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What is Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has been a part of the business world’s vocabulary since the turn of the century. Gordon Moore is often credited with establishing the fundamental premise underlying digital transformation. Moore’s law says that new technology will appear about every two years, leading to disruption in the marketplace. To be successful, enterprises must develop infrastructures that embrace the disruptive nature of technology.

Many companies equate digital transformation with technology. However, deploying technology doesn’t guarantee transformation. According to McKinsey, 70% of transformations fail because they lack two things:

  • Digital Culture
  • Digital Strategy

No matter their size, companies need to understand the paradigm shift that digital transformation requires.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is not an endpoint. It is a continuum. If Moore’s law holds true, disruptive technology will constantly change the business landscape. That means businesses must be agile enough to pivot quickly as markets demand. 

Every company’s transformation is unique, which makes defining the process difficult. In general, digital transformation integrates technology into all business areas resulting in a change in how businesses operate and deliver value. Precisely how that happens depends on the organization.

Most companies did not plan their technology networks. It just happened. Maybe, it started with basic productivity tools such as word processing or spreadsheets. Then accounting packages, customer relationship software, or inventory control solutions were added. Next, businesses needed a website, mobile application, and virus protection. Pretty soon, an organization had a collection of stand-alone solutions operating on different systems with limited ability to share information and respond to customers.

Once organizations realized that their technology stack was limiting their ability to compete, they began replacing old technology with digital solutions. How they went about replacing technology determined their success. Those companies that developed a digital business strategy before swapping out older technology were more likely to experience a successful transformation.

What is a digital business strategy?

Digital transformation isn’t about technology. It is about the customer. Putting the customer at the center of a digital strategy means looking at the customer experience first. How well is business meeting expectations? What technology is needed to improve the experience? 

Self-service options.

Companies should explore technologies that facilitate customer-facing self-service options across multiple touchpoints.  Many companies are adopting an online knowledge base in order to provide instant answers to customers and employees. For example, Iredell-Statesville Schools deployed a user-optimized knowledge base to help parents find answers quickly. The technology was able to answer over 80% of queries. The remaining 20% were seamlessly escalated to staff for answers.

Customer follow-up.

No matter the industry, customers want to be valued. They want to know that they are more than a number. One way to show appreciation is following up after consumer interaction. With most contact happening online, sending a follow-up email should be automatic and individualized. Yet, very few companies actually send one. Sometimes, sending an email after a negative experience is all that’s needed to turn it into a positive one. 

Automated solutions can respond promptly and in customized ways. Using such technology can address customer expectations without increasing workloads. What happens if a follow-up doesn’t happen? According to a PwC survey, one in three customers will leave a brand after one bad experience. Even more startling, 91% said they would abandon a brand after three negative interactions. 

Omnichannel experiences.

People interact with organizations across multiple channels such as websites, chatbots, social media, and mobile apps. Although users do not expect that each channel will deliver the same level of service, they do expect the message to be consistent across all platforms. When the message and information are inconsistent, people become frustrated and move to find another company that provides a consistent experience.

Building a Strategy

Developing a digital strategy means finding the technology that creates a positive customer experience. Whether it is self-service options or consistent messaging, technology should support a customer-first business strategy. With an ever-increasing array of digital solutions, companies must have a clear plan to ensure technology is supporting the overall transformational goals.

What makes a digital culture?

Digital transformation is about people over processes. It requires organizations to develop a corporate culture that looks at the employee as well as the customer experience. Why? According to a Harvard Business School study, happy employees increase a company’s long-term value by as much as 18.9%. Clearly, happy employees make satisfied customers.

Organizations create strong digital cultures by encouraging employees to:

  • Look outside the organization for solutions.
  • Engage with customers and suppliers. 
  • Collaborate through transparency.
  • Innovate by acknowledging risk.

Businesses support these initiatives by providing digital tools, so employees spend time on higher-value tasks. For example, PRMG deployed a technical solution that answered employee lending questions. Lenders no longer spent hours trying to find answers; instead, they were able to spend more time making sure the potential borrower’s experience was positive. Using technologies such as automation and machine learning contributes to a digital transformation by building a digital culture that values people.

What makes a successful transformation?

To experience a positive digital transformation, organizations have to look beyond technology. They have to understand that digital transformation is about:

  • Putting the customer first.
  • Recognizing transformation is not an endpoint.
  • Placing people over processes.

With a thorough understanding of what transformation is, companies can deploy the best technologies to build an infrastructure that is agile enough to keep pace with the disruptive nature of technology. 

No matter where you fall on the transformation continuum, Capacity’s solutions can help move your company forward.

If you’re interested in discussing how our solutions can help your digital transformation, click the button below.

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