You read that right: the first phase of your digital transformation is to stop waiting, and instead, take command of your organization’s digital future as if your future depends on it.
Because guess what? It probably does. Be the forward-thinking leader and organization in your marketplace, or else your competitor, or an unknown disruptive new arrival will take the lead for you.
Disruption is not a one-time, spoke-in-the-wheel approach: it is a process, a shift in culture and vision that starts with looking at current systems and ways of operating and blending them with the ever-changing digital landscape to find places to shift, re-create and align.
In other words, start small, and start today —planting the seeds and foundation for a powerful digital future where you are the leader, not the follower.
Be The Leader
Your organization must take on a proactive approach, starting with top-down leadership. This includes taking a step back to craft a digital strategy, vision, and culture.
Specifically, you must:
- Craft a vision for your organization’s digital future – a “Brand Print”
- Communicate and integrate this vision from the top-down
- Establish a clear change story for your digital transformation
If you do this right, there will be no gaps in communication, integration and on-going processes towards your digital future. Every team member will know how his or her role is integrated, and management will be able to connect the dots. Last, and as we’ll address this shortly, the customer needs will also be clear through every step of their experience.
Strategy First, Then Technology
At the end of the day, technology is a tool —one that can be leveraged to streamline workflows, operations, and internal communication – and be part of an enhanced customer experience at every touchpoint of their journey.
But like any tool, its effectiveness and long term viability will be determined by an upfront strategy: having this in place allows for maximum use of the tool, and ensures there are no gaps along the way.
A common example is a service-based organization that has resisted going digital in offering their customers the ability to book services through a digital app. Getting stuck in a silo-based approach, they rush to find a developer (or team of developers) who will build the fastest and cheapest experience they can find.
Of course, this rarely works out: the app has no connection to existing digital infrastructures —and what was supposed to be a superior tool to enhance the customer experience now becomes a liability.
The internal fulfillment team hasn’t been trained on how to integrate the digital presence with the legacy system. Everyone loses because there was no clearly defined and well thought out strategy on the front-end.
The good news, however, for those who are willing to put in the time, effort and vision into the front-end strategy is that it makes everything else easier, and maximizes the effectiveness of technology. Most importantly, it connects the technology approach to the need of your customers.
Re-Create Customer Experience
Your digital transformation requires you to look at your entire organization, including your internal processes and back-end to ensure they are aligned with the customer experience.
Instead of simply optimizing and integrating digital processes to existing systems —the most successful digital transformations involve a complete re-imagination of today’s and the future’s customer experience. You must have a clear understanding of what your customers need and how they expect to get that from you. Are you solving their problems in the way they want them solved?
Once you’re clear on this, everything becomes easier to implement and integrate. Otherwise, your ability to experience digital transformation and success within that will be held back by inefficient processes and a lack of alignment across various functions of the business and your customer’s needs.
Start Small, Innovate Big
Start small, get moving today, build your digital culture and vision and then – innovate big.
Disruption is a big, bold and sexy word: but the integration starts in the trenches and your organization is making future-based decisions that will involve work today for a brighter future and a bigger payoff.
This isn’t going to be easy —but like anything, starting small allows you to build a foundation to innovate big in the future. Because a digital disruption or transformation will involve a short term trade-off: the disruption of your current business model, the customer experience, the internal fulfillment and back-end processes you currently have, etc, will all be affected.
Learn more about Metova’s Research, Strategy and Technology Assessments here.