A recent article in the World Economic Forum, outlined the three main priorities CEOs are currently focusing on. Their survey revealed that those CEOs using disruption to their advantage were performing best, leveraging it to bring new products and services to market at pace. For some they were digitally transforming their entire business model.
Beyond being another business buzzword or must-have strategic objective, digital transformation offers organisations a platform to realising so many benefits and opportunities to lead competitors and fend-off potential new industry disruptors. Although there are many more, in this post we look at five benefits of digitally transforming your business by comparing them to traditional businesses.
#1 – Ways of working
Traditional organisations function around their organogram, with the flow of information running up and down through the lines and shapes of the flow chart. Typically KPIs are developed to meet the objectives of the function and frequently conflict with those of other departments with who they are dependent on in being able to achieve them. Often these divisions between functions can be physical, in the form of doors, dividers, floors or buildings but these can all be overcome. The hardest barrier to overcome is culture. Working in silos doesn’t benefit anyone within the organisation and least of all the customer.
In contrast, the digital business seeks to work collaboratively. The focus and objectives centre around the organisation as a whole, encouraging a culture of cross-functional thinking and working. With globalisation and the rise in flexible/home working, collaboration is a necessity for those who can’t physically sit around a table for a meeting. It goes beyond geographical proximity and focuses on the mindset of forward thinking businesses, a willingness to share best practice to become faster and smarter, together.
#2 – Decision making
After speaking to 1,300 CEOs of the world’s largest global organisations, KPMG discovered that 70% of these CEOs had used their intuition over data-driven insight in the last three years. Termed the digital paradox, never before have organisations had so much data at their fingertips which is either not used or partially used to piece together some but not all of the puzzle. This places a huge amount of unnecessary pressure and responsibility on one individual and it can be very hard to on-board key stakeholders on the basis of gut-feel.
Technologies such as Digital Twin of an Organisation come in to their own with modelling the future and aiding decision making. Reducing the risk of cost, resource and time, this software has the ability to serve as a satnav for the organisation, Waze for business. By entering your destination and connecting all your existing processes, people and technologies, the software can map your journey and help you to navigate unplanned hold-ups along the way.
#3 – IT Infrastructure
Traditional businesses tend to have a wealth of expertise and information, the problem is that much of it is stored in paper filing systems and in the minds of long-serving employees. The other challenge traditional organisations face is that their IT portfolio has increased organically over time, with each new system fulfilling the specific need of a particular task or function. Whilst this has increased a business’s ability to obtain and store data, it frequently stays within the confines of its users as the multitude of legacy systems do not have the capability to interact with each other.
In contrast, the digital business focuses on one word ‘integration’. The integration of people, processes and systems in order to provide one source of real-time truth. By connecting these elements, a business has all the information it needs to make an informed decision. This ability isn’t restricted to start-ups who have invested in the latest all-singing, all-dancing technology, companies of all sizes and ages can utilise platforms that can synchronise legacy systems. This offers a more cost effective and inclusive approach to connecting IT systems, as it avoids the cost and complexity of installing, transferring data and learning a completely new system.
#4 – Team
The fourth industrial revolution – as have the previous three – is causing much unrest amongst employees as they feel threatened about how change will affect them. Traditional organisations can be very hierarchical, maintaining knowledge and power within the management team whilst employees waste time and energy second guessing the decisions are being made. No-one is productive when in a state of angst.
The digital business seeks to take everyone in the business on the journey, empowering them, engaging them and encouraging them to think big. Instead of burying their head in the sand, they address concerns. Those closest to the challenges usually have the best solutions, through collaboration and fostering a culture of trust and respect, problems can be identified and solved quickly and efficiently.
#5 – Priority
The organisations that are winning at the moment are the ones who put the customer first, it sounds very cliched but it is true. Never before have customers had so much choice, knowledge and power, so experience counts for everything. Organisations who adopt an omni-channel strategy and execute it well provide their customers with the seamless experience they have come to expect.
Traditional organisations, however, are still inward looking and concentrating on the efficiency of their own processes. They may have a strong customer-focused department but without the infrastructure and support of the data, processes and systems of the rest of the business, they will at some point have to disappoint the customer.
Are you ready to go digital?
Do some of these challenges sound familiar? We are already in the digital revolution, so those who continue to resist it will only get left behind.
If you are in the process of digital transformation or it is on the agenda, it would be great to hear from you. Drop us an email or give us a call on +44 23 80 60 20 56.
We partner with Mavim to offer their enterprise transformation platform alongside our consultancy services.