Key Success Factors for Business Transformation

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Ongoing market changes and technology advancement have posed an inevitable need for businesses to transform themselves in order to compete and thrive. Transformation for transformation’s sake could drain resources for little return. There are six key success factors for business transformation.

1. Customer experience enrichment
Transformation efforts need to be customer-centric. Customers care about the value they receive from the products and services purchased. They also value how the product or service is delivered. They have high expectations for convenience, ease of information access and support, and friendly staff interaction at every touchpoint. To enrich customer experience, businesses must see the challenges their customers face through their eyes. This understanding enables a business to introduce changes that truly matter to the customers. Excellent customer experience keeps the customers happy and boosts loyalty, leading to more repeat business and referrals.

2. Technology adoption for value
The myriad of technology options could be overwhelming. Value and fit should be the main focus when selecting technology for the transformation. Value includes enhancements to customer experience, operations, products and services, and differentiations that set the business apart from its competition. Adapt solutions that are readily available. This allows the business to execute with speed, reducing the lead time to implementation. By conducting the proper due diligence to verify the value the technology brings, the business would harness the anticipated benefits.

3. Integrated front and back-end operations
Customer-facing activities often has the priority when making investment choices. This leaves the back-end operations run with legacy systems that might have been enhanced over the years. The integration of the state-of-the-art front end technologies with the antiquated back-end technologies remains an Achilles heel. This integration is pivotal in generating a fluid transition where processes are optimized. Without the proper integration, the backend operation will become a bottleneck, minimizing the effects of the transformation effort. Look out for extensive use of manual intervention to bridge the integration.

4. Measurement for vital insight
The massive vault of data most businesses possess keep them in an exploration mode to identify how best to turn their data into useful insight. Traditional tools have limited functionalities for analysis, so the practice of exporting data and performing the needed analysis in Excel is common. Modern applications such as business process management software offers functionalities to capture real-time data at critical steps of a process. Useful measurements provide the right data for relevant and timely analyses, eliminating the cumbersome adhoc approaches that are time-consuming and error-prone. Businesses that have a clear vision for answers to their questions are ahead of their competition because they have the vital insight to take the most effective actions.

5. Relentless collaboration
Departmental silos are islands of rich resources which must be bridged to benefit the business. Finance, sales, marketing, IT, operations need to share their knowledge on the customers and expertise. For better results, extend the collaboration effort beyond the business. Suppliers and customers are perfect sources for business intelligence. Collaboration is the best way to filter conflicting ideas and prioritize what is most important for the customers and the business. Otherwise, the transformation effort would deliver sub-par performance and potentially clunky changes that please no one.

6. Culture for change adaptiveness
Values and beliefs drive the behavior of people. It is difficult to get someone to change through coercion. When a change appeals to self-interest, a person is open to give it a chance. Every transformation initiative introduces some changes that cause anxiety. To minimize the hurdle of change resistance, build a culture that embrace trialing new things and a mind-set to learn from failures. The adaptive culture allows the business to advance the momentum for transformation, make refinement and deliver better outcomes.

Business transformation has pervasive effects on the organization. They will impact the customers. Each of above success factors involves transformation in itself. Businesses would be successful with their transformation when they are prepared for the changes and have a clear vision for the end results.


  1. Adapting solutions that are readily available is a good idea. Making sure they will benefit your business would be important as well. I would imagine that finding a company that has the skills and knowledge of business transformation would help you find and make the changes that will be best for your company.

    • Great comment. Success needs to be clearly defined to provide the goal post for the transformation work.

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