July 2019
Text by Charles Richard

Image: © alphaspirit/123rf.com

Charles Richard has eight years of experience as a business analyst with TatvaSoft. In this role, he analyzes data and information to generate increased business value. Prior to joining TatvaSoft, he worked as a programmer. He holds an MBA and a Computer Science degree.


Twitter: charlesrich324
Tatvasoft.co.uk

Digital change – it’s here to stay

Digital transformation is calling organizations to rethink not only their products and services but also internal processes and company structures. Is it time to take some daring risks?

It has been more than a decade since we witnessed the global expansion of smartphones, tablets, social networking, cloud and mobile computing, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and the Internet of Things. Today, the digital space is expanding at a frightening pace. Enterprises are striving hard to sustain the momentum in the ever-changing markets shaped by technology-driven change. But it is not only our products and services that need to be adapted to the constantly changing expectations. Our workspaces are also calling for digital transformation.

"The impact of digital on an organization is top to bottom – from strategy to customer engagement, operations, risk, and tax. Digital should, therefore, be everyone’s job."

– Laurence Buchanan, Partner at Ernst & Young LLP

 

Only a few decades ago, reaching new customers was a matter of creating a compelling message that could move your product from rags to riches. Technology has since moved alarmingly fast – today, consumer technology can reach a critical mass of 50 million users in fewer than 35 days. Digital technology is starting to reach even the most remote places on our planet. You might experience its impact as slow and steady; however, the pressure is mounting. To survive in our digital universe, companies today are required to have a firm grasp on how to utilize the latest technological trends.

Below are a few suggestions for how businesses can make optimal use of digital developments and improve their effectiveness.

1. Own digital

Consider hiring a chief digital officer, or set up a dedicated digital business unit. A good digital expert or team should sooner or later provide enough value to pay for itself. Remember that implementation is key here. You might have spent an enormous amount of time doing research and structuring your content, but all of that counts for nothing if you don’t know how to implement it right. The term digitalization is no longer a buzzword; it has become a norm in every single part of the business – be it customer experience, business model, technology in the workforce, risk management, cyber security, data privacy, and so on. Make sure to implement it right across your business. 

2. Start and end with the customer

To win early support, companies must keep their end customers in mind right from the beginning. And, customers don’t come to you for your technical know-how, they come to you looking for solutions. So, provide solutions! Try creating the smart and connected products that will help your customers complete the job they are trying to achieve in a faster, cheaper, and better manner.

3. Executive vision and leadership

Lead from the front! Management needs to be exceptionally digitally savvy and capable of using the right combination of carrots and sticks if they wish to move the organization through the challenges of the digital journey. Keep in mind that to provide a good level of digital leadership, executives don’t need to be expert technologists. Start with the occasional social media post. They have become very meaningful in improving operations, revenue, customer experience, and competitive position.  

4. Encourage new cultural norms

Pursue a digital transformation strategy with a broad view on innovation. Seems risky? Think of it this way: In the long run, it might turn out to be riskier to not proactively disrupt and transform your business. The ongoing digital transformation demands innovation and risk-taking. Organizations are encouraged to look beyond the usual paradigms of their traditional markets and competitors, perhaps even borrowing business models from other industries. Of course, this might mean entering unknown terrain, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Start with small experiments and gather feedback from stakeholders. This can then help you to plan the next small experiment until you discover the most effective outcome.

5. Keep pursuing new technology

With the implementation of new technology, businesses are able to evaluate their current stack against the goals of the digital transformation to find functionality or data gaps. Also, notice different behaviors for digital transformation, such as:

 

  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Increased ROI of transformation activities
  • Increased productivity
  • More competitive products and services
  • Greater customer satisfaction
  • Increased revenue

It all starts with engaged and digitally savvy executives who drive the overall strategy including collaboration, faster innovation and time-to-market, new revenue opportunities, and, most importantly, serving customers in a unique and compelling manner.

Final word

No matter how challenging or costly digital transformation is, businesses must give it a shot by opening themselves to collaborate, to innovate and market faster, to generate new revenue opportunities, and to serve end customers in unique and appealing ways.