Why The Customer Is Critical To Your Digital Transformation Journey

The world is at an intersection where business, customers and technology are meeting to create a better, more productive world. Digital innovations have changed how customers discover information, how they look at services and expect from businesses. The same digital tools have also altered how stakeholders, investors, and employees expect from organisations. Innovation that is coupled with technology that not only looks at possibilities, rather what will benefit the customer, and puts their need ahead of specific tools or processes, is what digital transformation all about.

According to a report by International Data Corporation (2018), digital transformation will add about USD 154 billion to the country's economy and increase its growth by 1% every year by 2021. The re-port states that approximately 60% of India's GDP will be derived from digital products and services, contributing to 40 percent improvement in productivity, customer advocacy, cost reduction, as well as revenue from new products and services.

Having said that, many enterprises in the country are still struggling with what digital transformation exactly means for them. Technology CXOs struggle to define cohesive digital strategies while expecting success, inturn affecting overall business. To put it simply, digital transformation is not about acceding to more technologies or digital technologies like mobility, cloud, Internet of things and artificial intelligence. It is about understanding the shift in customer behaviour towards digital and embracing digital strategies to make enterprise-customer interactions seamless.

For example, digital transformation for a customer centric company should ideally enhance and not replace human interaction. It should allow the business to reach the consumer where they are and not work the other way-around. Today customers want consistent experience which is effective and quick. Enterprises need to mould their digital transformation journeys according to this insight and adopt technologies that are flexible and agile at their foundation.

Businesses that are embracing digital transformation are evolving their IT infrastructure from the ground up ­ right from the data centre through the cloud to the edge to support greater agility. Services can also be scaled on demand, which would allow curated and customised services for customers who want an immersive experience. For example, all the necessary IT resources need to be virtualized and be able to be provisioned with simple soft-ware control. This would be key to ensuring that customers are at-tended to, in real time and crisis is handled smoothly.

The possibilities of digital transformation are endless. Companies that embrace this change will be the ones to leverage the new digital landscape

Going by industry reports, 60 percent of CEOs of Global 2,000 companies will shift their focus from traditional, offline strategies to more modern digital strategies for improving customer experience before the end of 2019 and 34 percent of these companies believe that will fully adopt digital transformation in about a year's time.

However, for ensuring a well thought-through adoption, and implementation of digital transformation, organisations need to take into account the barriers and challenges. Take, for example, a recent report by Vanson Bourne suggest 30 percent of IT decision makers feel that certain parts of their businesses are fearful of new technology and are apprehensive about how transformation can help. The question to be asked here, is not how, but why?

When it comes to digital trans-formation for optimising customer experience, beyond the obvious reason that happy customers are good for business, it is about the ability to understand customer behavior for updating or bettering the product or service. Organisations that have already undergone the digital transformation, have employed practices like data analytics, which helps them get a view of the market. With action-able insights about their products and services, companies can bond better with their clients.

For example, digital first for B2B sales teams means that they have re-placed cold calling with social media selling. Analytics can give the team insights about what the customers are looking for and who all are active. Instead of customers reaching out to the brand, the sales team can capture their audience through the relevant content on the platforms they regularly use. Similarly, Personalized experiences are what customers expect. A company that has a CRM software can evaluate previous correspondence, purchase history and customer behavior to give them just that.

The possibilities of digital transformation are endless. Companies that embrace this change will be the ones to leverage the new digital landscape and eventually exceed customer expectations, as well as drive the next phase of business growth.