Defined as a type of business transformation that revolves around digital technology adoption, digital transformation also relies on a clear vision, alignment of team values and the right expertise for the project to be a success. Though, these factors are easier said than done - poor tactics, limited resources and resistance to change are some of the top challenges associated with digital transformation projects.
If your business relies on commerce, it’s even more vital for your digital transformation project to go smoothly - with customer satisfaction and retention on the cards. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a third-party company that offers digital transformation consulting services. In other words, a digital transformation partner.
Here are some qualities the right partner will have:
- Years of experience…
- …and the willingness to share that with you
- A great reputation
- The ability to offer 24/7 support
- The willingness to revolve around their customers
1Years of experience…
The best digital transformation partners will have plenty of experience in guiding businesses through their transformation journeys. The right ones will have experience in working with businesses similar to yours. That could mean:
- Similar size
- Similar challenges you want to overcome
- Similar industry/sector
- Similar project scope and timelines
You get the picture. The more similar the projects and journeys are, the better equipped that partner will likely be in navigating niche industry challenges.
2. …and the willingness to share that with you
The relationship you have with your digital transformation partner should be one of a partnership. That means including your teams at every step of the journey, from the first few strategic planning stages to software implementation, systems monitoring and onwards.
It’s not just about getting your business’ input (which is a key point to communicate when it comes to change management). It’s also about melding the digital transformation partner’s specialists with your in-house specialists.
So, the right digital transformation partner will not only ask for strategic input and update your internal teams, but they will also share their knowledge with you. They will become an extension of your teams, sharing their years of experience, tips and other tricks of the trade. This balanced relationship is vital for a fruitful, productive partnership.
3. A great reputation
This one’s a given but we couldn’t leave it out. The reputation of your digital transformation partner matters. Be sure to read their case studies, success stories and client testimonials - they reveal how ‘world class’ their service actually is, not how great they claim it is.
Additionally, look at the awards, certifications and other accolades the partner’s received from reputable bodies.
Tip: Look at partner directories of your chosen technology provider. For example, Microsoft lists all of its solution providers here.
4. The ability to offer 24/7 support
Issues can happen at any time throughout a digital transformation project - they don’t only occur during business hours (don’t we all wish that they could!). If you don’t work with a partner, you’re responsible for monitoring your project (and associated systems) round-the-clock and resolving issues if they occur.
Think of the time and resources that approach would accrue.
If you do work with a partner, they will handle the responsibility of managing a digital transformation project. They will be available round-the-clock, doing what’s required to see deliverables met, timelines kept firmly in place and the project to not go over budget. Your happiness is one of their top priorities.
5. The willingness to revolve around their customers
Some partners might push you to pick a particular solution because they think it’s the best one on the market or it’s one of their partners. That’s not an approach the right digital transformation partner will take.
Instead, the right partner will review the solution marketplace and recommend the best one(s) for your business. If this happens to be one of the solutions they offer, great! If not, they will be honest about it. The same goes for any additional services the partner might offer.
Their aim isn’t to up or cross-sell their solutions and services. Their aim should be to help you digitally transform and futureproof your business to the best of their abilities.
Is your business prepared for digital transformation?
Traditional B2B businesses, like manufacturers and service providers, haven’t needed to focus on innovating their business models to attract new customers and retain the ones they already had. But now there are businesses with experience on both the B2B and B2C side. And you can bet they’re putting their innovative mindsets and digital-first cultures to good use.
What does that mean for you? More competition. Your solution? It’s time to embrace digital transformation. Don’t worry if you’re not quite sure where to start. We have a short guide where we cover everything business leaders like yourself need to know about digital transformation in the commerce space.