Digital Transformation doesn’t come cheap. By that I don’t simply mean the costs and associated risks of adopting new technology or working with new and untested digital partners but also the cost of internally reshaping your organisation to adapt to new ways of working, new processes and new structures.
In fact, business leaders who want to drive real business transformation through digital need to stop expecting digital teams to do it all and get their HR team much more involved. HR and digital teams should be working closely together – to the extent that they are formulating workplace policy and technology procurement decisions and working with and identifying early adopters and evangelists jointly.
Heads of Digital generally agree that ‘collaboration across teams’ and a ‘culture which is supportive of digital change’ are among the most important factors that facilitate successful digital transformation.
To succeed when so many radical changes to your business are being rolled out, you really have to persevere and get over a million and one obstacles while maintaining a focus on your organisational goals, commercial ambitions and project KPIs.
I’m not here though to talk about change management or blame heads of HR or CEO’s for a reluctance to embrace digital transformation. Rather I want to focus attention on what digital transformation really boils down to: radically improved experiences. By this I don’t just mean in your working practices but right across the board from how you work internally, to how your customers experience their interactions with you.
The experiences people have when interacting with your organisation from external and internal to your company or brand are at the heart of this intersection.
Most organizations have a mandate to continually evolve and enhance operations - making them more efficient, more productive, more future-proof. A conventional “programme of change” involves introducing better tools and technology, better behaviors and better business processes, usually focused on generating efficiencies and improving productivity.
Ultimately, digital transformation is more than just generating efficiency, it’s about doing things differently and doing different things. The success or failure of digital transformation fundamentally rests on whether or not you are able to provide improved experiences for both customers and employees. The transformation that organizations need to make then, is not just a technology transformation, but also a business transformation.
If organizations really want to achieve the ultimate digital transformation goal of understanding, anticipating and enhancing internal and external customer experiences, they need to include a focus on the following strategies which are each tied to technological challenges:
Modernize the digital tool kit
Automate core business processes
Leverage analytics and machine learning
Content management these days is playing a more and more significant role within organizations across many sectors in helping to achieve all 3 of these key strategies while supporting organisations on their journey towards successful digital transformation with all of the efficiencies and, of course, enhanced ‘experiences’ for customers and staff that are its consequence.
What companies must realise is that the real power of the digital environment lies in being able to deliver a customer experience that is just as good, if not better, than a real-life salesperson actually walking the visitor through the brand experience.
Whilst there are still many areas of Digital Transformation, such as Digital Marketing, Internet of Things etc. which could also be included in this debate, an advanced CMS supported by targeted data analysis, is still perhaps the first and most important tool for informing the decision-making process and helping to guide business transformation.
In a digital world which sees content as the center of everything, the practice of managing that content well can help organizations gain greater control of their business strategy. The challenge of digital transformation can only be met once organizations fully understand, anticipate and redefine how they manage and understand the impact of their content.
If you are able to create content that speaks exactly to what customers are looking for, and serve it to them exactly when they are looking for it, adapted to their environment - whether it’s in the comfort of their own home, scrolling through their phone on a long commute, or to a display they pass when walking through an airport or passing a shop window, then you really can provide the radically improved experience that is the hallmark of digital transformation.
I believe that the trouble with many transformation programmes is the significance of the size and scope of these projects; too much for most organisations to manage and these programmes tend to be too long and take too long to deliver results. Transformation around your content (CMS) and the experience you deliver with this to your customer and internally, is in my mind the best starting point for most programmes - you can see and deliver results quickly and effectively. This is then a natural springboard to execute on your wider transformation challenge.