Do You Have a Business Digitalization Strategy?
By admin fallon
On June 30th, 2014
Business IT is transitioning into the digitalization era – what Gartner calls the “third era of enterprise IT.” What exactly does digitalization mean – for you, and for your organization?
The next wave
Today’s customers expect to do everything online: Conduct business and personal transactions, track orders, view usage data, and communicate with vendors, customers, and colleagues. That reality is forcing companies to move beyond using IT in a supportive role and into a union of IT and business strategy.
Companies that produce products that have nothing to do with IT are becoming companies that not only use, but also produce digital services and products to increase customer benefits, involvement, and loyalty. Social media, mobile and cloud computing, Big Data and data analytics, and agile methods are becoming central to every campaign, product, and service, enabling companies to forge closer connections with their customers.
Connected consumers demand connected companies, and digitalization offers this connection. But most companies have been slow to digitalize. Many are still planning their cloud migrations and struggling to keep their Facebook page updated, let alone dive into digitalization to the extent that customers – and competitors – require.
What does a successfully digitalized company look like? Consider how your business stacks up in these categories:
- Collaborative, mobile, and personalized – Can customers access information online, from any device, at any time? Do you use apps or specialized content to personalize the experience? Can customers interact with your company; for example, can they provide instant feedback – and do you actually pay attention to it?
- Using IT to innovate – If you’re focused on toeing the bottom line rather than using IT to create new ideas and value around your customers’ needs, you’re lagging behind the times. Expect your clients to look elsewhere for a more responsive company.
- Evolving business models and processes – Every step of nearly every business can be digitalized, from creation of products or services to production to delivery. ZDnet suggests that organizations can ease this transition by looking for â€œrepeatable patterns that accelerate performanceâ€ and focus on the user.
Prepare for digitalization
Most CIOs say they are unprepared for digitalization. Gartner notes that 51% of surveyed company leaders worry about digital proceeding “faster than they can cope,” and 42% “don’t feel that they have the talent needed” to define and implement a digitalization strategy.
If you’re part of this group, you can change those figures by committing to taking significant and immediate steps toward digitalization:
- Build your organization’s digitalization skill set. Add user experience designers, data scientists, and IT experts in mobile, social media, and cloud management. If necessary, purchase or outsource some aspects of digitalization, such as data analytics or cloud management – at least to get off the ground.
- Develop a plan. Digitalizing your business processes requires forethought and a solid plan, since the effort should affect every aspect of your organization.
- Get leadership buy-in. Company leadership must commit to digitalization and implementation via digital-savvy managers. Forward-thinking business and IT leaders must start to look at IT as an innovation center that can be used to meet customer needs, not just as a physical infrastructure and a way to support email.
- Make data decisions. Assess how decision-making data is collected and what additional data is needed. Give customer-facing departments real-time analytics to improve front-line decision making and customer service.
- Go mobile. Find new ways to use mobile technology to improve both customer and employee experiences.
- Respect privacy. Review your organization’s privacy policies and make sure your digitalization strategy is compatible with them.
Don’t get left behind. If the idea of digitalization seems overwhelming, don’t hesitate to contact a reliable and expert advisor such as Fallon Consultants. Outsourcing projects such as data analytics can give you more bandwidth to focus on business planning to align your core competencies and digital capabilities.