Digital Transformation - Is it the right time for my business?
by Raja Sujith
Businesses are looking at embracing Digital Transformation in order to survive or outplay competition. The Digital transformation itself never defines a fixed target or horizon for you. Implement it right, you will keep achieving newer heights every day.
Any business that tries to embrace this transformation has to go through different stages in its life cycle of digital implementation. It has to analyze current business and the existing digital capabilities. It will then have to identify ways to improve its operations in order to be more efficient and save money. Define ways to improve customer experiences to get more loyal customers. Define innovative models of business to earn more revenue. Define use cases, analyze ROI, prioritize and execute. The entire transformation shall be established on top of a strong digital backbone to build a great business.
To explain this bit further, let me consider you running the business of a small shop offering consumer goods. There are different stages of transformation for you.
Stage 1: Basic Level
This an old-fashioned shop. I am a normal customer for your shop. I make random visits to your shop and get what I require, pay my bill and go. You are manually writing bills. I usually wait in the queue to get things done. The shop does not have any special offerings to get my attention.
Stage 2: Digitization and Digitalization
You started using computers to improve your process. Moved all your inventory details to digital means. This is the Digitization stage.
You track your inventory and make decisions using digital solutions. You have moved your billing as well to digital. This is the Digitalization stage.
Now the process is faster and more efficient. Ensures Operational Agility & Saves Money for you.
But I still wait in the queue. As a customer, I will think about shopping at your shop further, (only) if I visit your area again.
Suddenly one day you started giving me reward points for my visit to your shop! Cool! You were able to get my mobile number to track the reward points and to use as my customer identity.
You started offering me discounts as per my purchase habits. That makes me think about you-first for more purchases. As a customer, I may visit you more often! You ensured Customer Delight through Analytics and new Business Models.
Without much delay, you offered me a mobile app to pre-order my items even before I visit your shop. Sounds great! I do not have to wait. You will get my things ready by the time I reach your shop. This is an exciting Customer Experience offered through Digital Transformation!
I started becoming a regular customer for you.
Again without much delay, you started offering doorstep delivery. Well, now I am a fan of you! I do not even have to visit your store. I get my things done from my comfort. (improved Customer Experience)
You enhanced the mobile app to help me order many other items I used to purchase from outside. You are offering me all those goods from all those different shops, that too at my doorstep. These are new Business Models for you that bring More Revenue.
You started offering more! Your employees are finding better ways to offer business. There is a new Digital Culture in place.
As a new step, you are currently offering me cabs and movie tickets through your app! I get many offers to start using it and get used to it. (new Business Models)
Even when you have grown this big, the customers are not loosing the personalized experience they have been getting. You are a customer-centric enterprise now & I am still a Privileged customer :). The Digital backbone of your organization has been designed in such a way that it can scale further without losing the context of each customer you have. (Digital Architecture)
All these are possible with strong customer-centric business models and operational process agility with Digital Backbone. You should either master them or partner with Digital Transformation masters to enable you to traverse this journey.