Digital Transformation 101

“In 2004, Facebook didn’t exist, 4G was a parking space, an app was something you sent off to college, LinkedIn was a prison, Tweet was a sound a bird made, and Skype was a typo.” Commented Thomas Friedman, Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times, surrounding the immense technological advancement we have seen over the past decade.

With the shift to digital, customer experience has become a number one priority, we are now officially in the ‘Age of the Customer’. Organisations are trying to find new ways to serve their customers in the increasingly digital and global§ economy. The challenge is realigning or investing in new technology, business models, and processes that are as dynamic as the market you operate in.

With customer experience at the heart of digital transformation we have seen a rise in adoption of mobile, social, IoT and AI, providing organisations with the ability to transform how they are able to connect with their customers in a whole new, digital way, driving value for all stakeholders and provide your organisation with the ability to gain a competitive advantage in the rapidly dynamic digital economy.

What is Digital Transformation?

The term ‘Digital Transformation’ has become so widely used that there are now multiple definitions as to what it really is. We are QA Consulting see it as accelerating the transformation of digital business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritised way.

Essentially digital transformation is a way to level the playing field and make it possible for all kinds of companies – new entrants, bit players and enlightened incumbents – to disrupt even the most established market.

We are now fully immersed in the second wave of digital and transformation and with that brings a handful of new buzzwords to describe an organisations digital status:

  • Digital Disruptors: New organisations who came to market with a digital first approach and have essentially accelerated the need for the rest of the market.

  • Digital Predators: Established companies who put the customer at the centre of their processes, policies and practices, fully harnessing digital to create new sources of customer value.

  • Digital Dinosaurs: Established companies who are slow, and struggling to evolve digitally, and as a result are very much in danger of becoming prey to the predators and the disruptors.

The first wave of digital transformation started around 2005 and was all about digitising existing processes. The second wave however focuses on using digital to reinvent the businesses experience and model. Fuelling this second transformation wave are a number of themes:

  • The successful application of big data to anticipate customer behaviours

  • Personalisation of the entire customer experience by combining declared, undeclared and location-based information; the application of artificial intelligence to support or even replace physical customer support.

  • The merging of digital customer experience, sales and back-office applications into one, single business view.

Why conform and transform?

Forrester Research’s report ‘The Future of Business is Digital’ points out that the future isn’t about simply having a web presence or an app. Digital needs to be incorporated into every aspect of your organisation; from how products are made sold, to the gathering of marketing data, even how your employees are tracked and paid. The speed at which you need to transform, typically, is dependent on your market, some companies have been forced to make the transition quicker than others, however speed is crucial to keep/ gain a competitive advantage and there’s not a single area of your business that can afford not to change.

Organisations have two choices, transform and survive or stay the same and become extinct. For many organisations this isn’t even a choice. Transformation is a necessity.

  • 39% say their digital transformation efforts have helped them make strong progress in enabling real-time transactions; 32% say it has helped them make strong progress in improving the efficiency of operations; 28% say it has helped them acquire new customers.

  • 45% of executives expect digital to grow their revenue, and 25% of executives expect digital to create better customer experiences. 

  • 71% of digitally maturing companies say they attract new talent based on their digital vision, (versus 10% of early-stage companies).  

There is no finish line in the race to become the best at digital. Even the disruptors are getting disrupted. Your ability to execute well and fast will become your competitive advantage. You need the right strategy, the right people and the right infrastructure to help you get ahead of your competition. Let others be the ones to talk about the future, but be the one that changes the rules of the game.

We recognise the current market challenges and are actively helping customers with their transformation programmes delivering a wealth of technical and business experience from across our broad customer base. For more information contact us and discover how QA Consulting can help your organisations transformation journey.

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