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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Cromwell

A New Business Strategy for 2019: Digital Transformation

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Today’s enterprises are faced with epic changes related to their customers, employees, business management, market dynamics, competition, and ever-evolving technologies. Over the last several years , the business world was buzzing with talk of companies needing to “digitally transform” in order to effectively respond to these changes by embracing a new strategy called digital transformation.

Considering the fact that digital transformation also offers solutions to top enterprise demands for customer satisfaction, productivity and self-service using automation, now is the time for companies that have not yet embraced a digital transformation strategy to focus their efforts and consider it as their main approach to grow their business in 2019 and beyond.

More Than Technology

Digital transformation encompasses much more than the use of digital technologies. It is a holistic approach demanding fundamental changes in the culture, competency and business models of an enterprise as well. It can be successfully implemented when three major initiatives are incorporated. The first is to create a digital culture and mindset by employing top executives who truly understand and embrace the era of digital transformation. A digitally-oriented leadership team will then establish a new set of business models and practices aimed at delivering customer satisfaction, productivity and process/service automation. These new business models cannot be practically implemented unless the new emerging digital technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cognitive analysis, are deployed across the enterprise.

Establishing a Digital Culture

Successfully adopting a digital culture requires buy-in from executives to all other employees. All members of an organization are required to change their relationship with technology. There are a few ways to influence digital transformation starting with employees.

1. Align Values Company-wide

Know how to speak to your company’s values and how a digital transformation aligns with them. When you have a clear company vision speaking to your employees’ sense of values, you create an environment for a smooth transformation. This type of ideal alignment of values can not only increase productivity but also spark innovation. Digital transformation necessitates both, especially when an organizational change is involved.” Michael Brito, Forbes Magazine, Sep 26, 2017, 08:30am (Follow him on Twitter)

2. Create a Narrative for Digital Transformation

“…in the case of digital transformation, it’s critical everyone in the organization knows and agrees on the vision, goals and roadmap for that change. The elevator speech moves beyond just a checkpoint or hallway conversation. Instead, it becomes the internal brand narrative from start to finish -- and, hopefully, it’ll spread like wildfire through word of mouth.” Michael Brito, Forbes Magazine, Sep 26, 2017, 08:30am (Follow him on Twitter)

Overhauling company performance through new digital platforms takes vision, patience and technical expertise, but the most critical factor is employee buy-in.

Shift Your Business Model to Look Outward

Traditionally, organizations have used an “inside-out” business model whereby they set the parameters for how a customer should engage and conduct business with them. However, in this age of high expectations by customers and other readily-available options when they are not satisfied, businesses are required to shift to an “outside-in” approach. They must first understand customers’ behavior and demands and then develop business models and processes for how they should engage and conduct business with their customers.

Industry studies have shown that customers will consider switching to a competitor after just one or two bad experiences with a brand. Truly understanding and then satisfying customer demands and behavior will be the key to retaining and growing the customer base. New emerging digital technologies are now available to assist companies implement their transformation to an “outside-in” business model.

Employ Emerging Digital Technologies and AI for Transformation

Implementation of the new business models that lead to such transformation requires a series of new emerging digital technologies, including big data management, advanced multichannel analytics, process automation and AI using Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and Cognitive Decision-Making Engines. These technologies will allow organizations to manage customer experiences better from start to finish.

Before service, these emerging technologies capture and analyze key performance indicators to determine the best routes, followed by automatically routing calls to the best point of service. During service, new solutions offer automated and analytics-driven quality assurance, first call resolution improvement, known and unknown discoveries and actionable knowledge, sentiment and trend analysis, name entity recognition and topical categorization to significantly improve customer interactions and engagements. Finally, emerging technologies can offer automated and intelligent enterprise feedback management, customer survey and customer inquiries to capture and analyze true voice of customer in order to further improve the overall customer experience.

According to industry analyst firm DMG Consulting, “Artificial intelligence is a game-changer for contact centers and back-office departments. Enhancing real-world and tribal knowledge with the intelligence of big data and automation is a powerful combination for service organizations.” DMG Consulting LLC.

Emerging technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent virtual agents are two applications that are being used increasingly by enterprises to improve productivity and enhance customer satisfaction. RPA

improves performance by reducing the time needed to complete tasks, lessening errors and improving productivity while decreasing operating costs at the same time.

Survival Depends of a Digital Shift

Digital transformation isn't optional. It's a cultural shift that will make the business world more competitive and more responsive. Those companies that don't invest in a digital transformation strategy may find themselves more vulnerable in this new era.

It's time to invest in your transformation to a digital strategy.

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