Digital transformation is now an essential means of doing business without which organizations will not be able to stay afloat in the changing market landscape. The current pandemic has further accelerated digital transformation across industries and with various new technologies like Artificial intelligence, IoT, Robotics, 5G, and Augmented Reality being increasingly adopted to deliver unique customer experiences, it is the future.1 But while the opportunity is significant, so is the urgency and pressure to capitalize on it.

Success really depends on the ability to create the right digital experiences and invest in relevant digital capabilities that are well aligned with the strategy and not done as an isolated effort. Many companies have seen their digital transformations stall or fail to deliver the expected results owing to fragmented efforts, legacy technologies, insufficient capabilities, or other factors. For those who get it right, however there is a 2x possibility of being chosen as the primary supplier by customers and increase revenues.

In order to gear up for this new normal, it would become necessary that you embark on a more robust and planned Digital engagement model with your customers. New sources of value can be created by combining the product based models with information based services. What will it take to compete going forward? What would be the new business model?

We believe that there are 3 critical areas where digital transformation can be a game changer:

  • Customer Experience – Digitize key aspects of customer interface and create better connected experiences along all touch points of the customer journey. The key is to have superior insights into customer needs and focus on outcomes that matter and areas where you can create unique value. Each stage of the journey offers numerous opportunities which can be effectively exploited using digital solutions.
  • Build a Platform – Offer value exchange through a platform strategy involving key stakeholders. An innovative model can help support and add value to the main offer in a big way as well as create new growth businesses. The key here is to be able to create long term network effects.
  • Core Processes – The core operations can be optimized using digital technologies for automation of the processes involved. Aim for increasing efficiencies through data capturing and analytics while simultaneously enhancing performance. Each of the activity the company performs can be reimagined from a digitization perspective.

Data and advanced analytics is the bedrock of successful implementation of each of the above. Capturing, analysing and utilizing the immense amount of data that is being generated places you at a great advantage versus competition. So, while you think thru which of the digital transformation areas to pursue, managing data as a business asset and building the right data capabilities are essential to materialize the gains. An added benefit is the ability to make better decisions about a broad range of activities linked to generating additional revenue and/or reducing costs.

Digital transformation needs the focus and active support of the CEO’s, without which the initiative is certainly set up to fail. How do you begin to shift from just thinking and talking about digital to practically and strategically moving forward? The key questions to reflect upon are:

  1. 1. What is your digital ambition? Can you see an opportunity to create more value in the industry than the way in which it is currently done?
  2. 2. How can you create a superior customer experience along his decision journey? What all transformative ideas and curated offer can you introduce at each stage?
  3. 3. Which new technologies can you put at the centre of your strategic business model to create more value?
  4. 4. Do you have a clear roadmap with co-ordinated plans for what needs to be done from management team level down to frontline? Is the initiative adequately resourced and leadership team well aligned?
  5. 5. What digital capabilities would be essential to build internally for long term benefit and which ones to outsource to external partners?
  6. 6. How can you create an integrated model preserving elements of your current model while adding new elements of a digital model to enhance customer relationships?

Will you be caught up in a legacy trap just focused on replicating past success or be amongst the leaders able to see the opportunities and act decisively on it? There is an urgent need to sense and shape this new digital reality speedily. In fact, it is mission critical!

1. Refer our earlier insight “Recognizing Macro Trends” for more