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What is digital transformation and how do I get started?

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

Digital transformation refers to changing something using digital technology.

Done right, it's like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Revolutionary. Beautiful. And it can fly.

Do it wrong and you have a faster caterpillar that's still going to get eaten up at some stage. - One of my clients referred to this as 'Putting lipstick on a pig' which is another fantastic analogy!

Here's some examples of where SME's often limit their potential:

  • Out of date ways of doing things (Paper based, needs manual effort, repetitive, etc.).

  • Lack of understanding of how tech can help which leads to underinvestment.

  • Bad prioritisation, buying solutions that don't create benefit.

  • Poor methods of communication and collaboration.

  • Employees stuck in their ways, often with a 'favourite spreadsheet' or wall-board.

  • Lack of leadership and vision.

So, what can you do to digitally transform?

Step 1 - Start with the end in mind

(60 minutes)

Before you start getting too carried away with hitting your entire business with the digital transformation stick, let's be clear on the END GOAL.

Make sure you've taken time to create an up-to-date business model canvas; This will help you to understand your customer base, their needs and expectations, and position your business, products and services to meet those needs.

Step 2 - How might we...

(60 minutes)

Sketch out what's going well and what's holding you back. For the things that are holding you back, ask yourself, "How might we..."

So, for example, if you can't visit your customers to deliver your service, flip that challenge into an actionable question like "How might we service our customers online?"

Step 3 - Solutions

(60 minutes)

Explore solutions. Don't get baffled by individual technologies ("I need an App"). Tech is changing all the time, they're just tools of the trade that we use to get shit done, and there's loads more tech on the way. Instead, focus on each idea and weigh it up based on (a) Effort to implement, and (b) Benefit to the business. At the end of this exercise you'll better understand these things:

  • Things to do first (Low effort, high benefit)

  • Projects that you start (High effort, high benefit)

  • Quick tasks (Low effort, Low benefit)

  • Time wasters (High effort, Low benefit) Why would you do these things?


Digital success starts with these basic steps. The benefits can be significant and it doesn't always take lots of time and effort. Take a step back from the noise, find a quiet space and do some logical thinking. Opportunity is waiting!

If you get stuck then we're here to help, so please get in touch. I'll be posting more content and videos of how to manage these steps so check back soon.

Good luck!


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