In this digital age, businesses will survive and thrive by building an intimate bond with customers – maximising the opportunity to grow revenue, drive loyalty and increase market share. Taking a digital-first approach to business means that you can adapt quickly to customer needs – unlocking a deeper understanding of the customer, providing the flexibility to respond to what the customer wants and crucially, reduce customer effort as they purchase across the whole range of products and services.
Laying the foundations for your digital business
The success of a digital business will be built on the foundation of a digital platform – the suite of technology, software, process and data that drives interoperability across the business and enriches the customer experience. But, delivering a digital platform is not that straight forward. Often digital businesses emerge from a brown field site with a spider’s web of technology, a legacy IT delivery function, traditional delivery approaches and silos of data. Delivering a digital platform requires a step change across a number of factors:
- Delivering integrated applications and services that support a seamless end-to-end customer journey which is completely digitally enabled, maximising loyalty through ease of use and maximising ancillary revenue opportunities across the many customer journey touchpoints
- Delivering flexible and adaptable digital channels to market, enabling opportunities to be quickly capitalised on Using all customer data to drive personalised marketing, reducing the hurdles to purchase, driving both loyalty and revenue
- Using all customer data to drive personalised marketing, reducing the hurdles to purchase, driving both loyalty and revenue
- Ensuring the full use of enterprise and operational data to produce analytical insights to support tailored and targeted service offerings
- Enabling Artificial Intelligence and machine learning embedded in the enterprise architecture to support critical business processes such as revenue management, disruption management and crew management
- Using agile delivery methods to ensure the customer stays at the centre of delivery.
Facing into the common challenges
There are common challenges that need to be addressed as part of a structured programme of change:
- Ensuring that the digital platform is positioned from the start to continue to provide value to customers – and that it remains prioritised
- Making sure that the business is ready for change – that there is a digital strategy and a clear roadmap for delivery
- Placing the right digital leadership to deliver the step change required and ensuring they have the right independent outlook
- Making sure that all remain focussed on the business outcome and do not become obsessed by the delivery methodology or skewed by the technical components.
Delivering your digital vison
Start your digital journey with a single digitally enabled project or initiative that will quickly set the scene, expectations and pace for the rest of your digital transformation. This plan should be the corner stone of your digital transformation and should deliver a “night and day” or paradigm shift in the way your organisation operates – leading to either major revenue growth, cost savings or both. Ensure your plan is 100% focussed on delivering what the business actually wants. For this approach to work, you need to:
- Stop talking about digital and start talking about the business outcome. Focus everyone’s minds on a single goal. Get the first one right, see how your business reacts and emulate for the future
- Instead of digital, talk about outcomes, the benefits and nothing else. Digital means nothing without the description of what will tangibly be achieved, for example, ‘the ability for my customers to buy from me in three clicks on a mobile app’
- Organise yourselves in the right way. Boards are often led by previous experience. But, often the approach that worked well in one organisation will not work so well in the next. You must implement the approach that works well in your organisation. If you need to, adjust your end-to-end delivery cycle – refine and scale as you progress. Measure and celebrate success – learn and apply the lessons for the next phase.