Digital transformation isn’t just a buzzword, it has become a way of being given the ever-increasing rate of technology adoption and change. Therefore, a business really needs to understand what it is, why it’s so important and how they can get it right. In the simplest of terms, digital transformation is the strategic adoption of digital technologies to improve processes and productivity, deliver better customer and employee experiences, manage business risk, and control costs. But to be effective from a vendor perspective, we need to understand our customers, what their problems are, how well they understand what their customers want and how they need to change to deliver it.
When implemented correctly, digital transformation provides an opportunity for organizations to fundamentally change the way they operate in ways to better serve their customers, grow faster, have improved employee retention, grow profits, etc… It is this “transformation” aspect that distinguishes it from other general technology implementations. However, many digital transformation projects fail. Why? Because digital transformation isn’t just about technology, it’s about people, strategy, and understanding the outcomes the customers will pay for. Successful digital transformation initiatives require knowledge therefore about all the stakeholders involved.
Marne Martin, President of the Service Management Business Unit at IFS explains “The customer experience plays a crucial role in digital transformation. Or you could say that many digital transformation initiatives arise from pain points, business needs, and transformation requirements to improve the customer experience. But to truly understand and improve the customer experience, you need to not only listen to the voice of your customers but also need to use that valuable feedback to map your digital transformation outcomes to what your customers value most. Without that insight, you are investing in significant amounts of money, resource, and time that will have little to no impact on your business, let alone the customer experience.”
Marne continues “It’s also important for businesses not to think about digital transformation as a onetime project, it’s a motion that a business will go through not as a one-time activity, but part of a business’ lifespan as they continue to innovate and adapt to the growing expectations of their customers. The global pandemic caused the biggest shift in the experience economy than any other time in history, causing businesses to accelerate their digital adoption to meet the needs to of the shifting mindsets of their customers. But now it’s time to stop and listen to your customers and internal stakeholders to begin strategically transitioning those temporary fixes into long-term investments to drive efficiency and growth.”
“Getting the buy-in of your internal stakeholders is crucial to the success of your digital transformation efforts and one that many businesses overlook. Traditionally, when a new technology enters the workplace, it doesn’t fundamentally change how the workforce operates, it merely digitizes an existing working practice which for businesses perhaps moving off paper, that is a good first step, but for buying cycles that are part replacement technology as well as new technology, it is the process and business model change that needs to be embraced alongside. As we mentioned earlier, digital transformation isn’t just the adoption of new technology, it’s the opportunity for organizations to fundamentally change the way they operate, and that impacts your people.”
“Whilst the leaders of the business steer the boat, the employees fuel the engine and understand, in some cases better than anyone, the inner workings of your business, what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to change. Engaging with not only customer service, service delivery, and field service teams, but also marketing, sales, and innovation; essentially everyone who is expected to deliver on these experiences must see and understand these new motivations. Essentially your employees are the key drivers in making digital transformation investments a success, so you need to ensure they are taken on the journey with you and they have both the motivation, skills, and incentives to drive change and evolve.”
It’s clear that whilst many businesses do listen to their customers, employees, and wider ecosystem to gain insight to fuel their digital transformation efforts, many still don’t look at the bigger picture and are implementing ‘quick wins’ that don’t impact the customer experience or the long-term goals of the business. If we’ve learnt anything over the last 18 months it’s that customer’s expectations can dramatically change in a significantly short amount of time and therefore, we need to continuously be listening to them to stay ahead of the competition, fuel change, and grow our business for a successful future in the digital world. We are seeing that businesses want to compress change now given the challenges they are seeing, but it takes a culture change, not only a buzzword to do so. Let us help.
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