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Digital transformation is the realignment of business models, processes, and technology to engage digital customers. For many, transformation has become an absolute business imperative as the information age permanently alters consumer behavior. How does one take stock before embarking on a transformation? Which questions do you need to ask about your company or organization? How can you evaluate your current standing in order to best see the path forward?

Here’s my quick guide to a digital transformation discovery process.

Step #1
Customers, Products, Markets, & Competitors
Digital transformation is a business imperative because your customer’s behaviors and needs are changing, the information age has permanently altered their relationship with the economy. This means that, understanding your current and future customers must be the cornerstone of every digital transformation discovery process.

Who are they? What do they do? How do they interact with your business or organization? These are the most important questions in any digital transformation discovery. Only after you understand your customers can you begin to view their relationship with your products, digital or otherwise, with fresh eyes.

The discovery process then continues to break down the strengths and weaknesses of your products, your markets, and competitors with whom you share the market. Grasping your customers, products, markets and competitors is always the first step...

Step #2
Mobile, Social, eCommerce, & Content
The next step in a digital transformation discovery process is taking stock of your current digital standing. Are your websites and microsites mobile optimized? Is your social media activity reinforcing your brand and products while engaging with customers or prospects? Is your website, eCommerce, or otherwise, successful? What kind of content are you producing, is it consistent with your brand, and is it helping to drive your business?

This all amounts to the fortitude and effectiveness of your digital presence. This type of digital strategy varies wildly depending on your industry but digital presence isalways the key to growth in the digital economy.

Step #3
Operations, Systems, Data, & Security
Lastly, a digital transformation discovery process must examine the logistical and technical guts of your operation. Which systems is your business relying upon? Which technical systems enable your employees to be better connected and efficient? How are managing your data? How secure are your systems? Which technologies have you invested in over the last five-years and over the past decade? Which technologies should you invest in next?

This is area of the digital transformation discovery process which requires strong technical knowledge, not simply business strategy. This is the area which requires the close scrutiny of technologists. A well-designed technology strategy gives your company or organization the raw capabilities to thrive.

Conclusions
I say it to both clients and peers everyday, digital transformation is the most important business imperative of the next decade and the first step is rigorous and honest look at where you are now. Every aspect of your digital transformation is easier if the first step is done right...change is inevitable, survival is not!

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