The digitization of products and services keeps businesses on the cutting edge of strategy and innovation, but it also requires difficult, systemic changes. Whether it’s accounting, marketing, partnerships, or sales, one thing is certain: Digitization of functions is tedious and failure-prone without an information governance strategy.

As a business goes digital, it must ensure information essential to customers, employees, and shareholders isn’t lost. Strong information governance ensures all information within an enterprise is accurate, trustworthy, and accessible. Ultimately, it equips business leaders to better serve customers, takes a load off employees, and boosts operational efficiency.

Digital Transformation Done Right

With a successful data governance framework, enterprises can key into the following digital transformation trends:

  • Take it from the top. Digital strategies are most successful when they’re led by the C-suite. Traditionally, data was housed within IT departments, but now, data is everywhere — the lifeblood of marketing, sales, business operations, and more. Business leaders and the IT department must work together, each bringing their talents to the table, to make well-informed data governance decisions.
  • Crown analysis as your king. Data is at the center of any digital initiative, but business leaders can’t just collect it like baseball cards. Business transformation requires analysis, and organizations that measure function performance are in the best position to improve those business areas.
  • Say goodbye to traditional models. The digital era has disrupted entire industries. Look at Uber’s play for the taxi business or Airbnb’s encroachment on traditional hotels. Digital means things don’t need to be done as they always have been. Marketers can disseminate company information in new ways, sales can use CRMs to target previously unseen leads, and products can be reconfigured to deliver digital services.

Think Byte-Sized to Digitize

Digitization done all at once can overwhelm executives and IT teams alike. To digitize effectively, approach the process with care:

  1. Put people before technology. New technology is never plug-and-play. More than shiny technologies, effective information governance requires clear communication between employees. Any information governance strategy must be executed by businesspeople for businesspeople. Without complete buy-in from the team, no technological overhaul can succeed.
  2. Boost employees’ technological literacy. Team members must be able to understand and communicate data, prioritize timelines, and use storytelling to establish relevance. Employees should receive ample training on new systems and use them to improve efficiency. Agility is the main difference between digital and traditional businesses. Without effective technological training, employees can’t benefit from the agility that digital transformation offers.
  3. Craft a digital-first culture. Innovation does not arise from flashes of brilliance from a gifted few. It emanates from collaboration among people with different backgrounds and personalities. Leaders may try to divide and conquer by deploying technology role by role rather than ingraining it into the culture, but this creates silos and stifles creative innovation.

Data will continue to reinvent our economy, and businesses in every sector must digitize if they wish to remain competitive. With a scalable and sustainable information governance system, companies will profit from greater agility, stronger feedback systems, and information-hungry cultures.