Understanding your digital readiness requires getting a ‘360-degree’ sense of how resilient your company will be, in the face of rapid digital disruption.
One of the biggest points we’ve learned – from working with local clients on-the-ground – is that digitisation is an incredibly dynamic and far reaching concept. It requires new ways of leading and managing, new workplace cultures, new processes, policies and technologies. It demands that we consider data collection and usage far more deeply.
So how do we go about simplifying this world of complexity? How do we hone in on these 8 key areas of digital weakness or digital opportunity, showing clearly and practically where our organisations could create a step-change in results?
When considering digital readiness, we look at 8 key factors. These 8 dimensions are eCommerce, digital marketing, digital customer experiences, mobility, architecture modernisation, platforms, digital product development, and ecosystem partnerships.
Across each of the 8 dimensions, we determine which of the following categories organisations fall into:
Survivor… clinging to a largely traditional approach in the face of great changeEvolver… with some level of digitisation and basic automation, but with lots of work to doFast-follower… where digital is front-and-centre and the company responds with agility to changeLeader… a complete digital strategy guides strong innovation, automation wherever it’s possible, a strong focus on customer experience and an eye to actively disrupt markets
Let’s take a look at the 8 dimensions in terms of an organisation’s readiness:
1. Online presence… which looks at how you use your website to facilitate transactions and experiences for users.
In ‘Survivor’ state, you may have the essentials of a web presence with information about your firm and its offering. Advancing to ‘Leader’ state means developing end-to-end order capabilities and truly using your digital presence to establish a relationship with customers where they can offer suggestions, request product improvements, and rate your service.
2. Digital marketing… which measures the strength and sophistication of your marketing efforts, and how well you’re defining and targeting your market.
Here, ‘Survivors’ would have the basics of digital marketing, with a website and geolisting perhaps. As a ‘Leader’ – on the other hand – you would need a marketing strategy based on content and search analysis, you understand what customers want before marketing to them, and use techniques like value attribution to prioritise your marketing.
3. eCommerce… considering how fluidly your organisation can engage vertically, up and down the value chain
‘Survivors’ may merely find and interact with suppliers online, but advancing to ‘Leader’ status means you’re fluidly integrating with various parties in your value chain, to present a unified interface to customers. In fact, you and your suppliers should be sharing and melding your online strategies to provide the optimal experience to customers.
4. Customer experience… looking at the level of customer-centricity in your digital approach, and how well you tailor your solutions to suit the user’s’ needs rather than insular business imperatives
‘Survivors’ may have some self-service digital capabilities on their site, some level of social media customer support, the opportunities for customers to review and comment, and perhaps even an automated email system.
To reach ‘leader’ status, you need to be crafting products and services from the ground up, based entirely on what your customers have indicated. In fact, the entire focus of your company needs to be re-cast towards the customer – from inside-out, to outside-in – and so that every part of your organisation is geared to serve evolving customer demands and reacting to new customer insights.
5. Digital ecosystem… the extent to which you enter into new and even unusual partner relationships to crack open new streams of revenue
Here, the goal is to evolve from simply operating as a single entity in the online space (‘Survivor’) towards a Leadership state where you have identified your unique strengths and deeply understood where value is being shifted or disrupted. This helps you to define where you should be competing, and start crafting your digital business models to capture this value.
6. Mobility… how well your mobility strategy helps to support ‘anytime, anywhere’ business – encompassing all users: customers, suppliers, remote workforce and more
‘Survivors’ may have online presences that are accessible for mobile devices, but not optimised for the mobile revolution. Advancing to become a ‘Leader’ involves taking a far more sophisticated approach to mobility where you’re able to use mobile interactions to track the locations of customers, and start delivering location-aware, point-in-time messages to serve their needs.
7. Digital legacy… the extent to which you have overcome legacy debt, legacy traps – and instead adopted agile digital platforms with rapid release cycles and an API-based approach to integration
‘Survivors’ are still battling away, trying to make the best of decades-old legacy infrastructure.
As a ‘Leader’ you have replaced that creaking infrastructure with modernised and agile platforms which enable a rapid cadence in the delivery of new software and the maintenance of the platform. With API-based integration connecting your platform into other enterprise systems (including those of partners, suppliers and others in your ecosystem), your technology starts to fuel the business’ transformation.
8. Digital products… exploring how well you have evolved from merely layering a digital veneer on top of traditional solutions and services, towards building truly digital products, hand-in-hand with your customer
In ‘Survivor’ state, the digitalisation of your products extends only as far as making their descriptions and features available on your website. Everything else continues in the same old traditional approach. Attaining ‘Leader’ status encompasses building new, ‘natively-digital’ products, and involving customers in the development and iteration of these products. Ultimately, as a leader, you will see a significant portion of their revenue coming from pure-play digital products and services.
Click here to take the OutSystems digital readiness assessment to understand your businesses’ digital capability and steps to improving your businesses’ digital focus.