Digital Transformation

The barriers to change and low tolerance

Business leaders and professionals understand the importance and necessity of digital transformation. Central to this is the delivery of better experiences to customers and streamlining efficiencies within organisations.

It may be beginning to tire but the adage of the “age of the customer” still rings true. With technology well rooted in the majority of our daily lives, the tolerance for poor performance, slow response, and general degradation of our online experiences is minimal. People are now so well versed and accustomed to a manner of digitally focussed consumer habits that the bar becomes that much higher and expectation continues to grow, unabated.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw great advancements in medicine and with it saw a rise in documented cases of “lesser” aliments such as hay fever and other allergies. As cures and relief became more readily available, concurrently, people’s tolerance for such ailments reduced. History repeats itself, or at least in this instance, for technology.

Years ago, with dial-up internet, you’d never have dreamed of complaining if a video was buffering (you’d be lucky to get video!), it was par for the course and expected. Today, if Netflix, YouTube and/or your general ISP degrades, we’re up in arms at the poor service received. Such is the modern way and the customer holds all the power.

New technology and possibilities as well as a growing adaption and expectation online now means every experience is under the microscope. Furthermore, with so much competition for the user, it’s as easy as changing your medicine for a headache as it is to find a new service provider.

Digital transformation is not a new phenomenon but core to success and key to driving meaningful change is the balance of organisational and technological capabilities.

The importance of non-technology

The significance of new and emerging technology and its role in digital transformation is well understood. However, organisational and human factors are often less understood which is an opportunity lost when we appreciate that they are crucial to accelerating innovation and revenue growth. Ultimately, leaders must develop the right combination of tech and org capabilities to be truly set up for success.

Forrester’s latest research report, “Top Capabilities to Accelerate Digital Transformation” identifies, in detail, the explicit capabilities that business leaders believe are the most critical for transformational success. Perhaps surprisingly, just four of the top 10 are technology based. Strategy, culture, and change management feature prominently as top organisational priorities.

Finding the right blend

Organizational and technological capabilities are inextricably linked. Predominantly though, as this latest report highlights “fail to design your organizational capabilities, and you fail to design digital transformation”. It’s evident that an over obsession with technology and ignoring culture and talent can be to the detriment of successful transformation. With change and progress accelerating at an alarming rate all around us, it can be easy to lose sight of the purpose, core to which is the customer.

Appreciate technology but choose wisely

True digital transformation is continuous which means success does not and cannot depend on a single technology. Businesses mindful of success must design capabilities to take advantage of emerging tech as they come along. Key technologies identified by Forrester include insights-driven tools, along with data science and digital architecture. All of which provide valuable business insight, that can crucially, be acted on to deliver value throughout the business and for end users.

Becoming customer centric as an organisation helps align strategies with digital transformation setting you up for future success. As customer demands show no signs of declining, businesses need to adapt to fully cope with expectations.

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Digital marketer with a background in media, b2b, software and ecommerce.