62% of B2B marketers state the way to grow a business is with a focus on customer loyalty, where do you think you should focus your digital transformation initiatives, knowing fully well that 82% of businesses have discovered that retention is easier than acquisition?
Digital transformation has to do with the integration of new apps and new technologies; it also revolves around the revamping of legacy apps and systems, but the end game is to improve customer experience to enhance customer loyalty and remain relevant in the global market. The importance of digital transformation to the modern-day business cannot be overemphasized; after all, 77.3% of 100 Fortune 500 CIOs decided to give digital transformation the number one spot in their 2021 budgets.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process you go through to reimage your business by integrating new technologies and revamping legacy systems to enhance improved conduct of operations. What kick-starts digital transformation in most cases is the need to meet customer expectations.
A successful digital transformation re-evaluates how your organization utilizes technology, employees, and processes to add value to the business and satisfy customers. In certain instances, digital transformation can lead to new business models and ultimately ensures revenue streams.
The CEO takes the initiative for digital transformation and must seek expertise ideas from the CIO, with inputs from other senior managers. Digital transformation cuts across departments; it’s not just the business of the IT team; interdepartmental collaboration must be enshrined to align business objectives and application development, models.
Customer-centric digital transformation
The customer has a voice, and it’s becoming louder every day. Businesses have realized that customers want prompt, highly responsive, and more feedback, that’s why they embark on customer-driven digital transformation to ensure accessibility and availability.
With digital transformation, you can ensure an effective, consistent, and customer-centric experience all through the customer journey.
Incorporating new apps
Emerging technology has made it possible to have modern, efficient, and highly effective apps that support and simplify business operations and processes.
However, you need to consider the following before incorporating new apps:
- Determine if the new apps will fit into the trending tech stack/ecosystem
- Do you have skilled employees that will operate the apps?
- Will acquiring the apps have any financial setback on the business?
- Do you have a yardstick to determine the ROI?
- What do you expect as your eventual outcome?
You can’t be thinking of digital transformation without integration; you need new apps to work in harmony with your legacy systems for a successful transformation process. Emerging technology and the changes from the COVID-19 pandemic have made it necessary that you must integrate hundreds of apps to run an efficient business.
You cannot do this successfully if you do not have an integration strategy. Since digital transformation cuts across departments and not just the IT team, it needs careful planning to ensure everybody is on the same page and is going to work towards the success of the transformation project.
The CEO, CIO, and the IT team will necessarily take the lead, especially where you need financial resources to acquire the apps and the technical know-how for integrating the apps with the core systems. You cannot do without connecting core backend systems to the new apps because of the large volume of data you may lose if they’re connected.
The apps are necessary, but having a digital transformation strategy is very important. Without a digital transformation strategy, the whole journey will be chaotic, and you can’t increase the customer’s lifetime value. There will be a great deal of confusion among employees, the new apps, data, and legacy systems must work in harmony for a free-flowing process.
Your digital transformation strategy depicts what you want to achieve and how this will happen; it’s also a guide to when you will integrate a new app, use more software, need data, and carry out more analytic work. It must spell out the costs you will incur, staff onboarding and training, outsourcing to professionals where necessary, hiring of new staff, and delegation of duties.
Do you still need to retain your legacy apps?
Though digital transformation must be holistic, it does not mean you must start afresh; you look at what you have and consider if there is a need to revamp your legacy apps. However, as your apps get older, they tend to consume more money for maintenance.
Having a digital transformation strategy that vividly spells out what you want to achieve will go a long way to determine if there is the need to revamp legacy apps or to completely do away with them. The time you will input and the funds you will have to expend will ultimately determine the success of your digital transformation.
You need to integrate the best technology that will add value to your business and ultimately improve customer experience. If your legacy apps aren’t flexible or agile as the new apps, you may encounter problems in the overall process.
This makes it mandatory to address the issues of legacy systems for successful digital transformation. There may be the need to upgrade legacy systems, drop the dated languages, change databases, and overhaul your architecture.
The competition is evolving at the modern digital pace, and relevance in the global market means you must follow suit. Integrating new technology helps you to increase efficiency; you will need agile principles and automation technologies to enhance this.
The impact of company culture
The company culture has a lot to do with the success of your digital transformation; there can be instances of pockets of resistance from employees if you suddenly embark on changes to the company’s culture. One thing employees are required to acquire during the process of onboarding is the company’s culture, and this has to change for successful digital transformation.
Ryan Skinner, the Principal Analyst at Forrester, was reported to have said, “…we’ve hit a watershed moment when all of those activities—discovering a product, researching it, and buying it—are more likely to happen online than off.”
A lot of work must be done to ensure employees embrace the new cultures that must go with a successful digital transformation. This is very important and a clear indication that it’s not all about apps.
The apps will be used by employees and if it does not go down well with them, you have a very big problem. The costumes experience you have set out to improve will suffer. The competition can easily catch in on this to send you packing from the market.
Yes! You need the apps, but that is not the end all be all. Consumers have woken up, they have a lot of options, they now dictate the tune.
Digital transformation must focus on how to integrate apps, revamp legacy systems, and ensure that employees are receptive to digital changes that will ensure improved customer experience, and ultimately enhance ROI.