Top 5 Trends in Digital Transformation
Digital transformation used to be a buzzword, then it was a trend. But today, it’s a central component of modern business strategy.
I have written at length about how successful digital transformation reshapes every aspect of business. It requires careful collaboration, thoughtful planning, and the inclusion of every department. What sets apart the companies that make it real? Here are five key trends those enterprises have leveraged to manage the shift.
- Starting Small — When people hear the phrase ‘Digital Transformation’ they often get scared. They think it means becoming the next Amazon or Uber of their industry. Or they think of it as a massive project that incurs massive foundational costs, with the unkept promise of a pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow. Organizations that succeed start small. This allows for a number of things: a) it keeps the team focused; b) it allows you to test out a partner and ensure they are trustworthy, easy to work with, and results-oriented; c) it requires less change management (often the major stumbling block in digital transformation); d) it helps with buy-in for future digital transformational projects; and e) it is easier to get funding approval.
- Focusing on the Employee — While focusing on the client experience has become the norm, companies find they are able to get better results, faster, by focusing on the employee. They make every employee as good as their best employees, making them smarter, faster, empowered, and more engaged.
- Focusing on the Back-End — Putting lipstick on a pig (i.e. building a beautiful front end website or mobile app) has proven a failure when it comes to truly improving the user experience and driving long-term results. Organizations have come to realize that great results come from focusing on what’s inside an organization that makes things work. This includes the 4Ps (process, people, policy, and platforms); it includes making the overall experience better for both the employee and the customer; and yes, it still includes making great front-end experiences — but that isn’t the focus, because a great front-end experience that hooks into an antiquated way of doing business doesn’t really differentiate you.
- Bringing Together the CMO, COO, and CIO — These three roles used to be able to succeed in comfortable isolation, but in today’s successful enterprise, they collaborate toward a purpose greater than the sum of their traditional goals. This is because truly transforming an organization — even with small projects — almost always requires the full engagement of these three departments to drive real, tangible results for the organization and the intended end-user audience.
- Demonstrable Cost Savings — While driving massive revenue increases is always a goal, organizations have found the best way to gain buy-in, funding, and to prove results is to deliver demonstrable cost savings by leveraging technology, automation, rules engines, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) decision engines. When done through the lens of digital transformation, these cost-saving initiatives deliver a far superior employee and customer experience. Take a process and make it faster and smarter — not only does the organization save, but the user benefits.
These trends are at the core of digital transformation, and will continue to be through the remainder of 2017 and beyond. Digital transformation is no longer optional. The ability of your organization to change both its technology and its culture rapidly is key to building a business model that is agile, adaptable, and designed to survive and thrive in the future.
About the Author: Lawrence Tepperman is the Founder and Managing Director of K2 Digital, a leading digital transformation services and solutions firm. He hasmore than 20 years of experience building companies through marketing, software solutions, and management consulting. He founded K2 Digital in 2012 in order to help companies realize the tremendous benefits of digital transformation before they are disrupted.