What’s driving digital transformation?

For all the concern that digital transformation might be unfulfilled hype, actual adoption remains a key strategic imperative and area of investment. The potential benefits are too great to ignore.

71 per cent of the UK organisations achieving digital transformation are already seeing improvements in customer experience (Coleman Parkes research). While 34 per cent are also seeing increases in revenue as a result, the danger for some enterprises is that these potential benefits remain just that: potential. Organisations need to move much faster and adapt to evolving consumer and employee requirements if they are to survive and thrive.

For some, results have not yet been delivered for the same recurring reasons, and this puts digital transformation in a dangerous predicament as faith in the concept itself could be lost within an organisation. IDC’s recent Digital Transformation report suggests that 70 per cent of digital transformation initiatives will ultimately fail because of insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing or project management.

For many, this is caused by a lack of understanding of why digital transformation is necessary, what is driving it and how the workplace ecosystem has necessitated a shift. For many businesses, the first challenge is defining what digital transformation actually means for their organisation. IDC’s report also predicts that 60 per cent of digital transformation initiatives will not be able to scale this year because of a “lack of strategic architecture” or failure to back up customer experience with internal processes.

Without this base of understanding, many enterprises are making blind assumptions about where their structure requires reinvention and how it can best be deployed. Little wonder the adoption of digital transformation sometimes fails to match predictions.

“We can use technology to work smarter and be more productive” is not a sufficient justification for changing working practices and recommending new technology roll-outs, no matter what statistics and cost savings may be quoted. Enterprises must also appreciate why the opportunity for digital transformation has arisen, what caused the rapid initial interest and excitement — beyond technological innovation — and therefore how best to implement the principles into their own organisations. It’s not enough to know digital transformation is the solution; enterprises need to fully understand their organisation’s challenge too.

As a first step, business leaders and departmental managers alike must educate themselves on the sociological, economic and commercial drivers of digital transformation, and determine the degree to which each is evident within their own organisation. This can then allow them to design how they pursue the digital transformation trend.

Many companies have to change their structures, cultures and practices to remain competitive. Around them the world is becoming ever more connected, highlighting the need for both a local and global focus. There are increased demands for transparency, sustainability and compliance, while economic instability is an ongoing concern. These challenges require greater flexibility and decentralisation to respond and adapt faster to changes in customer behaviour or demand.

The bar for contemporary customer experience is constantly rising as consumer needs and expectations continue to evolve. Customers want to engage using the channel of their choice and expect organisations to know, understand and respond to their requirements instantly. They use social media instinctively to share their experiences, both to praise and complain. Operating in this new fast-moving digital landscape is second nature to them as they make consumer comparisons

online, and switch provider at the click of a mouse or, more often, the tap of a screen.

Posted on 7wData.be.