Many advancements are made each year to benefit the growth and efficiency of how we do business – both internally and externally. We continue to invest in technological solutions as we see fit to resolve issues, streamline operations, reduce costs and/or improve efficiencies. We are approaching a time where technology is our go-to – what we could call a digital transformation. There is more to this transformation than technology itself however – there is the human reaction and behaviors associated with the transition. In a recent study performed by digital strategists, The 2014 State of Digital Transformation, Altimeter reports the benefits and challenges of leading a digital transformation within a business and who should be onboard.
The initial steps of “going digital” to enhance the customer experience have most likely already taken place for your business – you’re involved with social media, you’re thinking about the digital customer journey, and perhaps you have a responsive site to support your customers’ busy and mobile lifestyle. As new solutions continue to arise, along with them come big data and cloud opportunities to offer more security and more space. As we are investing in this realignment, we need to maintain a plan of action and stay focused on the intended effects of digital advancements – which ultimately are increased engagement and more user-friendly experiences. The study reported that 88% of companies claim they are currently adopting new methods of digital solutions, but only 25% are confident in the direction and impact of their desired progress.
When considering new initiatives, many businesses weigh what they feel is most important to apply their beginning efforts. An overwhelming 80% claim that improvements and updates to websites, social platforms and other digital outlets are of the highest priority; these come before advancements to make all websites suitable for mobile and tablets, and even before the 46% focused on redeveloping and adjusting their approach to customer service. Regardless of initiative, 42% of businesses researched say they are investing in new digital channels.
According to the Altimeter report, “Digital transformation doesn’t mean digital investment alone. It does mean thinking digital first.” That’s the key to the current transition. Think digital first, with goals and customer experience aligned. This method will lead us to consistently ask, “What would my digital customer do?” We will know the answers to this specific question by considering their feedback and making adjustments to the digital solutions we offer.
As noted before, most have already put forth efforts toward social media; 71% of companies surveyed reported they engage with their audiences over social media. Mobile initiatives follow closely behind at 63%, Search at 59% and Online Display at 56%. Email marketing, PR and eCommerce still lack the push at this point, all trailing below 50% of the initial focus.
In 54% of the businesses in the study, the common head leading the transformation is the CMO, while 42% report it is their CEO. IT figures have shown a great interest in the digital engagement and customer experience as well; 30% of individuals surveyed reported it is their CIO/CTO who is leading initiatives. With each role having a different area of expertise, each considers that their number one goal is the customer digital experience.
Regardless of who is leading the transformation, internal concerns inevitably arise with change. When discussing what were the major challenges, 63% of leaders reported that their highest concern is the change of company culture. Following were concerns of cooperation between departments, understanding the behavior and impact, lack of data and risk management/compliance/legal implications.
Regardless of where you currently consider yourself in the digital transformation, our customers continue to push in that direction. A few key takeaways for success while moving in the digital transition:
- Listen and log your customers’ feedback to decide your next move to enhance their experience
- Engage in cross-functional collaboration with teams to create impactful solutions
- Stay focused on your set goals with each investment – financially and time spent
- Executive support to your team is essential
With focused, organized, unified processes and goals, the digital transformation can be a successful process with supporting team members and an ever-growing ROI.
Information and graphics were compiled from http://www.altimetergroup.com/the-2014-state-of-digital-transformation/.