Practically every business - small, medium or large - is forced to consider it, and at some point, implement it. Yet, there is no single source of truth or playbook on how to go about it. The "it" being referred to is Digital Transformation (DX), which has been buzzing in business circles for a while now. Several aspects of this newly-defined function take businesses on a digital journey of their own. And although technology is an integral part of DX, it is not the most challenging. It is the mindset of business leaders that works as a catalyst or a deterrent for the benefits to be gained from Digital Transformation.
Change in Mindset
Often people in business like to associate with tech initiatives that are current and trending. ChatGPT is an excellent example of this tendency, with more and more businesses wanting a piece of this unbelievably good pie. Digital Transformation too began as a new wave every business wanted to ride. On looking closely, DX is an evolved, digitized version of Business Process Re-engineering (BPR), which has existed for the past 25 years. BPR involves re-engineering a process to make it more efficient and effective, with emphasis on input, output and nearness to the goal. So how did BPR evolve into Digital Transformation? It began with the Digital Movement. An era catalyzed by the internet, connectivity and cloud in the last 10-15 years and further accentuated by discreet, independent digital apps flooding the marketplace, previously occupied by monolithic software created by large companies. This was when businesses began focusing on digital. Transformation with digital has a different end goal from that of BPR. While increased efficiency and effectiveness are the desired outcomes of BPR, improving customer experiences is the ultimate goal of Digital Transformation.
Approach to DX
In the times of BPR, the dimensions for competition were few among companies, namely price, cost, delivery, reliability, technology and green measures. And back then, the customers were satisfied with what they got. In the digital age, customers have the power of information, making them aware, demanding and unwilling to settle. They want a better customer experience and are willing to pay for it. The competitive differentiator in business today is not technology or product. Everybody can match service levels and product quality. But how creatively you design your customer experiences and offer them consistently and sustainably is the challenge put forth to businesses. To meet this challenge, business leaders need to go back to the drawing board and place their customer/user at the design center to find answers to questions like -
- How can I make an interaction or transaction for my customer more delightful and hassle-free?
- How can I take the cognitive load off my customer and make the brand-user experience desirable and memorable?
With a deeper understanding of the customer's needs in the foreseeable future, a business can look at ways to enhance the customer experience through Digital Transformation.
Doing More with Status Quo
The start of most Digital Transformation efforts by business divisions is met with doubt and skepticism around the time, effort and cost involved. It is valid, but the focus is often shifted from creating a better experience to not burdening the IT team. So, every business should try and do more with what it has. Organizations are stuck with legacy software that has limited use while they also have modern applications (AI, BI, Messaging) for their current needs. They don't need to discard anything old or disrupt anything new. All they need is the ability to integrate the two, set the stage and begin experimenting. Using existing applications and systems composed with a modern no-code integration and automation platform like Quickwork, businesses can start designing variants of desirable and delightful experiences around the customer. The platform steps in like an orchestrator to create the best customer experience. It offers a pre-built library containing 1000s of app connectors for the business to take any app and create a new experience for the end user. The platform-agnostic features allow for experimentation, A/B testing and also change in workflows, if the experiment, when measured (customer satisfaction, NPS, customer retention rate, repeat sales), is not successful. And all of this without investing too much into technology that constrains development.
Platforms like these complement and/or supplement an organization's infrastructure. They enable businesses to swiftly go from project to capability and accelerate their Digital Transformation journeys significantly. In the future, Digital Transformation will be composable and intelligent, aided by AI, to optimize workflows and deliver even better experiences. The mindset for Digital Transformation should be to consistently surpass expectations with technology as an enabler and hit the moving target of a superior customer experience.
This article was originally published in TechGraph.