If you’ve been keeping up with Payline, you may have caught a look at Part One of the Art of Business Transformation highlighting the business core. It dove deep into the importance of starting the reinvention of your business at its core, because every structure needs a solid foundation. Once you have the core on track to uphold your business, it’s time to move on to the more specific components of business transformation.
In today’s world and going into the future, most businesses will experience some digital disruption, which means that you will likely be in need of some digital reinvention. This will not only need to be an already accepted inevitability, but also met head on with decisiveness and preparedness. In the same way that you don’t jump straight into transforming your core without evaluating all of the pieces that are a part of it, you don’t jump into a digital reinvention without evaluating it thoroughly.
There are seven decisions that matter when it comes to digitally transforming your business. They exist within four phases of digital reinvention, otherwise known as the Four Ds — Discover, Design, Deliver, De-Risk — a proven, systematic approach to digital reinvention.
Business Transformation Phase 1
Discover your ambition. This is where you need to take into account the values that were evaluated during your core transformation. The discovery of what your digital reinvention ambition is will be determined based on where the values are in your business.
A business needs to look at where within itself value is being created or destroyed, which means analyzing the bigger picture of their specific industry. This includes studying how competitors are adding or detracting value from the industry and the customer-behavior trends and concerns.
Additionally, businesses have to look into their own digital capabilities and what they have for resources, present and future. Through this first phase, you can discover what direction you will aim to take your business in through this transformation. It could mean ultimately taking your business transformation efforts in an on-the-go direction and trying out mobile technology to increase customer engagement or implementing a new business model. Recently, Payline underwent a launch into a new direction for our company, but not after careful planning and thoughtful, deliberate decision-making over a long span of time. The overall goal in this phase is to develop a case for a new business direction.
Business Transformation Phase 2
Design programs to enhance customer journeys. Some of the most successful companies, such as Apple or Amazon, focus on the design of the journey that their customers take, specifically what kinds of journeys they are taking. Amazon is a front-runner in business right now because of all of the initiative they are taking to make the consumer experience as smooth as possible, and your business should follow suit. This can be anything from the product and price browsing journey, to a customer support experience, or to their journey of payment processing.
Your business has to work to define what each customer journey is like for your specific business and identify what functions are or are not working. The key to this phase it to not get too caught up in theory. Planning is good and essential but, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. In this case, planning.
Planning in a theoretical sense is the first step, but the next step that should come sooner rather than later is building prototypes or executing practice runs of new digital processes. Put your careful planning to the actual test before officially integrating digital updates into your business practices. In a similar sense, Payline does this with our full-stack payments API, Payline I/O, where developers can test technology in a “sandbox” prior to full implementation. This kind of digital mindset will allow your digital transformation to be delivered to consumers even quicker.
Business Transformation Phase 3
Deliver your decisions through a connected ecosystem. No one can do anything alone in business, collaboration is always key. When going through transformation at your business, particularly a digital one, you will need many partners across your ecosystem to help.
There is little room for error when it comes to reinventing your business, digitally or not, so the more eyes and hands there are involved in the process, the better. This will mean delegating and outsourcing and consulting resources that can address all the necessary components of your transformation journey. Working with others across the ecosystem will be beneficial to everyone, including your customers.
Business Transformation Phase 4
De-Risk the outcome of the transformation by following sequential steps. When you’re trying a new direction for your business, there will be risk involved. Some new practices may end up not working as well as old ones, or new process that works well might reveal problems down the road. However, if you structure the transformation process in a succinct and sequential manner, the risks to the outcome will be lessened.
More than 70% of business transformations fail, but as your business’s owner or CEO, this can be avoided if you think through the sequence in which you go about it, you can reduce costs and eventually yield revenue payoffs.
The Seven Decisions of Digital Business Transformation
Now with an understanding of the four phases of digital transformation, here they are: the seven most important decisions in business transformation, the partners-in-crime of those essential four phases.
Decision #1: Decide a direction for your business to go.
Decision #2: Have a clear chain of command.
Decision #3: Plan how you will sell the vision for the direction.
Decision #4: Find your place and find friends in your ecosystem.
Decision #5: Anticipate making unplanned decisions, and be prepared to face them.
Decision #6: Allocate finances dynamically across your efforts.
Decision #7: Choose what you do when.
With each phase and each decision, your business’s path to transformation and reinvention will become clearer and less obstructed. Whether you’re dealing with a small or large-scale company, sorting through all of the details can be daunting, but that does not mean that it’s impossible, or that it isn’t worth the time and effort.
Businesses that stand still and don’t attempt to evolve as consumers and technology and other businesses do will not have a very long lifespan. You want to make your business essential to the present and future, and doing that will certainly require some adaptability as time goes on.
Maybe that means adapting from brick-and-mortar to eCommerce, or maybe that means updating your payment processing from a small business plug-in card reader to an army of mPOS. Whatever it is, Payline is here to help make your business transformation smooth sailing. Our payment processing solutions are easy to use and come equipped with top-notch security, two things that will assist with your business transformation.
This piece was written by Lauren Minning, Content Specialist for Payline.