February 9, 2023

Woman working on large screens with data visualisation

Even if you aren’t actively working on digital transformation (DX), you’re probably thinking about it or you’re hearing other executives talk about it. Driven by the pandemic and emphasised by the rising economic instability, the particular pace of DX adoption has speeded up simply by three to seven years over a few  months.

It’s not only the uncertainty and the rising living costs that are making businesses rethink their electronic strategy. Shifts in consumer expectations and a focus on ESG and sustainability have put further pressure upon companies in order to innovate, adapt and act as advocates for  change.

A McKinsey study shows that nine out of 10 businesses think that their business model needs to change in 2023 or even has changed already, while 64% believe that they need to build new digital companies to remain economically viable.  

Digital transformation has created a scenario where companies that are fast plus agile stand to outlive those that will aren’t. But embarking on the particular DX journey requires caution. Trying to do too much too fast or doing nothing at all can both cost dearly. Instead, examine the overall business goal to see what emerging technology can help achieve it. The digital strategy, in this sense, should be a living, breathing thing that evolves alongside the  business.

Yet with so many competing priorities, how does one decide where to begin? Experts say, start with the  basics.  

Dust off your  data

Before you even start to look at bringing in new technologies, you need to inform your decision-making by gathering the right information. Many companies still struggle with disjointed or incomplete data and that can lead DX efforts astray. Jon Reay is the founder and CEO of Rewrite Digital, a digital transformation consultancy based within Wiltshire. He advises leaders to start by taking stock of the data they have . “You might not be aware of this but you may be collecting a lot of information from different sources that you haven’t brought together, haven’t interpreted and, therefore, a person don’t know how to create value out of  it. ”

Other than looking at internal data, he advises organisations to look at external sources. “In some cases, combining data between organisations across the sector can provide insights on consumer trends that you might not otherwise have  had. ”

Once you have clean and sufficient data you can think about which technologies, such as machine learning plus AI, will best use it to tackle specific  issues.

Invest in core capabilities

Inflationary spikes and the looming recession are making companies think about how to accomplish more with less, both in terms of their labour and digital abilities. Improvements in workforce scheduling, for example, can mitigate issues with labour shortages whilst automating manual tasks can increase productivity. Ruben Schaubroeck is senior partner plus leader associated with McKinsey’s digital practice in the UK, Ireland and Israel. This individual recommends taking an incremental approach, exactly where small changes can lead to big results. “The best companies take a domain-specific view of data, with regard to instance customer service or electronic sales, plus think regarding how they can take an end-to-end view associated with that make use of case to show a clear impact on customers and employees. ” 

We often discuss digital and data teams and reskilling top management, but you also have to think about how you can retrain your workforce more  broadly

After you have your proof of concept, you are able to replicate that will model throughout other departments and get the buy-in from key stakeholders. What you don’t want in order to do, Schaubroeck warns, is rip out the whole tech stack and start from scratch. Those strategies rarely get top-level buy-in or even work as  planned.  

On the other hand, companies need to exercise caution about how they build their technical capabilities . So says Barnaby Moffat, who will be co-founder plus commercial director of KPS UK, an ecommerce and digital change consultancy. While many businesses oscillate among buying a single enterprise solution or building a custom solution through standalone tools, the most agile businesses usually do each. They buy into a modern enterprise solution and then use it as the foundation for all the other bolt-on  pieces.

Moffat explains: “This hybrid approach allows you to move faster and have more control while still having one or two tech vendors be answerable to you. You can then build a suite of best-of-breed at the front end of your company, which is where businesses tend to need agility the  most. ”

Focus upon customer experience

While digital innovation occurs across sectors, B2B organizations often lag behind B2C vendors within customer encounter. This needs to  modify.  

Reay emphasises the particular need regarding businesses to look outside their field. “B2B should look at B2C because what they’re doing will certainly come next – giving you a better idea of exactly what must alter in your  industry. ”

Experience matters regardless of the type of business you run. Consumers, especially newer generations, can become unforgiving about engaging along with brands if the experience isn’t enjoyable and more likely to turn away compared to stay.   “Customers often move between various touchpoints, from customer services to sales or product sales to in-store, and in-store to online, ” states Moffat. “If that isn’t joined up, if the customer is not given the holistically excellent experience, it can cause a lot of  friction. ”

One way you can develop this single customer view is to capitalise on data. Charlotte Joyce, an independent electronic transformation consultant, says that loyalty programmes are still a good excellent method to collect customer data while making them feel loved plus appreciated.  

“Customer loyalty programmes are helping to drive this digital shift – not just intended for customer experience but for client retention while well. In this sense, they aren’t just about giving back to your clients, it’s also about getting more back for the  business. ” 

Provided a person have the necessary data, you can start thinking regarding ways to personalise each touchpoint to drive upsells and increase brand  devotion.

Embed electronic in your corporate DNA

Electronic transformation is usually often more about the people than the technology behind this. It’s about how you think about and respond to risks and opportunities. Joyce observes that will resistance in order to change is definitely the most common reason she sees DX projects fail, so it’s important to have the right talent in place. “Change management is such an underestimated factor in digital transformation and it needs to be a priority, ” she  says.  

One of her non-tech clients hired a chief technology officer because they realised that electronic adoption is an integral part associated with their company transformation. Other businesses are introducing roles such as a chief encounter officer in order to look in the employee and consumer experience, the head of remote to oversee a good increasingly distributed workforce along with a chief associated with data to manage the general data analytics infrastructure.  

Looking beyond hiring, it is vital to invest in upgrading the digital competencies of your overall workforce, at  scale.  

Schaubroeck notes: “We often talk regarding digital plus data groups and reskilling top administration but it is essential to think about exactly how to retrain your workforce more broadly. There’s frequently an assumption that we can’t retrain people from scale, but we’ve seen companies be very successful in doing  that. ”

Practise good digital  hygiene

Sustainability, resilience, cybersecurity and risk management are usually afterthoughts inside the process of implementing new electronic solutions. But these elements need in order to be included at the particular beginning to build a lasting digital  answer.  

Does your solution allow you to be more souple in times of doubt? Do you have a disaster recovery plan ought to one associated with your information centres fail? Do a person have a good data governance policy in place which informs your workers how to collect plus use data ? If the answer is no to most of these questions, you still have some ground-level work to  perform.  

Specialists also highlight the require to embrace ESG and sustainability, not only because it’s a major concern to get customers plus employees yet because it can also be the great cost-cutting exercise over  time.

Moffat highlights the expansion from the digital cleanliness umbrella. “For years we’ve built in automated testing for specialized debt, quality, performance and speed. Yet now, we can also test for energy efficiency. ” He notes that firms today can easily measure the particular energy consumption of their source code and function to make it more efficient. They can also look at cloud solutions plus opt pertaining to green information centres instead of traditional servers, which consume a lot more energy. Schaubroeck says that this can furthermore improve your worker value proposition to a talent who is increasingly ESG-conscious.  

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