5 Priorities for Your Digital Transformation Strategy

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Future-proof your company with a digital transformation strategy.

If you’re reading this, your industry is being digitally transformed. According to PwC, 58% of UK CEOs are reportedly concerned about the speed of technological change and its effect on their business.

Technology could be your biggest weakness or your greatest opportunity. That’s why your digital transformation strategy should be driving all of your core business decisions.

With a strong digital transformation strategy, your business could reap innumerable benefits. The overall aim of your digital transformation strategy is to provide your clients and customers with what they need, in the most efficient way possible.

How you get there depends on your industry, your customers’ needs, and your company’s competitive landscape.

Here are the five key priorities that should be at the heart of your digital transformation strategy.

five customers standing for shopping bags

1. Customer Experience

The biggest priority for any digital transformation strategy should be customer experience. If any part of your strategy does not solve a problem or improve the experience for your customer, why are you doing it?

According to a recent survey by E-consultancy, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. So customer experience should be the number one priority driving your digital transformation strategy.

Customer behaviour is vastly different in most industries today compared to five or even two years ago. According to PwC, 70% of UK CEOs believe changes to customer behaviours will be disruptive to their businesses over the next five years. Customers are using mobile more to make purchasing decisions.

A huge number of employees use multiple screens at work. With many using their mobile phones as an additional screen. Research by PwC indicates that 81% of UK CEOs see mobile-first technology as the most important digital investment for their organisation.

With customer experience overtaking any other brand differentiator, providing a quality mobile experience is key to your general customer experience, and ultimately your company’s survival.

red door with sign that says Private above letter box

2. Data Security & Compliance

GDPR came into effect on 25 May 2018. Data subjects now have increased control over how and what data is processed. GDPR is different in scope, both in terms of territory and penalty.

While the maximum penalty under the Data Protection Act was £500,000, companies in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4% of their annual global turnover or €20 million. With penalties this severe, a digital transformation strategy that improves data security has never been so vital.

To give this some context, the data breach by Facebook in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, resulted in a maximum penalty of £500,000 under the Data Protection Act, but would have resulted in a maximum penalty of £1.4 billion in our post-GDPR world.

Facebook has since launched a massive advertising campaign on the subject of data security, arguably in an attempt to limit the reputational damage caused by the breach. With the stakes, this high data security is integral to your company’s survival.

We’re yet to see any fines for data breaches under GDPR, but the ICO reports that self-reported data breaches have seen a five-fold increase since GDPR. Data subjects have never been so informed about their rights when it comes to personal data.

With a strategy that places appropriate value on data security, your company could even be preferred to your competitors on the basis of digital trust.

woman using smart watch

3. Operational Efficiency

Your digital transformation strategy should improve your company’s operational efficiency. If you do not prioritise operational efficiency, you will be left behind.

Craig Cherry, Procurement Director at global media group Dentsu Aegis Network, said, “Losing business can be the result simply of inefficient systems and more agile disruptors who can do more, for less.” His digital transformation strategy has one core mission: To be 100% digital by 2020.

It sounds simple enough, but this involves a wide-reaching analysis of Dentsu’s supply network across the group’s 70 brands. With a goal this large, delegation is crucial. “A critical part of this process is ensuring that the strategy and subsequent projects are being led by proven professionals,” says Craig, “particularly in a business the size of Dentsu.”

Helping Craig to realise Dentsu’s mission is CIO Gideon Kay. In an article for CIO.co.uk, Gideon said, “One of the things I started with was asking, ‘How do I take as much friction out of the systems as possible?’” He believes the best way to do this is to move Dentsu to a multi-cloud way of working. He said, “what I am looking to do with our transition to cloud is to repurpose and refocus our people on more of the value-add and less on managing the commodity and the engine room.”

city skyline through a telescope

4. Innovation

Innovation is integral to sustaining the long-term competitiveness of your business. Even larger companies with 25 years of experience need to innovate to remain competitive.

Innovation is just as important in low-tech industries as it is in the manufacturing and technology industries. For instance, a decision like Dentsu’s to move to cloud could have a significant impact on your processes, unlocking more opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration and innovation. If your business wishes to remain competitive, you need to constantly innovate to stay ahead of the curve.

One of the biggest blockers to innovation in any business is capacity. Professor of Leadership John P. Kotter at London Business School, recommends recruiting a volunteer group from across your organisation to serve as a change engine. With many businesses running flat-out just to maintain the business-as-usual, capacity to innovate is often scarce or non-existent.

If capacity is a lasting issue in your business, consider how partnering with small suppliers could provide your business with the innovative scope it needs. Small suppliers and startups are likely to have a lot of learning under their belt that you can benefit from, due to their inherently risk-tolerant mindset.

Often disruptive in their industries, at the forefront of emerging trends, and unhindered by complicated processes, you can expect exciting and fast results from a startup as one of your small suppliers. 69% of CEOs are now partnering or considering partnering with suppliers. Enlisting a supplier to help or even lead on innovation projects brings the added benefit of resilience in the case of lost talent. Instead of a strategy that relies solely on a couple of valuable employees, let a supplier pick up some of the responsibility.

You can read our blog piece here on using small suppliers to drive innovation.

a finance report showing graphs

5. Data-Based Decision-Making

A clever digital transformation strategy will improve the quality of your data and analytics. With watertight data and higher quality analytics, you unlock all the information you need to make better, more strategic decisions about your business. The usual pitfall with a data-driven strategy is to attempt to gather more and more data.

Instead, begin with the data you already have and ask yourself if you are making the most of what you have by asking the right questions. Are you measuring the right KPIs? Are you tracking the right trends? Are you using the right software? Question everything.

Once you have a good picture of what your current analytical capabilities are, you can move on to assess what it is you need to make more informed business decisions. These days there is a software provider for anything you can think of. Do you need more granular information about website visitors?

Leadfeeder is a great product that can give you incredible insights about hot leads visiting your site. This type of qualitative data could be a game-changer if used efficiently, and could be analysed via call recording software like CallRail. Do you need real-time visibility of event spend across your whole business? HeadBox Business could be the CRM for you.

It’s worth exploring how you can automate transfer and analysis of this data. If capacity is an issue in your development or IT team this can be relatively easily set up yourself, using a combination of integrations and spreadsheet wizardry.

Zapier is a great software to use for automation, providing almost endless app integrations, triggers and filters to automate your processes. Look very closely at where you are currently getting your data from, and where the gaps are. With great data comes great responsibility.

 

HeadBox is your all-in-one technology-led solution for corporate event bookers across your entire organisation. Talk to the team today about HeadBox Business for your organisation.

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