If vendors are to be believed, the path to digital transformation is to buy and deploy the latest and best mobile applications, social CRM systems, or other technologies. But that’s no surprise. To imply this is in their best interests.
New technology is important, but adopting the latest tools doesn’t instantly transform your business. For true digital transformation to occur, you need to support these new tools and systems appropriately across your entire organization.
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS MORE THAN DIGITIZATION
Unfortunately, many businesses still believe that digital transformation is the same as digitization. This belief prevents them from making the big changes that come from a transformative approach.
Digitization is a gradual improvement
Digitization simply involves taking an existing process and then improving it using digital methods. This is good, but rarely transformative.
For example, a generic business that sells escalators and elevators might implement a new CRM system so that they can respond faster to their customers’ questions and requests for technical repairs. They are doing the same thing as before – just a bit better. This is digitization.
Digital transformation is an evolutionary leap
Digital transformation goes deeper, creating new strategies and processes which lead to a new and better way of providing value.
We can see this in the example of the Schindler Group, a Swiss company that also produces escalators and elevators. The Schindler Group teamed up with Apple and started installing smart sensors into their products. If a component shows signs of wear or develops a fault the team at Schindler Group is notified immediately.
The result is that their engineers have more information to help them conduct repairs, thereby saving money by doing more preventative maintenance. In this scenario, the customer gets much better service while the Schindler group is able to plan and schedule their maintenance workforce more effectively. Moreover, the analytical data captured provides Schindler with game-changing insight into every aspect of the process. This is digital transformation.
Is your business settling for gradual improvements when you should be looking for an evolutionary leap?
IS YOUR TEAM READY?
At the most basic level digital transformation requires interconnecting these customer-facing applications with your back-end systems, but much more important is the need to support this transformation with the right personnel.
Digital transformation is a business challenge
The biggest mistake businesses make when attempting digital transformation is to believe that the transformation begins and ends with a technical solution. Digital transformation is a BUSINESS challenge, not a technical one, and that means you need to get your employees on board.
To succeed, your teams must be highly motivated, well-trained, and passionate about the user experience. As Gartner recently reported, “every employee is a digital employee,” so you need every team committed to the mission.
Breaking down barriers
This can sometimes mean working across silos, or even breaking them down. Remember, your customers don’t care about how your business is organized, only about the service they receive. Regardless of whether they are operating at the front end or back end, it is essential they understand and are on board with your digital transformation strategy.
How do your structure, training, and hiring support your digital transformation strategy?
TRUE TRANSFORMATION IS NOT AN EVENT
Digital transformation is not a one-time action, but a continuous process. A business that embraces digital transformation must be restless: always considering new opportunities and technologies. This requires a certain state of mind, a transformative philosophy, and a business structure that is agile and allows for quick changes.
Wise leadership is also important; not every new application of technology is useful or viable for every business. It is wasteful to make changes simply for the sake of them. True digital transformation should have a revolutionary impact on the value you provide your customers.
How is your digital transformation going to provide value to your customers?
We love to discuss digital transformation! If you do as well, give us a call us at 877-932-8357 or email us: [email protected]