Let me begin with some interesting statistics:
The average life span of a corporation is 12 years, a multi-national is 40 years. Only a fraction of organisations survive longer.
So, have you ever pondered why do some organisations survive for centuries?? Do they have a special skill set that makes them stay relevant in the market at all times .Have they mastered the M&A game? Or is it a sheer desire to survive no matter what comes in between?
This is what Arie de Geus; director of strategy at Royal Dutch Shell had to say after examining 27 such organisations.
“The ability to learn faster than your competitors is the only sustainable competitive advantage.”
The world we live in is changing so fast that most of us would soon have a lot of catching up to do. Soon the world would be filled with the born digital generation- those born in the late 80’s and early 90’s.Children who were gifted with a Sega or a Play Station on their birthdays. These very children are on the threshold to bring about a very fundamental change to our society, consumer behaviour and business models. They have created a new wave of consumerism, with shifting values, new decision making models and better engagement expectations.
The Emergence of Disruptive Technology
Within this environment, smart organisations are gearing up for a different kind of revolution. A revolution spawned by the need to survive in a world disrupted by technology. So how do you define competitive advantage in an environment that is regularly being hit by disruptive technology?
Adaptability has become the buzz word. Smart organisations realize that embracing a digital transformation from top down is the only way to adapt in an era driven by “born digital”, “mobile” and “second screens”.
So how urgent is the need for digital transformation.
“27% of execs already rate digital transformation as a matter of survival. 90% believe that by 2016 if their organisations do not undergo digital transformation it would be difficult to survive.” –MIT Sloan Management “
There is an imminent need to transform the current setup of your business because disruption is everywhere. If you think your business or industry is immune, think again. Classic examples: horse & carriage to car, fixed line phone to mobile, Personal computer to smartphone.
Unfortunately we do not know what next. It could be the IoT (internet of things) or Robotics AI or 3D printing. Be certain it will hit your business. The question is would you be prepared? Would you have embraced digital by then to learn faster, adapt better and transform effectively.
Digital transformation is more than just an investment in technology. Organizations must truly change, from the inside out, to become more responsive and responsible to consumers. To bring about digital transformation, we need to understand how digital affects the customer experience. This requires research and insights, not guesswork. We need to understand behaviours, personas and expectations throughout every stage of the lifecycle. This means having a holistic focus. We need to move beyond just mobile or whatever technology is ‘so hot right now’.
Focus should be on enabling transformations to create new value throughout the customer lifecycle. Transformations should enable every disruption by technology to be an opportunity at creating better customer experience.
How do organisations gear up for this change?
There is no one way path or single solution as business models are different for organisations, industries and markets. But there are some fundamentals that should be perfected while in the process of Digital transformation.
1. Align Digital strategy:
The classic scenario is like this: Different departments manage different steps in the consumer journey, and often fail to collaborate. The customer experience then becomes incoherent. When the consumer smells confusion, he is gone and may never return.
So what do you do? Align your digital strategy and communicate it from top to bottom across the organisation and departments. Ensure your customer support guy assisting customer X for the first time should know what promises the pre sales guy gave the customer.
Example: Amazon. Just ponder on this: What is most impressive about Amazon, the digital part of the customer experience or the delivery itself?
2. Communicate your transformation and engage:
Again let me elucidate with a good example: GOV.UK. Let customers know you have gone digital. Let them know you are there whenever they need you.
Your commitment to embrace change for the future should be communicated to your audiences. This helps them connect with you instantly. You may do this through multiple channels like websites, E commerce portals, online stores, or your custom social networking platforms.
3. Embrace Mobile first:
Most organisations lack a mobile first or a second screen thinking. But it is a fact that smart devices have the power to disrupt every business. An average consumer today has a hi-speed computer in his pocket allowing him to connect everywhere, anytime. So consider this equation during digital transformation.
4. Revamp Digital infrastructure:
Today customers use technology their way, regardless of whether your strategy aligns with their journey. Redesign your website, and/or other engagement platforms to enhance the customer experience the way they want it. Improving the digital customer experience takes collaboration, resources, leadership and an understanding of its business value.
5. Give a Digital Identity to The 4P:
Another interesting stat from Gartner:
“CMO’S would spend more on technology than their CIO or CTO counterparts by 2017.”
Why is this? It is evident that most CMO’s realize that customer experience has become the most critical factor that can make or break their business. So it become more relevant to provide a digital identity to your Product, Promotions, Process and People.
Know this – If other CMO’s are doing it, that’s more competition for your business unless you walk a couple of steps ahead.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”
So let’s innovate and Disrupt for a better Digital transformation.
What do you think? Post in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you.
P.s: For any help in structuring the best digital transformation for your business, contact us.