Do Not Attempt Digital Transformation (Without Supervision)

by Digital Europe

Posted on 08-08-2019

Are you tactical or strategic?

When you hear that near­ly two-thirds (65%) of busi­ness­es have named improv­ing the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence as the top dri­ver for dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, this should come as no sur­prise. For some time now, busi­ness­es have been real­is­ing that price and prod­ucts are not enough — cus­tomers val­ue expe­ri­ences, and dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is what allows busi­ness­es to use their data, update their process­es, and ulti­mate­ly pro­vide cus­tomer expe­ri­ences that inspire loy­al­ty. And the brands that suc­ceed in CX will typ­i­cal­ly be more suc­cess­ful in oth­er areas, too. Accord­ing to Adobe’s Dig­i­tal Trends 2019 report, the best per­form­ing organ­i­sa­tions in CX are three times more like­ly than their peers to have exceed­ed their top busi­ness goal by a sig­nif­i­cant margin.

Sure, most organ­i­sa­tions can real­ly get behind the idea of pro­vid­ing pos­i­tive cus­tomer expe­ri­ences, but, when it comes down to it, decid­ing where to start can stop momen­tum in its tracks. Lead­ers may think, how can we trans­form when we are bogged down with lega­cy sys­tems, siloed data sources, unman­aged cus­tomer jour­neys, and reac­tive, rather than proac­tive, IT strategies?

Only 14% of IT bud­gets are con­sid­ered strate­gic today, but, with­in the next five years, that fig­ure is expect­ed to reach 64%. Accord­ing to our data with 451 Research, busi­ness­es are realign­ing their spend­ing to move beyond tac­ti­cal and toward strate­gic spend­ing on dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. Improved inte­gra­tion and data-shar­ing capa­bil­i­ties across all appli­ca­tions with­in a busi­ness are para­mount to the strate­gic spend­ing that will empow­er dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. This res­onates with our Dig­i­tal Trends find­ings as well, which showed that 55% of mar­keters are pri­ori­tis­ing bet­ter use of data in 2019.

Partners for the win

Here is where strate­gic part­ner­ships come in. Busi­ness­es proac­tive­ly shap­ing their dig­i­tal futures are invest­ing in expert part­ners to help them break down silos and cre­ate uni­fied cus­tomer pro­files. This is anoth­er major pri­or­i­ty area for mar­keters in 2019, accord­ing to Dig­i­tal Trends, with 42% focus­ing on improv­ing cus­tomer intel­li­gence and insights for a holis­tic cus­tomer view. And they are look­ing to part­ners to help them achieve this. Near­ly three-quar­ters (73%) of IT respon­dents stat­ed that it was very impor­tant for strate­gic part­ner­ships among ven­dors to cre­ate a uni­fied cus­tomer pro­file and improve inte­gra­tion across busi­ness appli­ca­tions on intel­li­gent plat­forms. Not only do part­ners help build this dig­i­tal frame­work, but they are also often the key to gain­ing full val­ue of the build as they guide busi­ness­es to use them in the most valu­able ways.

The need to cap­ture and analyse new forms of data is play­ing a pow­er­ful role in improv­ing dig­i­tal inno­va­tion, and no sin­gle com­pa­ny can be an expert in all of those areas at once.

Whether or not com­pa­nies are able to part­ner with the right experts will cre­ate a sig­nif­i­cant gap between dig­i­tal lead­ers and laggards.

Barriers to digital transformation

Although they may embrace the notion to improve CX, many com­pa­nies con­tin­ue to strug­gle to cre­ate a broad, all-encom­pass­ing strat­e­gy. In par­tic­u­lar, these com­pa­nies have dif­fi­cul­ties keep­ing up with cus­tomers who move across dig­i­tal and phys­i­cal chan­nels. What’s more, 50% of com­pa­nies say they haven’t yet active­ly digi­tised their busi­ness­es with a for­mal strat­e­gy. In order to exe­cute upon a for­mal strat­e­gy, organ­i­sa­tions must have buy-in from _all _parts of the busi­ness, and that means IT pri­or­i­ties that are aligned with the goal of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence optimisation.

Aside from lack­ing a for­mal strat­e­gy, there are many oth­er bar­ri­ers to dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion: over­com­ing organ­i­sa­tion­al silos, the com­plex­i­ty of lega­cy appli­ca­tions, and cau­tion about the secu­ri­ty of sen­si­tive data are only a few.

When fac­ing this lev­el of com­plex­i­ty, busi­ness­es must rely on part­ners that are experts in each area, who can plan and exe­cute the inte­gra­tion of appli­ca­tions, digi­tise work­flows, and give a long-term plan to gain dig­i­tal maturity.

With­out the right part­ner­ships, you may unin­ten­tion­al­ly be build­ing your dig­i­tal foun­da­tion on sand as you move from tac­tic to tac­tic chas­ing the next shiny object, instead of lay­ing a strate­gic foun­da­tion that will scale as your dig­i­tal matu­ri­ty grows.

The right partner for the right outcome

When busi­ness­es con­front the com­plex­i­ty that is dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, they know they don’t want to face it alone. Part­ners like Adobe + Microsoft are experts in each area that pro­vides excep­tion­al expe­ri­ences to cus­tomers on any channel.

Adobe + Microsoft align and man­age data sources to cre­ate a uni­fied cus­tomer pro­file, employ arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI) to man­age com­plex tasks, sim­pli­fy work­flows across silos, and har­ness a secure and scal­able cloud infra­struc­ture to sup­port all busi­ness operations.

No mat­ter where you are in your dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, make sure you aren’t trav­el­ling alone. With the right part­ner, dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion in all its forms will make doing busi­ness eas­i­er, more reward­ing, and lucrative.

Ready to learn more? Check out these infographics:

Prepar­ing Busi­ness­es for the Hard Work of Dig­i­tal Transformation

Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence as the Cat­a­lyst for Dig­i­tal Transformation

Topics: Digital Transformation, Customer Experience, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA