Econsultancy recently surveyed 700 of its users and included questions focusing on current business challenges and digital transformation.

Only 11% failed to regard digital transformation as a challenge, with 33% describing it as a huge challenge. Respondents identified with a number of specific challenges from managing talent, to board room buy-in, to cross-function alignment.

So what’s to be done? Ashley Friedlein, Econsultancy CEO, has authored a presentation intended to cut through the business speak and define digital transformation and how to get there.

You can find the presentation on our digital transformation page, but here’s the digested read…

 

What’s to be considered?

  • Digital Transformation
  • Strategy
  • Technology
  • People
  • Process
  • Business Transformation

Definitions

Digital transformation:

Digital Transformation is the journey from where a company is, to where it aspires to be digitally.

A digital organisation is one that:

  1. Focuses on customer experience irrespective of channel
  2. Has a ‘digital’ culture

The focus on customer experience (CX) is far reaching. Ashley earmarks Net-A-Porter and Burberry as retailers that ensure goods are immaculately packaged, just as Apple does. This isn’t an afterthought, it’s an indication of any retailer’s commitment to selling in the round. It’s not to be ignored simply because it lies far from the UX of a retailer’s website. 

Amazon regularly tops CX studies, despite not fronting a telephone number, something customers traditionally want to see. The site ‘just works’, but even this intuitive UX isn’t enough. Amazon stays on top of its game across the buying experience. Delivery is as consistent as any retailer, fast and reliable.

Back in the real world of in-store, digital increasingly meets the physical. Mobile and in-store tech are used to enhance the customer experience. 

And as for digital culture, Gov.uk has a digital transformation strapline Ashley considers as succinct as possible:

Digital services so good, people prefer to use them.

Maturity frameworks can help 

Here’s an example. According to McKinsey, execs estimate their organisations are only 25% of the ‘way there’.

So how do you make it happen?

Create the right environment

  • Incentivising the right behaviours
  • New blood/digital natives
  • Show/prove the value of digital to all
  • Digital culture

Lead

This is the CEO’s job.

Strategy

There’s much to digest, with strategic decisions to be taken on people and process, tech and ops, marketing and sales, and all in the context of the broader business. 

Each of these areas is given full thought within Ashley’s presentation, but highlights include:

  • Digital as part of business strategy, with a plan and P&L.
  • Who makes decisions and within what structure?
  • What’s the culture (agile, iterative?)
  • How do you train everyone?
  • Defining tech infrastructure, data, legal, procurement – in the context of content, community and commerce.
  • Sales – how to view customer lifecycle?

Tate.org and Gov.uk both provide great examples of digital strategies.

Tech

This is now the domain of the CMO. It’s everywhere, even in politics. Can your staff use it? Which tech is most important?

Org structure

Is the goal a hub and spoke structure? Is it sensible to target the ‘enlightened honeycomb’?

Growth hacking

AirBnB provide a case study for the growth hacker as replacement for VP Marketing.

New job descriptions for HR are required. How do you attract talent? With the allure of product management?

Environment

Google and the BBC are two enormous companies that have created environments designed to foster the culture of innovation.

Process

How do we work at speed? Amazon’s two pizza teams are designed to be agile.

What does it mean to be lean and how has the Financial Times managed it?

Google, YouTube, Twitter, all work at speed. Twitter calls it ‘marketing in the moment’.

The result of getting everything right?

Digital transformation is actually business transformation. Those that have digitally transformed have out-performed their peers.

Check out Ashley’s presentation for more ‘state of digital’ and ways in which you and your organsition can manage change.

The Digital Transformation: Agility and Innovation Best Practice Guide explores how well companies are adapting to the increasing need for organisational agility, and applying that to the service of innovation.

The report is based on a series of in-depth interviews with a range of senior digital and non-digital marketers, academics and practitioners across different sectors and markets.