Digital Transformation does not consist in buying hardware and software: it hinges primarily on People Skills and Operational Processes.
Digital cuts both ways and most Companies miss the fundamental point – being: you cannot open up a digital operation without aligning your entire business system to the implications of the digital ecosystem.
Digital technology offers obvious opportunities: it is a way for Firms to be more effective in reaching just the right Customers the most effective way and tell them just the right things, the right way, spending little or close to nothing.
But digital also gives Customers the power to enter the Firm like a glass house, and look into its entrails in real time – so whatever expectation we arouse (of immediacy, professionalism, transparency – of what is commonly referred to as “seamless Brand experience") must be satisfied in real time, there and then.
The majority of Firms add a digital infrastructure onto an existing business model – they slap it up like an add-on – and end up exposed to this horrendous disclosure of mis-alignment and inadequacy.
So, more often than not, a hasty entry into the digital ecosystem turns up into a boomerang. This is the core of the problem in most Client cases today.
One may find out that the design of the customer interface is blocking the customer from having a full interaction (very frequent). Or that response time to a query is horribly slow, or simply absent.
Most of the time, the key snag lies in the second “B” of “B2B2C” setups. That is: the problem lies in the actual interface that is supposed to satisfy Customers’ expectations and provide that elusive “seamless Brand experience”: the sales network.
Digital opens up the window for the customer to look into your house and if your setup is not up to expectations and really, materially, Customer-centric, the Firm will appear for what it is: a naked King. So in the end, to be frank, you end up working – yes – on technology, but most of the time the focus returns on the human factor.
Skills, processes and operating standards, organizational structure and staffing – aside of systems and technology development – is what the digital transformation is all about. Things that are done by humans today will no longer be needed, or be done by machines, tomorrow.
But as of today, humans have to adapt and align to a brand new world.
You ain’t seen nothing yet.