traits to look for in strong digital transformation consulting companies:

1. They take the time to learn your business

You would obviously expect a digital transformation consulting company to know the tools and technologies required in their business. What really sets companies apart is when they take the time to learn yours.

Your business, its processes, and its customers are unique. While it may share many traits that are similar to other businesses in the same industry, there will be unique points in its operations that are ripe for optimization. Strong digital consulting companies should be able to identify what those are.

A good company will be particularly interested in:

Your pain points

What is bogging your business down and wasting valuable time and resources? Are any processes taking up needless time? What problems keep coming up more than you’d like?  A good digital transformation consulting company should explore what holds your business back in order to address the problem.

Opportunities for growth

You’re always looking out for ways to grow your business. Any digital transformation consulting company you’re talking to should do the same. The consultants should be interested in mechanisms you’ve identified to help your company grow and recommend solutions of their own.

Valuable insights

There are likely some insights that you wish you could gather. Statistics about customer behaviors, or the ROI for certain tasks that take up employees’ time. It can be frustrating when you don’t have access to knowledge you know can improve your operations. These insights are one of the main benefits of a digital strategy, so look to digital transformation consulting companies that are interested in your business’ dark spots.

2. They put strategy over technology

Ultimately, all your technology investments should support business goals. The rapid advancement of technology can be daunting and instill a fear of missing out. Some digital transformation consulting companies will use this opportunity to sell solutions to problems you don’t have. Find a company that puts strategy first, then finds the solutions to support it. Ultimately, the strength of digital transformation lies in its capacity and goals.

Some ways a digital transformation can support business strategies include:

A better customer experience

As we mentioned earlier, customers expect an optimized digital experience. Digital transformation consulting companies should look out for solutions that attract new customers and give them an experience that increases retention.

Operational flexibility

Customer demands are always changing. Your business needs to change with them. Legacy systems can make it hard to adapt, but operational flexibility can be achieved through digital transformation.

Greater awareness

A digital transformation consulting company should be able to find ways you can gain the insights to help your business thrive. This requires more than just analytics. The systems to collect and report on data need while minimizing complexity must be in place in order to glean valuable insights.

Streamlined operations

Increased digital capabilities and silo-breaking solutions can streamline operations in a way never thought possible. A digital transformation strategy should give your business optimized processes that encourage exchanges and collaboration across departments at a high level and increased productivity in low-level processes.

3. They keep the long-term needs in mind

Imagine a digital transformation consulting company meets all your needs and your business runs on 100 percent modern technology. Six months later, you need to add a new feature. After a year, 35 percent of your customers are using a new platform and you see that number growing everyday.

In such a case, there will be nothing more infuriating than learning that the company used practices that make it almost impossible to upgrade your technology to meet the new needs.

There are a couple ways digital transformation consulting companies can ensure your digital strategy can adapt to changes in the future:

Create apps that can be adjusted for multiple platforms

Platforms like iOS and Android have languages that are unique to them, but that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to one or the other. While developers may need to use platform-specific code to an extent, they can also use a cross-platform language like JavaScript coupled with React Native or another framework to reuse code among platforms. Digital transformation consulting companies should make sure their solutions don’t lock clients into a single platform.

Write maintainable code

Once new software is in place and the digital transformation consulting company’s job is done, someone will have to maintain your applications’ code. There will be regular debugging tasks and someone must add new features when necessary. That’s where maintainable code comes in. The company can make sure you won’t have to go through another digital transformation all over again by using best practices and providing code that is easy for other developers to understand.

4. The digital transformation consulting companies have key partnerships

It's important for any consulting company to have partnerships that enhance its ability to provide the tools that will fuel your digital transformation. You should look for partnerships that cover the core digital services needed to help your company grow. Don't forget to keep an eye out for companies that offer more unique services as well.

Cloud services

One of the first things digital transformation consulting companies should look at is your cloud infrastructure. If your business solely stores its information on premise, its mobility will be hampered severely. However, a full cloud or hybrid cloud and on premise system will allow your business to conduct operations wherever there is internet access. Amazon Web ServicesOracle, and Microsoft Azure are among the big players in this space.

Business Process Management

This is one of your biggest assets. A good business process manager (BPM) will allow you to monitor your business' workflows and optimize its processes. IBM and PEGA both offer robust BPM services.

Robotic Process Automation

A good digital transformation consulting company will help you identify processes in your business that should be able to run themselves. That's where robotic process automation (RPA) comes in. Software bots can be programmed to conduct operations with clear and defined rules, leaving employees to work on less menial tasks. Look to Automation Anywhere for one of the leaders in this field.

Customer Relationship Management

Responding to and keeping track of each customer's emails, phone calls, and other communications without the right tool can quickly become an unwieldy task. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools simplify those tasks. CRMs allow users to send automatic responses, collect customer profiles, and uncover valuable insights. As a result, businesses can attract and retain customers with more efficiency than before. Salesforce is one of the biggest CRM providers.

5. They care about training

Digital transformation can be a disruptive process. That's why you need a digital transformation consulting company that will help you through it. Ultimately, digital transformation should simplify processes. However, it will take training for employees to get on board with the new changes. Workflows must be adjusted and employees will have to learn how to work with new systems. Make sure your digital transformation consulting company has a training plan in place to help your organization get up to speed with the new technology.

Digital transformation can seem like a daunting prospect. And finding the right digital transformation consulting company can be even more risky. What other traits do you think should be added to this list to help businesses find the right company?

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