Put Down the Cookie Cutter: Digital transformation should be uniquely customised

Digital transformation has become such an ubiquitous term, there’s little consensus about what it really means, though businesses know it's the ultimate goal they need to drive toward

Updated: Dec 20, 2017 11:48:05 AM UTC

Few topics are as important or confusing as digital transformation. It’s become such an ubiquitous term that there’s little consensus about what it really means, though businesses know it's the ultimate goal that they need to drive toward.

In addition to this widespread ambiguity, three factors make many digital transformation efforts more challenging. First, businesses are juggling innovation, scale and change, but very few have mastered all three. Second, there is pressure to go-to-market quickly with new products and customer offerings. Third, there is a fear of pivoting away from successful models of doing business.

Many companies struggle with the same questions. How can I differentiate my business in this new digital reality? What technology do I need to implement? Where do I start with digital transformation and how do I scale solutions across the business?

Often, a company will start by establishing a task force to review its digital strategy and recommend new technologies and processes. Those recommendations will often include using monolithic, templatised digital solutions designed to work across multiple industries and companies. Well-intentioned efforts like these will fall short in many cases. While using template solutions represents progress, it doesn’t created differentiation.

A template digital solution won’t truly scale for a given business and will only likely help them reach par with their competitors, at best. A one-size-fits-all digital transformation methodology is based on too many assumptions that may or may not be relevant to that business.

Digital transformation is ultimately about using digital technologies to enable innovation and creativity. It needs to be uniquely customised for a business, starting with the hard work of reviewing the business problem and the details of the front-end customer engagement then letting the entire effort flow from there.

When embarking on a digital transformation, consider the following four core elements: Customer experience – The user (customer, employee, partner) needs to have a consistent experience across every device or platform they own.

Digitising the entire value chain of the business – Including having enterprise-wide IT systems integrated. This enables a business to monetise its digital infrastructure, bringing products and services to new customers.

Analytics – Smart analytics across the front and back-end systems to enable a business to predict, sense and respond and continue getting smarter.

A way to reinvent a company – establishing alignment among and between people and departments will help create new digitally-enabled business models.

Technology creates the opportunity for businesses to offer personalised products and services like never before. By understanding its unique challenges and customer engagement opportunities, a business can develop a customized solution that will create true differentiation and position them for success.

- By Rostow Ravanan, CEO of Mindtree


The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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