Why digital transformation is critical to surviving in today’s business environment

A side-by-side comparison of two houses showcasing different design philosophies: the left side titled 'Strategically Designed' with annotations for planned expansion and purposeful layout, and the right side titled 'Designed One Step at a Time' highlighting piecemeal additions and afterthoughts.

Why do you need to invest in digital transformation now?

The term digital transformation is often thrown around, with many thinking of this as simply ‘going digital’. However, it’s time to look beyond just having an online platform for your organisations or digital functionalities. To truly gain value from digital transformation, organisations need to consider the deliberate and strategic repositioning of their business. It’s important that organisations introduce and embed digital solutions which align with their core objectives and principles. Digital solutions can create a streamlined and robust service to not only customers but also employees.

There is more pressure than ever for organisations to adapt quickly and embed strong digital solutions to transform their business. According to the 2020 McKinsey Global Survey, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for the digitisation of customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. A well-architected plan for digital systems to be deployed is needed to make sure there is consistency throughout the internal and external digital solutions adopted.

Invest now, to save later

Having a strategic system in place from the start to interconnect all-digital processes will drive success in the long run. Foundational systems, such as single sign-on, can be complex to install and embed within an organisation, but applying that omi-channel process is key to mitigating the risk of duplication. This allows for more efficient capture and processing of data for reporting. Most importantly though, omnichannel digital systems allow employees to deliver services more effectively with greater access to key customer data.

The value of embedding strategic digital solutions

With rising pressure to keep up with rapid tech innovations and digital solutions, it can be easy to fall into the trap of updating individual systems in a ‘quick and dirty way to kick start your digital transformation. However, taking the time to consider the bigger picture and strategically consider the technology you need to put in place throughout your organisation can be hugely beneficial in the long-run, and save you money. There needs to be architecture in place to allow the business to grow and digital systems to expand with it. Operating systems should be considered as a network of processes that interlink and work in harmony. If systems are treated on a case-by-case basis, there will be a disconnect between a process in place and overcomplication of a process to deliver a singular service.

Think about the process of designing a house, you may start with a small design on a low budget, however, in the initial stages, you are already thinking about how the house could grow over time. You may have an unfinished attic with the idea to add another room, or space in the garden to add a conservatory. You wouldn’t want to start a house with one room and add rooms randomly without considering the flow and overall finish of the house.

Map the full customer journey

Fully integrated systems allow for full visualisation of the customer journey. For example, consider the process when you order an item online and can instantly track its delivery, this is possible through seamless integration of identity and access management (IAM), and an omnichannel deployed to all parties involved. IAM is a framework of business processes, policies and technologies which facilitates the management of electronic or digital identities. Thanks to the investment in these systems, vendors can make sure the item is moving through the outlined route correctly and safely, delivery drivers and employees receive clear instructions on their role in the process, and customers can track the delivery process. Customers are more digitally savvy than ever before; they expect instant responses and access to data, if an organisation can’t provide this, customers can switch at the click of a button.

Employees dictate the success of digital transformation

Focus is often placed on the customer experience, meaning that while systems are put in place for customers to self-serve, the same systems aren’t available to employees leading to a disconnect in data. Facilitating a process, through integrated end-to-end personalised systems allows employees to understand the full customer journey.

But don’t expect digital transformation to happen overnight. There will be a process of adjustment and hurdles to overcome as teams move from legacy systems to new and updated digital tools. It’s important to get buy-in at all levels, if employees are not comfortable or happy with new systems it will hinder their performance and ultimately impact the service delivered to customers. There may need to be a shift in culture to promote a sense of innovation and hunger for new technology. Employees need to be educated on all new systems and able to use them to their full potential.

Consider your user experience (UX) and employee experience (EX) as one

The digital transformation of an organisation should drive productivity, provide employees with the relevant tools they need to work effectively, and improve the all-around experiences for the internal team and customers.

Organisations need to put the architecture in place to allow for a seamless transition between the employee experience and user experience. Legacy tech approaches allow for too many gaps between internal and external interactions, leaving organisations open to cyber-attack threats.

Through the deployment of IAM and an omnichannel system, organisations can facilitate a secure digital process to streamline activity across global teams, processes, employees, customers and third parties, and manage data securely using a common tool.

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