Digital Transformation is about leading an organisation with a digital mindset of innovation and creativity.
In the last 2-3 years, companies have been slowly embracing digital enablement. The most popular uptake has been cloud software, online digital tools, data analytics and marketing departments engaging with customers via social media (or vice versa).
There are two key components to a Digital Transformation mindset:
- Constantly innovating how the business can get their workforce to collaborate more
- Get creative with a focus on customer experience
This can all be achieved via web, cloud, mobile, social with the aim of driving a new revenue source, or saving on overheads.
How can tech leaders choose the right projects that will drive business success?
You have to drive quick value for the business.
A tech leader needs to be aware of the business context, and establish an approach to drive direct value for the business. It needs to have a sense of urgency, however, not over engineer or over complicate existing business systems and processes. It needs to focus on the low hanging fruit within the current operations environment, establish credibility amongst the team, and slowly work the digital mindset up the chain. As a tech leader, you need to observe and get constant feedback from the team to drive innovation and change.
Implementing a cross-functional digital team
As important as management, sales, finance, marketing, IT, operations teams are to a business, we’re now at a point in time where organisations now need a cross-functional digital team. The Digital team are responsible for setting the foundations for transforming a business’ innovation and implementing technology to improve customer engagement, enhance the workforce experience and take the leap for the organisation to the next level.
Obsess with improving customer experience
In 2011 Google released an eBook titled Winning the Zero Moment of Truth. With the evolving world of digital and its impact on marketing, Google investigated a new critical phase in the decision making process for modern shoppers, a term they’ve coined “ZMot”.
This concept is not new, by any means. In fact, the phrase originated from the term “First Moment of Truth” (FMoT). This refers to the moment a potential purchaser is exposed to a product on the shelf. This involves traditional marketing, and is a six to seven second window in which the product will either be purchased or abandoned. FMoT claims that the decision is not made at the shelf, rather through previous brand exposure often through advertising and results in a positive consumer experience. Then the purchasing cycle begins.
Zero moment of truth
However, with the modern world of information technology, Google’s ZMoT explores the idea that 70% of today’s purchases seek out reviews, product details, pricing, information on the brand before they view the product on the shelf. In fact, there is so much information available to us, that often the purchaser has more information at hand then the sales assistant.
The eBook opens with Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at Vivaki with a quote that summarises this perfectly:
“When consumers hear about a product today, their first reaction is ‘let me search online for it’. And so they go on a journey of discovery: about a product, a service, an issue, an opportunity. Today you are not behind your competition. You are not behind the technology. You are behind your consumer.”
Google Shopper Sciences illustrates just how widespread ZMoT is in all categories as shoppers decision making:
Above are a list of 12 industries with associated statistics which highlight the number of sources researches/consulted by a typical shopper of that industry and the percentage of shoppers influenced at ZMoT.
The consumer journey
It’s a real eye-opener. The point here is that the digital team need to be responsible for ensuring a company can deliver it’s message into the consumer’s journey at the point of their ZMoT. The ZMoT happens online, at any time of the day, on any device and increasingly on mobile smartphones. The consumer will draw on multiple sources to arrive at their decision. A business needs to prioritise and do whatever it takes to encourage the consumer to engage with the brand during their ZMoT and beyond.
In this eBook they offer 7 strategies at winning at ZMoT:
- Put someone in charge
- Find your Zero moments online
- Answer questions people are asking in online forums and social media platforms
- Optimise for ZMoT – SEO, Content Marketing – Get innovative and creative
- Be Fast
- Video – How-tos and product showcases and case studies for B2B
- Jump in – and act now.
With this knowledge at hand, the tech leader needs to ensure this is engrained at every touch point of the business processes. Especially online!
Enhancing the Employee Experience
The next generation, Gen Z, are already entering the workforce, and we as leaders need to be prepared.
Four attributes of Gen Z that will impact business is in the near future:
- They are less focused
- Better multi-taskers
- Early starters
- More entrepreneurial.
Growing up as a Gen Z
In their teenage years Gen Z’s already had the smartphone, spent countless hours in front of the Playstation (playing against their friends online), watched TV shows instantly through YouTube, and never went through the frustration of waiting for their sibling to get off the phone so they could get onto the internet.
And, they never experienced having to wait for an image to slowly load on dial up internet – and the word “buffer” doesn’t exist in the vocabulary!
Their expectation for technology is that everything works fast, and information is retrieved from any device, at any time.
This will challenge companies to have its systems and processes in order to ensure the Gen Z knows exactly what the task at hand is, is somewhat automated (they don’t want to be having to manually input data into a spreadsheet). Not only that, they are also the key to driving business into the digital transformation age… they just need the right infrastructure in place.
Getting the framework right
At its simplest form, if a business IT infrastructure consists of a desktop computer, expects the employee to use a desktop phone, or worse the fax, they will view that company as being ancient and not a desired place to work, and the employee will start to consider other companies to work at.
More than just the infrastructure, software also needs to be seamless for staff to use. What does that mean? No more emails. Communication will be done through apps like Slack or Whatsapp, or even project management platforms like Trello or Asana. This is a the way forward for companies, as these tools encourage cross-department communication.
With systems already moving into the cloud, there are major benefits. The number one benefit being data.
Power of data in the digital age
Data can be collected, shared, and analysed. This will help business make better decisions, automate tasks through artificial intelligence and get analysed through machine learning for business to make informed decisions. This is only the begging.
Lastly, the office is a distracting place, in fact some environments can be extremely unproductive that I would go as far to say that staff could only be as effective as working 3 days a week.
In total, an employee easily wastes a day a week in productivity just by heading into an office. Think about your daily routine, time to travel to work, time to get a takeaway coffee, time to “ask a quick question” and distract someone whilst they’re in deep work.
If it takes you at a minimum; 1 hour to commute (30 mins each way), 20 mins for a coffee each day (outside of your lunch break), 4 distractions per week at 20 minutes each that equates to 8 hours, a full day!
The next wave of companies are realising that remote work is the way of the future. With cloud systems, employees can load up their laptop (in a cafe) and do uninterrupted work.
Tying it all together
In summary, Digital Transformation has already been established within companies that have a website, social media presence, utilise cloud products.
The hard work is done.
The next phase is now taking that technology and modernising the company by focusing on digital transformation projects. Creating a digital mindset challenges the way work gets done at the business back end and front of house that will ultimately impact the customer.