When people bring up digital transformation in a business context, it sometimes conjures up images of frantic technology purchases. Major investments are made in new software and devices—and that’s the end of the story.
Digital transformation is a lot more than just an exercise in technology or solution adoption. It entails a whole new approach to doing business, enabled by suitable technology and centered around the customer. It sits at the intersection of strategy, design, and technology for the dual purpose of differentiating the company and reinventing the CX for lasting growth in a digitally accelerated age.
In this blog, we will try to offer some insights on how an organization can decide whether it is ready for digital transformation. We will take a look at some of the key conceptual, strategic, and technological puzzles that must be solved before the organization can embark on that transformative journey with assurance.
Relevance is a holistic commitment
Part of the misunderstanding stems from the outdated “inside-out” approach, where KPIs and internal resources dictate how an organization designs and carries out activities to generate growth. What digital transformation calls for, however, is the opposite—an “outside-in” method that centers the worries, needs, interests, and headaches of the customer, that builds and adjusts strategies based on how they respond to the organization’s products and services.
To onboard, delight, and keep customers that will turn into brand loyalists, it is key to deliver tailored exchanges and experiences at key touchpoints and in relevant contexts. One should not interpret this as simply a cue for adopting new channels and send campaigns that encompass more than a single touchpoint. Rushing for more is never the whole point, nor will spray-and-pray overcome the challenge at hand.
An outside-in approach, embraced for the purpose of driving digital transformation, requires a restructuring of the business to ensure customer-centricity and relevance in every aspect of their experience with the organization.
What is best for your customers—at this specific location, channel, and/or time? Are the products designed to match the interests of the target segment?
Is there enough data to carry out your engagement efforts? Where is all the data located? Do you have the capabilities to turn the overwhelming amount of data from all the sources into valuable insights?
Are there not just one-off messages, but evolving communication flows to inform diverse audiences about your offerings? Can the interactions and journeys evolve with the customers? Have you mapped out the metrics that matter to your organization and introduced the right technology and process to proactively track how well your marketing activities are going?
In short, at every step of the many possible digital journeys across your ecosystem, there must be effective digital enablers to facilitate them, harness valuable insights, generate concrete business impact, and attribute ROI.
The benefits successful digital transformation can bring
Done well, digital transformation can offer a variety of benefits:
1. Create flexible products that support new business paradigms
2. Develop a segment-of-one understanding of the customer
3. Remove roadblocks on the journey to relevant products and services
4. Ensure consistent content and communication relevant across channels
5. Ensure contextual, seamless customer engagement based on derived patterns at scale
6. Turn all touchpoints into avenues for upselling and cross-selling
7. Combine all forementioned benefits to drive top-line growth
Star your own journey
Digital transformation is a journey with no destination. This doesn’t mean that getting lost is inevitable. Instead, it’s about the endless potential to shed old approaches and reach new scales.
As we have already discussed, embark on this journey one step at a time. Break down the transformation roadmap into bite-sized pieces that can be implemented without causing major disruptions or exhausting your team’s energy. And it is imperative that you identify the right technology foundation that can fuel such a major undertaking in the long term.
Assess your team and operational process to determine the areas in need of simplification and revamping. Digital transformation is, after all, an organization-wide commitment, instead of just a marketing initiative.
There is no one single answer for the question that is the title of this blog. What we do know, however, is that digital transformation necessitates a holistic evolution, one that is made possible by patience, willingness to innovate, and unwavering customer centricity.
“Go away from what you know, seek to understand and address what you do not know, and endeavor to uncover what are the “Unknown Unknows.” Build this process around a robust foundational business framework and a constantly evolving technology architecture.”
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