Inem Essien
Inem Essien CEO

Nigeria has made great strides in the digitisation of its private and public sectors, yet businesses still face many obstacles when it comes to embracing digital transformation.

An increase in cybercrime, insufficient infrastructure and inconsistent government policies are just some of the issues that are thwarting adoption in Nigeria.

Along with the abovementioned challenges, CIOs also have to allay the concerns and misconceptions that still exist about technological change. It’s crucial for you to take an approach that doesn’t alienate other key stakeholders in the business. In this blog, we guide you through the process of selling digital transformation to your company.

The wrong approach

CIOs have something of an educational role to play at times. You might need to convince key stakeholders in your company that embracing digital transformation is necessary, and that failing to do so is likely to jeopardise the business’s survival. But leading with this kind of statement is not likely to go down well, even if, on some level, these stakeholders know that it’s true.

It’s a safe bet that those who haven’t yet embraced digital transformation aren’t as tech-savvy, and they might be bewildered, intimidated and sceptical when you try to sell them platforms and tools they’ve never heard of. They’ll probably tell you that they’ve “been doing just fine without any of that stuff, thank you very much”.

The right approach

It’s best to start with a conversation about their role in the business. It’s vital that you understand what it is they do, how their specific operations are structured and how their processes work. Find out where their pain points are. Where are the most labour-intensive and inefficient parts of their process? Ask where mistakes are most frequently made and – worded carefully – what is the most common reason for customer dissatisfaction?

Chances are that the solutions to those problems are digital. Digital transformation effectively sells itself through tangible benefits that amount to significant cost savings, added agility and improved efficiency. The challenge is to convey the most relevant information in a straightforward and convincing manner. Use stats and figures to support your argument whenever possible. The numbers can be convincing on their own but try to present them in a visually compelling way.

Ease them into it

Be sure to listen to all the key decision-makers. There’s a reason they’ve resisted digital transformation up to this point – it might not be a good one, but it has to be addressed. They’re likely to be daunted by the scale of the task ahead, one they don’t understand or entirely trust. Pride and egos can also be a factor. Some customers might even think they are already digitally transformed because they have a website and use email.

Help these stakeholders to understand that digital transformation is an ongoing process. They don’t have to do it all at once, but if the core of the business isn’t digitally transformed, other digital transformation efforts will be undermined. It’s about making incremental steps that the business departments can keep pace with, but remember that there can be no half measures.

Digital transformation is a company-wide project, not something that happens in isolation. Everyone in the business should be informed about the process and the end goals because it’s important for all of them to buy into it. Then you can begin to talk about the tools they need and present a blueprint for the implementation of digital solutions.

Help your stakeholders to embrace a digital future and expand your business by downloading our Step-by-step guide to digital transformation

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