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Why Digital Transformation Should Be Your Top Strategic Priority

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Digital transformation is moving the world toward a tightly connected economy. Businesses can leverage this growth of a connected economy to create sustainable business models and a distinct competitive advantage.

A recent joint study by Hitachi and Forbes Insights found that of more than 573 senior executives worldwide, digital transformation is their highest priority.

A study released by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte arrived at the same conclusion after their rigorous analysis of digital business pioneers. Businesses are increasingly investing resources to integrate social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies to reform how their business models and internal processes work.

In the age of social media and ecommerce, it is no longer possible for businesses to ignore the need for digital inclusion. Digital transformation is imperative. Here is why implementing a digital transformation strategy should be your top priority.

Customers want omnichannel experiences

The customers of today want to order online and pick up the product the same day from an offline retail store. The era of omnichannel shopping experience is upon us and is fueled by digital transformation. 

Enterprise mobility, cloud and social, which are all components of digital transformation, make it possible for businesses to serve their customers remotely, in a personal way, even if they are located far away. 

With technologies like the internet of things, blockchain, wearables, etc., becoming commonplace, we can rightfully be assured that within a few years, customers will expect a channel-less experience, rather than a physically limited omnichannel experience. The transition will have its impact on B2B purchasing and allied business transactions where the processes have already migrated to an online medium doing away with paperwork completely. 

Employees desire connected workplaces

Employees who generate lots of ideas want an always-on connection to their workplace. However, the average millennial worker detests the restrictions that come with working from the confines of an office. They want flexibility and the ability to work from remote locations, wherever they are and with whatever devices they have. 

Digital transformation and its connectivity knit together remote employees into a connected team that gets work done on the fly. The erstwhile briefcase-carrying employee who reports to an office is now replaced by digital nomads who work from airport lounges, coffee shops or the comfort of their home. 

Communication and collaboration tools like Slack, Atlassian, Skype, etc., have removed the physical shackles that earlier bound employees to a static workplace. In fact, the future of workplace is revolving around impromptu virtual conferences that are conducted over a video call from a mobile instant messaging app. 

On-demand economy has become mainstream

Technology has enabled customers to get services on demand. Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, Netflix, etc. are all classic examples that have disrupted the ecommerce scene with their on-demand services. 

Digital transformation is adding more muscle to the on-demand economy by helping businesses become differentiators. It arms businesses to provide personalized options for accessing services and media. 

Businesses that don’t catch up on the on-demand economy will see their market shares taken over by competitors who are going digital at every turn possible. Also, competition in any business is no longer what it used to. Luxury hotel chain Hilton is facing competition from Airbnb, an aggregator website that does not even own a single piece of property. 

Walmart, Target and other retailers are being threatened by the steadfast growth of Amazon, eBay and the likes. Physical bookstores are slowly dying with the rise of the ebook culture fostered by self-publishing platforms. 

In other words, the on-demand economy has become mainstream, which makes digital transformation necessary in order for present-day businesses to have a competitive advantage.

Digital processes optimize multilevel operations for cost savings

In the digital channel, a customer’s journey passes through several stages: discovery, awareness, consideration and decision. It is after the decision stage, which is the action of buying, that a business needs to delight the customers to ensure a long CLV (customer lifetime value). In each of these stages, digital processes help reduce costs involved by quickening the pace at which information is exchanged and consumed. 

It differentiates your businesses from the competition

Businesses that emphasize the customer experience as a top priority can use digital transformation to their advantage. Massive volumes of data that you collect and analyze help you delve right into the heart of customer behavior. It is possible to know what customers do and why do they do it. 

Also, going digital ensures that businesses are able to reach their customers faster and more nimbly than offline offerings. Furthermore, digital companies have the flexibility to come up with innovative user experiences that are totally unique compared to competitors.

Digital as the new reality

Digital transformation has turned siloed industries into digitalcentric businesses. Most enterprises are transitioning to digital enterprises that render industry-focused offerings. 

From consumer banking to travel bookings, almost every customer-facing industry is turning to digital to deliver a customer experience. The holy grail of customer satisfaction is now being replaced with customer experience. Digital transformation will blur the difference between physical and virtual worlds, enabling customers to savor a channel-less experience.

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