A practical framework for Digital transformation for the CEO
In order to become customer-centric, you need to digitise your products/services, processes and people. Considering these enterprise domains – people, products/services, and processes – the customer clearly lies at the centre of one’s thinking. It’s this shift from ‘inside-out’, to ‘outside-in’ which permeates through every strategy and every decision.
For many technology and business executives, the concepts of digitisation and transformation still seem tantalisingly out-of-reach. Locally, businesses remain hesitant to truly embrace digital-led thinking in their operations. So, in helping our clients navigate the seas of digitisation, we turned to Cognizant’s Digital Transformation Framework©.
In fact, we remodelled and localised this thinking, with three core areas (People, Products/Services, and Processes), creating a punchy, practical guide to the essentials of digital transformation:
Digitising your organisation
Perhaps the very first step on the road to true digitisation is stacking your team with the right digital talent. It may be a case of re-skilling or upskilling, or bringing entirely new specialisations into the organisation. The strategies and needs may differ, but ultimately you’ll need innovative thinkers that can rapidly apply new technologies, teams that intimately understand customer needs, that can capture value in digital relationships, and make sense of the masses of Big Data.
But, in general, organisations seem to be losing faith in the so-called ‘digital quotient’ within their teams. In PwC’s 2017 Global Digital IQ Survey, only 52% of 2200 technology executives rated their digital IQ as strong (compared with 67% and 66% in 2016 and 2015, respectively).
Faced with digital skills shortages inside and outside the organisation, where do you start? We suggest focusing initially on the skills you’ll need to provide the best customer experiences – UX, UI, usability, design-thinking and the like.
From there, the goal is to unleash the energy of your team, integrating them into dynamic partner ecosystems where they can forge partnerships and incubate new ideas. Accenture’s recent research paper ‘Thriving on Disruption’ showed a strong correlation between a firm’s willingness to embrace digital collaboration networks, and their bottom-line financial performance. Flip innovation ‘inside-out’, move away from tightly-controlled R&D departments, into open innovation networks where you can infuse the thinking of external stakeholders into the organisation.
Digitising your products and services
In the era of ubiquitous connectivity and minute sensors, all sorts of physical products can take on another dimension – gathering rich data that’s fed into advanced analytics engines. From smart healthcare devices, to industrial oil pipelines, to the everyday cars and buses that we travel in, connected products will dominate the digital age. In fact, the data generated by these connected products will become so insightful that you’ll start to reliably predict usage and demands from customers, ensuring you’re able to personalise and serve any of your customer’s needs.
One of the natural effects of this will be the change in your business model, away from once-off sales of hardware or physical items, and towards subscription-based ‘services on demand’. You may not own a car, but you will subscribe to a service where you can use a car. You may not own the chairs, desks, printers and plants in your office, but you will subscribe to a service which makes sure all these items are always in tip-top condition. The lines between product and service will continue to blur… as seen in the likes of Tesla, which charges a fixed price for any of their models, but with additional features and services available as a software download that you can take-up at any time.
Digitising your operations
For a moment, let’s forget about the ‘legacy’ vs ‘modernisation’ issue. It isn’t about legacy, about technology or indeed processes and systems. Actually, it’s all about unlocking the value from all that you already know about your customer. True agility and dynamism means knowing your customer, understanding their behaviour, and not trying to serve people in a standardised, one-size-fits-all manner.
That said, in most instances it becomes critical to build a scalable, tailored digital platform which unifies existing systems and empowers you to develop new products, services and customer engagement approaches. Your platform should enable you to reach users ‘anytime, anywhere, on any device’, providing the ultimate levels of choice, convenience and access. As your platform gains momentum, every aspect of your internal operations and even some parts of your external value chain, can be remodelled and modernised.
OutSystems will help you to digitise your organisation with a platform that helps you quickly leverage and access what you have operationally, extend this to your customers and create digital products and services.
We’ll build a prototype or minimum viable product at no cost to you to show you how we can start to digitise your entire customer journey or critical operations faster than you can imagine. Contact us about your Minimum Viable Product.