You've of course spotted it? Digital and its fundamental change in society that is transforming the way companies work with their customers, their supply chains and their people. Today we need to stop complaining about why we are here and what we are (potentially) losing and just find ways to make it work. Brands right across sectors are realising that something is changing and with that comes an opportunity to leverage the transformative power of digital. However, while there is increased awareness of digital’s role in a business, many organisations are struggling to take their transformation initiatives to the next level. Indeed although 74 per cent of executives said that that their company has a digital strategy there are huge differences between strategies according to the report (State of Digital Business 2014.)
A joint study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting found a number of key factors:
1. According to 78% of respondents, achieving digital transformation will become critical to their organizations within the next two years.
2. However, 63% said the pace of technology change in their organization is too slow.
3. The most frequently cited obstacle to digital transformation was “lack of urgency.”
4. Only 38% of respondents said that digital transformation was a permanent fixture on their CEO’s agenda.
5. Where CEOs have shared their vision for digital transformation, 93% of employees feel that it is the right thing for the organization. But, a mere 36% of CEOs have shared such a vision.
This, as you might imagine with their mobiles and social media usage is being driven by a brands customers, who are often far way ahead of the brand in what they want. This is leading to funadamental changes in business models, significantly steered by reshaping the customer value proposition. Digital is not just about a company's website, its mobile app or whether it should be using ibeacons to deliver communications to its audience, its changing how business is done. You can't take a traditional way of operating a business and then expect it to work online or digitally. You'll fall straight into that chasm.
Frankly we are playing with it, bolting it on, adding a few bells and whistles and then wonder why the competition is stealing a march on our market share. As PWC say "You don't need a digital strategy; you need a business strategy that's fit for the digital age." This means re thinking processes, re imagining marketing, changing how we lead talent, gaining insights from data, not relying on gut feel, or worse still - 'its always been like this.'
Transformation isn't easy, if it was we would have it cracked by now. I think its going to be 20 years before some brands actually make even a significant in road into it. Although there are justified reasons for that. But the proof of moving to this stage is starting to emerge. There are major benefits, that result in competitive advantage. I have ten:
1. Lift in engagement with customers and employees alike on an equal basis.
2. Improved customer satisfaction.
3. Improved employee satisfaction.
4. Increased traffic to a website and thereby profile of the brand.
5. Increased leads and conversions from a site, increasing revenue.
6. Reduced costs through efficency and the reallocation of resources to where they have meaning and matter.
7. Internal collaboration with employees, teams and the breaking down of silos.
8. Empowered talent and the ability to leverage it quickly.
9. Data analytics and better, more accurate decision making.
10. A more nimble, agile business that can respond to change appropriately.
Digital is mistakening identified as all about automation. Its not, it opens up new ways of doing business too. Don't blame the tech it's the humans who use it and make it so. Its our customers that are demanding new ways of communicating and buying that are more flexible, more challenging and meet their customer needs more.