Businesses have to continually evolve to keep up with changing customer expectations and maintain their leadership against competition. Leveraging digital technology as an underpinning to effect this transformation is digital transformation.
Fundamentally, it is continuing to serve existing customers in innovative ways, expanding to reach customers across the globe and maintaining leadership despite market disruptions by optimally applying the right technologies. As we live in the digital age, the transformation gets labeled as a digital transformation, while essentially it is always business transformation.
As we live in the digital age, technology is no longer about choosing a tool but a basic building block of operating a business. So, businesses should stop treating technology as a function that can be outsourced or taking a piecemeal approach of deploying disparate tools in isolation.
Rather, technology should become one of the underpinnings of how the business operates, including interactions with the customers across all the touch points.
Businesses achieve growth by consistently delivering great customer experience and with customers increasingly becoming digital natives, delivering that experience with technology becomes inevitable. Cases in point are deploying voice, chat bots in customer’s local language for assistance and leveraging instant messaging apps like WhatsApp as customer engagement channels.
Changing just the technology does not transform the business, rather it is the clarity of what needs to change and the intent of effecting the change. Both of this need to come from the business leadership, demonstrating the conviction and articulating it to everyone who is part of effecting the transformation.
There will be inertia, cultural roadblocks, resistance to change, lack of expertise and reduced motivation. The most important role of business leaders is to overcome these challenges, implement the structural changes and stand committed to technological investments in seeing the transformation through.
A good technology leader understands the business model, operating model, customers, culture and the business objectives as well as business leaders and acts like a partner by bringing technology expertise and competence to the table.
As they architect the business to operate seamlessly over the technology platform, their role is about demonstrating the value at every step, convince people to see opportunities for moving up the value chain and alleviate fears and resistance of technology making them redundant.
Also, the role is equally about determining the right parameters for success and engineering the method to accurately measure them to keep the transformation journey in its right track.
Most transformations fail at the fundamental level of business leaders completely going out of sync with the reality and delegating transformation as a technology project to one department. A case in point is moving technology infrastructure to cloud lured by a different cost model, than approaching it as an initiative to enhance customer experience.
- Businesses achieve growth by consistently delivering great customer experience.
- Changing just the technology does not transform the business.
- It is the clarity of what needs to change and the intent of effecting the change.
- Technology should become the underpinnings of how business operates.
- Most transformations fail at the fundamental level of business leaders going out of sync with reality.