Digital transformation is not just about technology innovation, it’s a complete and integrated journey that impacts the customer experience, the way businesses sell and market products and services, and the way in which we deliver.
At the heart is the business operations. A business needs to be operating in such a way that allows the customer-focused innovation to take place. And so the digital transformation within a business is just as important as the digital transformation that is externally facing.
The foundation for all this activity is the technology platform. Having the right IT platform for your business is imperative as it allows you to operate optimally and positions the organisation to deliver further transformation. Your end goal is a very streamlined ecosystem that enables data to be accessed, shared, updated and leveraged easily from any system across the organisation so there is one single source of truth. And this delivers multi-purpose benefits for any business.
Having a single technology platform provides the customer with ease of interaction. Having systems that ‘talk’ to each other allows customers to provide information once rather than twice. For example, if you have a mortgage with your financial institution, you don’t want to be asked for your details again when you ask them for home and contents insurance. It’s a much more intuitive process.
Streamlining and digitising technology is also gaining importance from a regulatory and compliance perspective. Storing data efficiently simplifies workflow and helps to manage costs. It also adheres to the new standards of immediacy and transparency of customer data. If your customer is asking you for information you hold on them, you don’t want several employees digging through multiple information sources to collate what they are asking for – and risk errors and omissions in the process.
In the finance sector, for example, there is currently much debate about open banking. While some businesses may be concerned about the impact third-party access to their customer data (authorized by the customer) will have on customer retention, it delivers much opportunity for the incumbent to improve the customer experience. Asking the customer why they are requesting their data can provide an opportunity to offer a better deal or enhance your value proposition. It’s a retention opportunity as well as an innovation opportunity – if you are willing to listen to and learn from your customers.
Aggregating any new data with existing data helps businesses to ‘fill in the blanks’, draw correlations and trigger additional solution sets. It’s part of the power of Big Data – seeing patterns and trends that ultimately better serve the customer.
As the currency of information is becoming more valuable, so are having the technology and operational resources to facilitate this. Digital transformation is becoming a non-negotiable component of successful business strategy.