Business transformation is an umbrella term for making fundamental changes in how a business or organization runs. This includes personnel, processes, and technology. These transformations help organizations compete more effectively, become more efficient, or make a wholesale strategic pivot.
Business transformations are bold, seismic shifts that organizations make to accelerate change and growth beyond typical incremental advancements. The scope is broad and strategic, such as switching to new business or operating models. Organizations undertake business transformations to create additional value. This may mean unlocking the potential of employees, harnessing intellectual property and proprietary technology for additional purposes, or becoming more efficient to maximize the company’s potential.
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Business transformation is a change management strategy which aims to align people, processes, and technology initiatives of a company to its business strategy and vision. … Irrespective of the industry you are in, your organization needs to transform to survive in the evolving business environment.
• Business process transformation—This transformation focuses on the “how” of getting things done, and might include agile transformation. It typically involves lots of optimization and automation of repetitive processes, so the organization can focus on higher-value projects.
• Information/data/digital transformation—These transformations are specifically focused on using technology to unlock additional value. This may come in the form of aggregating and sharing data in new, more efficient ways (such as a digital CRM system or online ordering). It also includes leveraging technology and data to offer completely new products and services.
• Organizational transformation—Altering resource allocation is key to many transformations, and a company’s most precious resource—its people—are no exception. Organizational transformation is based on assessing both how various departments are staffed, and the structure of those departments themselves.
• Management transformation—As companies strive for growth in competitive marketplaces, top-down bureaucratic hierarchies aren’t always the best for facilitating rapid decision-making and reacting to new developments. Transforming the management structure may be part of the solution (getting rid of the middlemen, etc.), but empowering individuals to make decisions themselves or quickly reach a consensus is far more important.
• Cultural transformation—Cultural transformation is in some ways the hardest business transformation activity. Corporate cultures tend to evolve organically, driven by the personalities of leadership, and how people are rewarded and recognized. Changing the culture usually takes much longer than any other type of transformation.
It all starts with a strategy—without clear, big picture objectives and plans on how to get there, any business transformation is destined to fail. This strategy must also be very clear to downstream individuals to make sure nothing is lost in translation, as a business transformation’s steps and processes shouldn’t be left open to interpretation.
Next comes identifying which capabilities are needed (or must be improved) to achieve those strategic goals. These are either things the company can’t or doesn’t do now at all, or areas that could use significant improvement or redirection. Capability can be defined along these six lines:
• Mission—Derived directly from the strategy, it’s the why, how and what of the capability.
• Insights—How data is compiled, communicated and used to drive decisions.
• Integration—Rules, roles, and decision-making responsibility.
• Processes—Well-defined and efficiently designed to reach the desired outcomes.
• Technology—What’s required for the capability in terms of hardware, software, tools, and services.
• Talent—What skills and experience are needed for this capability to thrive, including allocating existing staff and recruiting additional team members.
Any transformational activity also requires staying power because there’s no reason to go through this entire process if the company falls back into its old ways as soon as the exercise is completed. The same data and metrics used to measure if the company has achieved its goals can also be used to ensure they’re being maintained once the transformation is complete.