Jan 19, 2018 by Anand Ethiraj

When was the last time you have performed an online transaction via your mobile? A few days back, yesterday, or a few minutes back? Most likely, yesterday or a few hours back or even while you are reading this – right! And now if we talk about consumption of information, sharing of a news or sending a business communication – all via mobile – your answer would be ‘it is happening all the time that you do not know when was the last time’. Now is your business engaging with customers 24/7 through this medium – even if there are no transactions to be performed? If not, can you really say your business is competitive, customer focused and market driven?

Well, we are not saying that digital transformation is all about going mobile. There is much more. Let us understand the term digital transformation better before we look at in detail. In simple terms, let us demystify this.

Digital transformation is a term that has been thrown around a lot for the last couple of years. Even today, it means several things to several people. Starting on large-scale digital transformation strategy is risky when the movers and shakers of your organization are debating its real meaning and the imperative for it.

Brian Solis (The 2017 State of Digital Transformation) defined it as a “The investment in and development of new technologies, mindsets, and business and operational models to improve work and competitiveness and deliver new and relevant value for customers and employees in an ever-evolving digital economy.”

The Key drivers of Digital Transformation, according to Altimeter Digital Strategist Survey, August 2017:

Key of Digital Transformation

Demystifying digital transformation

Let us break digital transformation down to three key components – from the perspective of what this transformation can achieve for your business. We will also look at the thoughts of Art Hu, CIO of Lenovo, from their own learning of Lenovo’s digital business transformation – as explained in a interview with The Enterprisers Project.

Make your customer the center of your business 

By adopting digital transformation, through a strategic approach, you will be using technology to make your business more intensely customer-centric than it is today.

  • Use mobile, social and digital touchpoints to engage with your customers real-time
  • Leverage modern analytics platforms to generate customer insights
  • Implement decision-making process based on customer data

Art Hu – “I would advise other CIOs to understand that when your organization makes the decision to undergo the digital transformation, departments should not be viewed as separate entities. Whether they realize it or not, they are all connected. Breaking down barriers that are related to people, process, and technology has to occur so we can ultimately deliver a better customer experience.

We all share the same goal: to make the company the best that it can possibly be. By driving digital transformation, IT is leading the business into what should be a successful and exciting future.”

To give an example of how digital transformation helps an organization place the customer at the heart of their strategy, let us look at how Porsche does it. Customer experience drives Porsche’s digital strategy. Porsche has heavily invested in understanding the Porsche driver. All customer data is pulled into a central CRM data center and allocated to a unique ID. Throughout the entire lifecycle, every customer interaction at every touch point is documented. Thanks to this ID, Porsche knows their customer’s expectations for each touchpoint. The data also allows for real-time segmentation and predictive intelligence, enabling them to maximize campaign success. For example, only customers that are actually interested in purchasing a car at that moment are contacted, leading to a significant increase in their overall sales conversion rate.

Digital transformation aims to create a seamless customer journey. And by that token, it is a continuous process, and not a one-time investment. 

Digital Transformation involvement

Align people, business and technology to a single shared vision

Although digital transformation involves significant investments in technology and business process reorientation, the big investments have to be strategically driven with intent.

  • Inspire your people to achieve digital goals through incentives
  • Establish 100% collaboration between CIO and CMO alongside shared outcomes
  • Use training programs to constantly communicate your digital vision and equip all the stakeholders with the resources and skills to make it happen

Art Hu – “As we place an even greater focus on customer experience, our ROI becomes more strategic and expands to include more than just financial measures. We need to make sure other business KPIs related to customer experience and satisfaction are part of the ROI equation. We have to take a more expansive view of what value means for digital transformation projects and change how we think about value.”

Digital transformation isn’t just about bolting on new solutions, it’s about making sure your business model evolves.

 Make your business processes more agile 

Digital transformation aims to eliminate channel conflict and create processes that are agile and lean.

  • Automate manual processes where possible
  • Consider cloud-based systems that your associates can access anywhere
  • Identify and eliminate silos at all levels of your business

Art Hu – “As the speed of business continues to accelerate, companies that stick with old habits in terms of execution will fall behind. As a team, we are learning new habits to adapt to today’s realities, keep pace, and ensure Lenovo can quickly adjust to changing market conditions and consumer demands.”

At its core… digital transformation fosters organizational readiness and empowers companies to move fast.

If you have been on the journey for some time, do share your understanding of digital transformation and how it has changed your organization?

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