Beginners guide: Deciphering the Digital

POSTED NOV 09, 2020

Digital disruption provides the competitive advantage every organisation requires in this Digital Era. Learn to wrangle the technologies that are driving digital transformation today.

A few years ago, a new jargon entered the IT vocabulary: Digital Transformation. As simple as the word seems, organisations across the world started adopting the word into their branding and mission statements, sometimes with little or no understanding of what they're talking about. It became a fad word that spread like wildfire throughout the industry, with organisations talking about Digital Transformation through better looking websites and integration processes

But what exactly is Digital Transformation?

Digital is the mainstay of the IT landscape right now. And companies need to jump on the bandwagon with urgency. With technologies such as Cloud, AI and Mobility at the heart of this transformative journey, almost every organisation out there needs to learn to incorporate these technologies into their processes.

Digital Transformation, in its purest sense, would be about enabling organisations, through the integration of such technologies, to garner speed and stability in every aspect of operations.

Technologies such as these aid in the automation and accuracy of an organisation's core and sometimes extraneous operations. While Mobility and Cloud services enable organisations to move fast with business delivery, automation and accuracy through AI and ML offers organisations the power to offer seamless customer experiences. Although part of Digital could also be a robust website with integrated Mobility initiatives, Digital is more than just that.

Colorful websites with snazzy pictures and UI alone won't cut it anymore; AI and ML tech such as chat-bots and intelligent navigation and page designs would have to be incorporated. And for that, we would have to rethink the complete design and build process.

Think of seamless, intuitive experiences for your customers, guiding them through your content and offerings, helping the customer journey become just as great as your product or service offerings, and bingo, you have the right perspective.

But Digital doesn't stop there-it requires a more holistic view of all business and delivery operations.

Integrating the Digital-Incorporating the Intelligence

What most organisations fail to understand is that Digital is not just fitting plug and play technologies into processes to achieve superior business and delivery. Digital is a complicated concept that is underplayed by the term itself.

"Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It's also a cultural change that requires organisations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure."

-The Enterprisers Project.

So, what is Digital comprise of?

What would you have to do to achieve real Digital Transformation?

There are three main avenues to consider:

  1. Transforming Customer Experience
  2. Transforming Operational Performance
  3. Transforming Business Models

Making the customer, King

The agents of Digital Transformation that you might have to look at under customer experience are customer understanding and customer touch points.

Analytics is key to enhanced customer understanding.

Gaining an in-depth understanding of specific geographies and market segments through various data sources, technologies and methods, and the derivative analytical information, could help you gain significant advantage over the competition in terms of customer understanding.

Something that goes hand in glove with this would be creating multiple, multi-faceted touch points, properly integrated to be, virtually, one unit.

Although companies with multiple touch points are experiencing pressure to provide an integrated experience, this can be achieved through digital technologies and processes. Multi-channel services require envisioning and implementing change across customer experience and internal operational processes.

Getting the Operations right

Organisations across the world are now realizing the benefits of transforming internal processes through digital technologies and processes, powered by AI and Automation. If you were to take a hard look at automating internal processes at your organisation, you could create considerable process optimization. Mundane processes involved in HR, Marketing and Operations can be automated to reduce resource drag and free up time for employees to work on more strategic decisions and activities. Automation would allow the necessary breathing space for creativity and innovation to flourish, instead of wasted time and energy on repetitive tasks, which border on unnecessary at this age and time.

If we were to take it a step further, we could talk about taking out the oft unnecessary element of physical presence of employees at the workplace. Depending on the nature of the tasks assigned to any given resource, it might be possible to virtualise the workplace, allowing employees to work from home or anywhere else. This leads to more accountability due to the fact that resources would be interdependent on each other's work and efficiency. Plus, productivity would skyrocket, given the fact that employees would have the freedom to work from any kind of environment they would like to work from.

Modelling a faster, taller, stronger Business

Although the end goal is this, it could be intimidating to plan and execute to achieve, unless you have a little Digital perspective on your side. Digital Transformation stipulates that you should think outside the box on this one.

From redefining the functioning of your business, to looking to expanding or evolving the product and service offerings of your organisation, Digital Transformation will dynamically shift the way you, and your customer looks at your business.

Online and mobile versions of physical storefronts, could be a start. But for organisation who already have an online presence, it might be a good idea to integrate an e-commerce gateway to their products and service offerings.

You could also look at complementary digital technologies and processes that could add value to your existing product and service lineup: Imagine a tool that could offer analytical insights into driver behavior, hazardous road conditions and other factors, integrated into every automobile sold by a manufacturer. Imagine a tracking software integrated into your sports shoes, allowing you to track every aspect of your training regimen.

How digital are we right now?

Digital Transformation is as simple and as complicated as just that. It is, in a way, a conglomeration of all the technologies and process optimizations that we have had in the past, rolled into one single piece of disruptive energy. Digital Transformation is something that has now become an integral part of the IT landscape, and it would be only a matter of time before it stops being a tool of enhancement and optimization, or just a fad word, and become a necessary artefact to survive this age of Digital Disruption.

Even though it might seem like we know most of this already, we may not be truly there, until we adopt a strategy that would bring about a more holistic view to Digital.

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