Today, every business wants to embrace digital. Unfortunately, many companies do not understand where to start and how to drive measurable value and success. This blog will outline four key value pillars that will help organizations fuel their digital transformation journey and become a value generating digital enterprise.
Thought leadership and strategy
Digital transformation is not a one-time initiative. It is a long-term strategy creating a framework that accommodates a constant state of evolution. Digital transformation is possible when people, processes, and technology come together to achieve a desired digital strategy. The success of such initiatives relies on a dedicated commitment from the top of the organization's leadership. Effective leaders will understand the holistic need for digital enablement and will bring together key strategic business units (SBU) in alignment with the company's digital transformation objectives.
"Digital is not a specific technology. It is a transitional process that deals with new ideas, change management, and innovation. Good leadership will set the right platform for individuals and departments to work in synergies for achieving organization's digital transformation goals."
Embracing new digital technologies and trends
In this digital-centric world, organizations have to constantly re-imagine and redesign the way they conduct their businesses in order to stay ahead of current and emerging competitors. Organizations must continuously find ways to leverage emerging digital technologies to better accomplish their key business goals.
For example, mobile technologies have changed the way businesses operate in the past 10 years, and there have been spectacular winners and losers. Today, businesses have to embrace emerging digital technologies and trends such as cloud computing, cognitive computing, big data and analytics, and the IoT (Internet of Things) to stay competitive within their industries.
"Organizations must keep a close eye on emerging technology trends. You must foster an innovative culture within the company to constantly channelize emerging digital trends into a competitive advantage."
Have you heard about Atom bank in the UK? The bank is a virtual bank which has no branches or offices at all; customers access the services using its mobile app. The bank claims itself as "Britain's first mobile-only bank", and operates 24 hours a day to serve its customer base. Betting on creating a compelling banking experience on mobile, Atom bank drives customer conversations through its mobile app with the support of web chat, email, social media and phone for customer support. That's not all: the bank's mobile app has built-in security features like face and voice recognition, and biometrics to manage secure online operations. Who would have ever imagined that the entire banking operations can be bundled into a mobile app?
Atom bank is a success story. It is transforming the way banks operate by creating an engaging and unique customer experience for the millennial customer generation. Atom isn't the only bank aiming at a digital-first approach. Across the globe, many banking companies are building digital applications to stay relevant to the needs of modern-day, digital savvy consumers.
This is interesting: did you ever imagined that you would end up paying additional car insurance premiums for careless driving habits? Yes, Progressive Insurance, USA is calculating the insurance premium for its customers by a usage-based-insurance (UBI) telematics program. A telematics dongle is plugged into the customer's car, the insurance company will collect all the driving patterns and data related to the customer. Based on this information the insurance premium is decided—higher if the driver is careless, and lower for safe drivers. This entire application is powered by machine learning and IoT.
Business process automation
Business process automation is at the heart of digital transformation. Automation helps modernize key business functions by shortening the life cycle of various repetitive and replicable activities. The key value is to improve operational efficiency across the organization. Businesses today use of a wide variety of devices and applications to communicate with their stakeholders. Automating these communications is vital. If you can meet benchmark standards in business process automation, your journey towards digital transformation becomes far more feasible.
"Automation can provide a high-level of agility to your business operations. In synergy with other key areas like mobility, IoT, and analytics, automation helps you accelerate digital transformation."
Mastering customer experience management
The ultimate bottom line for any business is to achieve customer loyalty. Delighted customers contribute to business growth. They spend more, promote a positive word of mouth, and share prompt feedback to improve the quality of products and services of your business. Hence customer experience management has become a critical part of any business's long-term growth strategy. A robust customer interaction management helps businesses proactively understand customer concerns and provide resolutions.
"Customer experience management plays a vital role in an organization's digital transformation journey. Today, achieving customer satisfaction is synonymous with achieving business value."
Airbnb, in its initial days, was unable to generate sustainable revenue and almost went bankrupt in 2009. Its founders realized they were unable to drive bookings to the listed properties due to the poor quality of the images uploaded. And, it was obvious that customers won't spend if they can't clearly see what they were paying for. To improve this situation, the company revamped the website by replacing the amateur photos with beautiful high-resolution pictures of the listed properties. Since making this improvement, what Airbnb has achieved as a company is an open history.
With no physical interactions and credible travel agent available, Airbnb, over the years has built high levels of transparency and customer confidence. This is made possible by Airbnb's continued focus on building a compelling customer experience across their digital channels (website and mobile apps). Creating personalized, responsive and memorable customer experiences online, made Airbnb stand out as one of the most successful and trusted digital brands today.
The journey towards digital transformation requires a multidisciplinary approach. While each of the above-listed building blocks plays a key role, it is also important that all these initiatives flourish in a tightly integrated environment. As a result, their synergies can bring immense value to the organization. Also, it is important that the organization have the right metrics in place to continuously evaluate the progress and streamline any discrepancies in the digital transformation journey.