Customers are now focused on experience over product and price, less concerned with ownership and more interested in subscription services. They expect a superior personalised, on demand service that is delivered straight to their front door.
The workplace has been transformed with five generations in it, with employees and employers learning how to adapt to different needs and requirements. Employees now want work-life balance, to work remotely and collaborate in a transparent environment with a creative culture.
The pace of life is fast and competition is tougher than ever and companies need to react and embrace these changes now, by modernising their workplace and digitally transforming or improving their organisation.
Innovate, transform and improve
The Fortune 500 CEO survey discovered that 73 per cent of CEOs are concerned about the impact of start-ups and agile SMEs disrupting the market and becoming a real threat to their business. Start-ups are small, agile, creative and not hindered by traditional hierarchies, boundaries and processes. They offer products and services that the consumers of today are demanding. Innovators such as Uber and Netflix disrupted the market with the new services they delivered, transforming the way we get taxis and watch TV.
It is not just about the unique revolutionary idea, today it is about the execution which needs to be integrated into the business’s operations and processes to deliver a seamless and superior customer service in order to succeed.
Disruption is not just for innovators, it is for businesses of all sizes whether they are start-ups or established businesses. Companies need to recognise what their challenges are, solve the problems and harness new ideas to identify and create business opportunities through digital technology.
What’s the problem?
It is about the identifying where the problems reside and solving them through process re-engineering and technology. Solution Providers can assist by working closely with you to understand what your issues are, what are your objectives and what areas you want to improve?
Customer experience drives competition and Gartner predicts that 89 per cent of businesses expect to compete on customer experience.
Businesses need to innovate, transform and improve their customer experience and deliver an exceptional seamless service to create happy customers. Customers and employees are the best advocates of your brand. Zendesk discovered that 90 per cent of customers are influenced by positive reviews when buying a product. It’s time to understand and pre-empt your customers’ needs and requirements so you can provide a seamless and personalised journey.
Integration is the answer
Digital transformation is not possible without systems integration, there is no point deploying an innovative technology solution that doesn’t integrate into the front and back office. Research from Mulesoft identified over half (53 per cent) list systems integration as a top three IT challenge. Legacy infrastructure and systems was the most frequently reported challenge to digital transformation, with 59 per cent of IT leaders saying their legacy infrastructure makes it hard to introduce new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), big data and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Digital is taking over
We have seen a growth in the number of companies that want to implement self-service and automated interaction handling, whether through chat bots, conversational AI, interactive voice response, web portals or digital process automation. The objective is to deliver cost-saving, improve efficiencies and customer service and this can only be achieved if the technology is integrated into the front and back office systems.
Organisations of all sizes are re-engineering how they operate using digital platforms such as self-service, automation and AI to create a winning digital strategy.
Conquer your fears
Becoming digital ready and modernising the workplace may appear overwhelming for businesses, but the time has come where it is very much a case of – sink or swim. Every business needs to be visionary and look closely at how they can innovate, transform and improve.
Getting buy in
Getting buy in for a large digital transformation used to be challenging and often wouldn’t get signed off due to the sheer size of the project and budget. However, many transformations can be broken down into smaller projects and budgets. Start-ups are not shackled to old fashioned company policies and processes giving them the ability to act and move fast. You too can act like a start-up and accelerate to change for the better.
As technology is becoming the fabric of our life the focus is no longer on the technical sell. IT directors, CTOs, etc are leading with how technology can make a difference to the business. That could be improving internal and external communications, attracting and retaining staff or improving customer service, helping you to deliver the results you want and need.
Time to see differently
As Heraclitus stated “The only constant in life is change” and the business world has never seen such change in recent years, as it is seeing today. Change needs to be welcomed, it cannot be ignored and fought against. Companies must embrace that the workplace, customers and buying behaviour has changed and with this so have the traditional ways of working and doing business. The younger demographic work differently, they are used to communicating and collaborating digitally and expect these tools in the workplace. They want to work remotely, and choose their hours, working in a transparent environment sharing knowledge and ideas in a creative environment with a flat structure.
Companies must adapt to these demands in order to attract and retain talent, especially as we are faced with a digital skills gap where candidates are able to pick and choose who they want to work for. It’s vital to set a vision, with objectives and a strategy, and share with all so everyone can see what needs to be achieved and how, and when.
Don’t be scared to fail
Employees must be encouraged and given the freedom to try out new ideas, whether that’s with technology or the way business is done. In order to disrupt and innovate you have to test ideas and everyone fails from time to time. If we don’t fail we don’t learn from our mistakes, therefore we don’t innovate, improve or transform.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the digital transformation journey you can set up technology innovation hubs giving you the ability to move at pace and create new ideas, and vision for the market.
Small steps big results
It must be recognised that digital transformation is an evolving journey full of constant change and improvements. Think big but at the same time take small steps and deconstruct them into small and manageable projects. This will accelerate approvals enabling you to manage them appropriately and roll out them with more success.
Disrupt and lead the way
Disruption and innovation is for every business irrespective of your size, what you do and how long you have been established. It is not only the start-ups of this world that can change how they operate and shake up the market with new innovative products and services, you can too.
Identify what problems you want to solve, study your processes and how you can improve or transform them with digital technology and empower employees with an innovation culture. Now, start disrupting!
Jonathan Sharp, Sales, PreSales & Marketing, Btlnet