Key Initiatives to Digitally Transform Your Business
By Benjamin Wong, Managing Director, Asia, Progress
Organisations know they need to “go digital” to stay competitive, but even after they have defined what digital business is, it can still be difficult to know where to start. A renewed focus on customer experience, improving business agility, the integration of legacy systems with digital touch points, or an emphasis on mobility, there are many different ways to approach digital transformation.
A study by Cognizant finds that in Asia, rising customer expectations, increased competition and demanding employees are compelling companies to get started on their digital initiatives. As such, regardless of where an organisation starts, the most important thing is to begin. There are few key areas to focus on when starting a digital business plan.
- Enhancing the Customer Experience
Today’s customers expect a lot from their digital experiences. They want to be able to do their research ahead of time, without speaking to a sales representative. They also want to use the screen of their choice to do this research as well as seamlessly move to purchase when they’re ready. It is important to take control of this expectation by delivering the omni-channel digital content customers are seeking as part of a well-crafted strategic plan.
Customer support plays a critical role in the overall experience as well. Robust support over social media and support agents that are accessible, capable and informed are increasingly expected, and can greatly help facilitate the buying process.
- Updating Applications
While the existing suite of applications that power the business, might seem to meet current needs, updating them is essential to fully capture today’s market (not to mention tomorrow’s). Website and marketing/ecommerce programs need to be adapted for a mobile world and increased demands from users.
There is a need to improve the underlying processes that govern change, ensuring that needed updates to digital properties can happen quickly and efficiently. By implementing this at the process level, organisations will be better positioned to keep up with changes yet to come.
- Adopting a Mobile-First Strategy
According to a recent report from Google, most Asian countries have already transformed themselves into mobile-first nations, with smartphone penetration outpacing traditional desktop devices. As such, while redesigning individual components is important, it’s not enough to simply make a website responsive or create a mobile app. If organisations are not considering how mobile affects their business on a fundamental level, they are missing out on the big picture.
Yes, we need to build the mobile app, but also look at social efforts and research the digital journey of the customers to see how to deliver a frictionless experience. There should be a sense of urgency around the need to set strategy at a high level so that it can achieve maximum impact.
- Creating End-to-End Connectivity and Integration
There are many moving parts in any organization’s digital portfolio, from social media to ecommerce to customer support and much more. These pieces need to be connected so that they can talk to each other quickly and easily. This helps to avoid putting obstacles between the customer and their purchase, like repeatedly filling out forms with the same information.
To understand how to do this across the business, it’s important to evaluate all the digital touch points customers interact with. After learning where and how they engage with digital properties, it becomes possible to design a holistic system of integration that ensures a smooth experience for customers (as well as employees).
Each of the above areas represents an entry point into the transformation of digital experiences, and the key is that the process begins sooner rather than later. With customer adoption of digital moving at an exponential rate, organisations can’t afford to be left behind. Delivering a seamless, integrated digital experience across the right channels can be the key to gaining new customers and retaining existing ones. Organisations who move fast can also take a lion’s share of the new digital revenue streams.
“Going digital” may seem daunting, but there is a tremendous opportunity if organisations can be among the first to develop a truly digital business