“Digital Transformation” has become a key initiative for today’s companies. Many have even written that companies must digitally transform or die. But what does this actually mean? And what will a digital transformation actually look like?
Read on for clarification, points to consider, and some helpful reference articles if you’ve been wondering about digital transformations.
1. What is a Digital Transformation?
Forbes has actually written quite a few articles on the digital transformation. Our favorite article reflects on Altimeter’s State of Digital Transformation Report, which clearly defines a Digital Transformation as:
We favor this definition of a digital transformation because it prioritizes the customer experience while staying broad enough to consider all business units involved in and affected by a changing customer experience.
Companies must digitally transform because their customers are. While a shift to engage customers when, where, and how they would like to be met with is necessary to survive, digital transformations will look different across industries and companies. Why? Because data allows us to further personalize and target individual customers.
Digital transformations affect everyone. It can mean different things to different departments.
It’s easy to get lost in your own world. Remember that although everyone may be working on executing different parts of your transformation, the end mission is the same. Work together, collaborate, be flexible, and be willing to experiment. Keep lines of communication open, because you never know when another perspective can help boost progress.
3. Maintain a sense of urgency, hire someone to hold you accountable
Because it can be easy for everyone to get lost in their day to day tasks and individual department missions, consider hiring someone whose sole responsibility is to remember the big picture. This person will ensure everyone’s staying on track to play their part in achieving your digital transformation goal.
Many companies are now hiring a Chief Customer Officer to do just that.
Wondering if you need a CCO? We liked Jeanne Bliss’s 6 Critical Checkpoints for a CCO.
4. Stay Customer Centric
Why are you digitally transforming? For your customers.
Do you know your customer journeys? Your customer life cycles? Do you understand your current touch points for…
A digital transformation includes many projects and phases. While it’s important to see the big picture, have you identified your goals for change? Have you understood the purpose of each phase or project and which customers’ needs you’re trying to meet, exceed, or change?
Sometimes there will be overlap. Some projects might solve the needs or pain points of more than one customer group, some may not. Just remember to take a step back and ensure each part of your digital transformation is committing to your ultimate goal of helping your customers.
5. Just. Get. Started.
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Ron Miller wrote a great article on TechCrunch that goes over a few ways to start with smaller projects and initiatives to ensure you’re making progress with your digital transformation. Here’s a high level overview of process suggestions:
Try a 1-Path Approach: Fully commit to your first pocket of innovation – if that pocket succeeds, it can catalyze future transformation efforts
Try a 2-Path Approach:
Mode 1 – maintain traditional IT with legacy systems and long purchase and implementation cycles.
Mode 2 – Fly by the seat of your pants and create for immediate needs with no plans. Be willing to experiment.
Ensure both modes are separated at first to avoid a Mode 1.5
Develop a measured plan for integrated projects in the future that will incorporate Mode 2 with Mode 1
For more details on these suggested approaches, and real world examples of how they’ve been implemented at companies like EMC, GE, and Coca Cola, check out the Tech Crunch article here.
Is your company going through a digital transformation? Are you looking to modernize and streamline a customer billing portal?
Let’s chat digital customer experiences.