Digital = Technology = Science
Sounds about right? There’s not much doubt on this, except that there “has to be” a catch.
Let’s establish some facts. Most technologies rely on a system of repeated consistency. That’s what makes a technology reliable. That’s what makes resilient and robust software. And, that's what makes an algorithm strong and powerful. You can rely on technology and let it do its job. A scientific and rational approach is what makes technology reliable, and hence, mainstream. No one wants a system that would spit out random outcomes, unless intended to be so (even if designed so, that randomness needs to be designed to be predictably random).
Let’s talk about digital, though. What is digital? Is it technology? Is it an outcome? Is it a way to accomplish your enterprise goals? Yes, it is any of these, and all of these. In essence, digital is not just a set of technologies, but it’s also a way to accomplish things, and, for many enterprises being digital is a goal. As far as we’re concerned, digital is based on three tenets: delight your customers, be faster than the fastest, and make your business infinite.
Can you accomplish these by putting systems and technologies together? Or, is there more to it?
Let’s talk about delighting your customers. If it was only about building customer-centric apps and training employees to behave a certain way, everyone would be doing it. However, the fact remains that for most enterprises, a great customer experience remains an elusive goal. Most approaches to customer experience today look like repainting the famous Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa in a modern sleek-looking interface and adding a mobile in her hand, while overlooking the fact that the Mona Lisa's epic character is not in the colors or paint, but in the depth and essence that it carries.
Creating a modern interface and implementing mobility do not equate a delightful process experience. It’s not about form. It’s about essence. This essence is about invoking the emotion among your customers. And, this cannot be done simply by modernising the form. The underlying cultural fabric and processes must transform too.
What does this have to do with digital? And your enterprise?
The ‘Mona Lisa’ example above is a metaphor. It’s a metaphor for getting things right in digital. When we speak of process automation through technology, we must also talk about creating ‘beautiful processes that deliver a great experience’. When we talk about leveraging data integration for transactional accuracy, we must also talk about ‘engaging customers by building context from that data’. When we build applications that help perform transactions faster, we have to also talk about ‘empowering your knowledge workers’ so that they can use their subjective understanding and decision making skills.
In other words, the “art” and “science” of digital must come together. In more practical terms, a truly digital experience can happen when enterprises function with the left brain and right brain together. The most common understanding of left and right brain puts them in creative and rational buckets. However, this contrast is also about broad v/s pointed, holistic v/s specific, and subjective v/s objective. When you implement digital this way, customers are not just satisfied transaction-wise, but also emotionally touched.
What does it mean when we say an enterprise must address both art and science of digital? It means that enterprises need to build technologies and systems, but they also need to connect them together with other resources in the organisation holistically to build an overall value web. It also means that when organisations implement digital technologies for modern systems and interfaces, they also need to holistically orchestrate processes to deliver that complete process experience.
Organisations can do this by doing the following:
- Build a contextual and flexible process platform to break silos and deliver process experience
- Engrain social and mobility in your processes, instead of pasting them as channels or interfaces
- Elevate orchestration to connect people, processes, systems and things
It’s time to make your digital, a piece of art!
- By Virender Jeet - Sr. VP Technology, Newgen Software