Developing a Digital Transformation Roadmap

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Digital transformation is about more than just digital technologies. It is also about organizations adopting new cultures, structures, and processes that will align with IT architecture, leading to comprehensive digital solutions. A digital transformation roadmap is defined as a process illustrating how an organization can adopt digital technologies to meet business objectives. This roadmap includes a series of steps that an organization can take in order to meet both its short-term and long-term business goals using digital technologies. 

To really understand what your business, employees, and customers need and want in an age of IoT, same-day delivery, and omnichannel experiences, you will need a documented digital transformation roadmap to implement the digital transformation.

In fact, shifting to a digital business model is a complicated process that requires organizations to map their digital transformation strategy against existing strategies and deploy necessary digital technologies for the changes to happen. Some can see how digital technologies will transform parts of a business but struggle to envision how entire value chains and business models may be transformed. 

Emerging digital technologies are reshaping everything from supply chains and production to sales and distribution, while companies struggle to build a differentiated, end-to-end customer experience in a relentlessly shifting economy. Modernizing infrastructure and basic operating processes helps organizations improve digital experiences for customers and employees alike.

Piecemeal Digital Transformation Solutions

Establishing a digital division independent from the business will foster the new ways of working necessary for digital success, such as agile product development, testing-and-learning techniques that accelerate progress while keeping focus on customers, and cross-functional teams that combine particular types of expertise. 

In a similar manner, special digitization projects can be undertaken to transform and pilot test specific business functions before an end-to-end business transformation is considered. The key idea is that digitally transformed supply chains and production processes can offer more visibility – from receiving raw materials and creating finished products to shipping them out to customers, which, in turn, drives organizational sustainability. 

Generally, these factors are incorporated into a roadmap for improving an organization’s culture alongside its digital capabilities. In that respect, the aim of this article is to assist companies on their journey of digital transformation, initiating the process of reflection about digital transformation.

Digital transformation indicates lasting changes to the ways a business functions. As it consumes significant resources, mistakes can be costly and dangerous for organizations. Moreover, the complexity surrounding any digital transformation strategy can be daunting as it affects many parts of a business operation. So it is imperative that business leaders understand the technological changes and their impact on the business. 

Digital Transformation Strategy vs. Roadmap: A Quick Analysis

In digital transformation, the “strategy” is the plan that helps create a solid vision for where you want to go in the future, and why. On the other hand, the “roadmap” is a visualization of that strategy. It defines all the tasks that need to be accomplished in a given period of time to reach organizational goals. 

To make the roadmap more comprehensible, it is useful to break it down by each of the departments within your company. This information will help leaders prioritize which types of systems and technologies to focus on to achieve their end goals. We have heard repeatedly that leaders sometimes overlook connecting the dots between who they are, whom they serve, and how digital technologies can help deliver.

Typically, the digital transformation strategy includes what technologies to adopt, how the migrations will happen, the concurrent activities like staff training and changes in the tech infrastructure.

From Strategy to Roadmap: Digital Transformation in Action

Here are the sequential steps that business operators need to take to translate the digital strategy into an executable digital roadmap:

  • The digital transformation roadmap is often conceived from a set of predefined needs, which are tested to find gaps in existing systems. 
  • Then these gaps are used to create a strategy for designing the digital roadmap – outlining both the steps of a process and an expected final outcome. 
  • The third step is to evaluate how much of your defined goals have already been met, and how much is left to be done. 
  • At the start of the process of creating your digital transformation roadmap, it is critical that you perform an in-depth analysis on how your digital strategy works in relation to the company’s development plans and customer needs.
  • A knowledgeable advisor can help develop an objective vision of your digital transformation strategy, as well as provide an estimate of what all these changes would cost. Once your digital strategy phase is complete, you can begin thinking about creating a digital transformation roadmap. 
  • In the first six to 18 months after implementation of a digital strategy through a roadmap, the actual rollout and acceleration phases begin to take root, and these phases may continue over subsequent years as digital initiatives scale throughout the business, with digital capabilities and new ways of working becoming a lifeblood for a business.


Organizational change is never easy, and reaching digital maturity can be a particularly difficult journey, even for companies that are positioned at a digital-first level. Digital transformation is a long journey, and even when they have a sound strategy, organizations need to be patient with the process, and they need to commit for a very long period of time in order to see it succeed. The CEO cannot just rubberstamp a digital transformation; they need to convey the vision for what needs to be achieved, why, and, to show digital is a non-negotiable priority, hold other leaders accountable, and make it difficult to go backward.

When you completely change how business is done, down to the way people think, you are changing the way an organization operates so that it can succeed more in a digital age. If you can help people at your company to address their own challenges in the process of digital transformation, they will be far quicker to buy into your company’s vision. Ultimately, though, it is going to be essential that you help all employees redefine how they do things, because the ultimate outcome of a digital transformation is to establish an agile operational model across your entire company. 

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