Has the recent lock-down with an increased focus on digital changed the content or pace of digital transformation?  According to a July survey of 5,000 consumers in North American and Europe from Selligent, 36% of respondents shop online weekly, up from 28% pre-COVID-19.  The world will come back to an everyday life on the other side of Covid-19, but to me this will come with an even higher demand for an excellent digital experience, but are you ready? I am not sure that all companies have the full scope of the impact on their agenda and the needed strategies in place.

“Transformation” is the new buzz word and on the priority list for almost all companies. Now that Covid-19 has occurred, I am sure that everyone will revisit the assumptions and expectations for their digital experience, ensuring that their end-state/direction is addressing the world of tomorrow, which at the end of the day is not an easy task.

My long experience with various transformations has taught me to have the customer in focus and keep it simple. From people I talk with and from my own experience, a digital transformation tends to primarily be based on internal requests, such as attempts to upgrade the company’s technical standards and capabilities, IT requirements, etc.- but along the way the customer is somehow forgotten. The customer is and will be the end user and will compare the final product with the offering from the competitors. They will appreciate only when the technical upgrades you make behind the scenes directly impact their user experience and improve their ease of doing business. Therefore, getting the customer involved in the innovation/upgrade process will contribute with valid input and will also ensure that the transformations provide value and are not seen as a standalone sales or IT project.

Speaking of which, in order to succeed, a digital transformation must be a company priority rather than a departmental project, as several if not all functions and departments will be involved. Not only will their workloads be affected, but also remember that their respective input and insights are crucial for the initiative to succeed. Thus the first step is for digital transformation to be implemented as a top priority and performance expectations for all functional leaders.

Equally paramount for departments to champion digital transformation is effective internal change management. Just because a department has officially signed on to participating, doesn’t mean that the individual employees are aware of strategy and direction and for sure not what this means for the individual’s work environment in the future, if anything at all. Tasks performed today may disappear after implementation or have to be performed in a different way. Moreover, are key departments geared for the new reality? E.g. with an increase in digital, is customer service geared to handle an increase in digital inquiries that will come by default and are the correct support systems in place? Having a focus on internal change management and bringing employees along ensures involvement and thereby support for the changes.

I’m fully aware however that getting multiple functions to fully prioritise and deliver effectively on a complex new initiative is anything but simple, which leads me to my final point: Companies often fail to clearly outline the end state they are aiming for, in clear terms that non-IT people can understand. For example, are they shooting for a full end-to-end Amazon experience, or are they striving for a simplified seamless ordering process?

So are you equipped to lead the digital transformation, and do you have the right strategies in place, to meet expectations and target? Or are you leaning back hoping for the best, even though hope is not a strategy?

At DiSSECT Consulting, our team has the right combination of skillsets and hands-on experience to help you effectively meet the Digital Transformation challenge head-on.

Author: Lars Noeies
Email: Larsn@dissect.info