THE impact of the digital revolution on business is beyond anything that anyone has ever seen or imagined: many organizations are not ready for its impact, and will likely fail as a result. A study from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University estimates that 40% of today's Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist in 10 years for this reason.
Yet acquiring the necessary knowledge is no small task, and a new wave of disruptive technologies including augmented reality, artificial intelligence and robotics are making the learning curve steeper. Despite APJ business leader’s awareness of the need to manage the digital shift, it requires a wholesale shift in business focus, in its overall strategy, focus, budget alignment, operations and approach.
Dell EMC shares five principles to guide organizations toward this journey; defined as CRAVE:
Customer experience is a driver for many digital transformation initiatives, and if not, it should be. Digital-first businesses, those that started as digitally-driven organizations from the outset, are already getting this right and are gaining competitive advantage as a result. For businesses to succeed in delivering effective customer experience today means being acutely aware of the customer’s ability to switch away with a click of a button, and to have an in-depth understanding of why they might do so. In fact, 89% of consumers admit that they began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. This is especially worrisome for companies in the APJ region, where only 24% are able to deliver a unique personalized experience to their customers.
The customer experience isn’t only defined by instances of interactions between brand and consumer either: it requires an ability for the business to deliver innovative business models too, and to rethink the way its products and services are delivered, to more broadly meet on customer demands. The organization as a whole has to be agile enough to deliver on this.
Resilience and Agility
The digital age is enhancing the speed at which market disruption can take place, creating an uncertain future for businesses and making resilience and agility an even higher priority.
From a foundation of agility, organizations are able to experiment at a faster pace, keeping up with and even get ahead of disruptive external factors. Today, innovators focus on products that provide maximum learning opportunities so they can quickly learn the lessons of its failures and successes with minimal resources, minimal loss but maximum gain. By encouraging agility in this way and implementing a ‘lean startup methodology’, organizations can flex to meet new customer demands or adapt their business model relatively quickly, capitalizing on opportunities that would otherwise present uncertainty.
Leaders have to better prepare the business for disruption, and enable agility through building resilience in infrastructure, whether people and talent, IT or physical.
Half of companies in the APJ region admit they don’t know what their industry will look like in three years, according to the 2016 Digital Transformation Survey by Dell Technologies. To succeed in the digital era, the CEO must be the driving force behind transformation efforts, and the vision of the business leader has to be one that is digitally driven. Only by setting this vision can the entire organization shift its approach, successfully taking the business on the digital transformation journey.
For B2C companies, it’s a vision that better connects the brand with its consumer, for example the younger generation that are its future long-term customers. For B2B companies, it’s a vision that focuses on the ease of doing business. For both, it’s a digital-first mindset.
It is an unavoidable fact that transforming digitally cannot be done alone - the nature and pace of transformation means collaboration is a must. Creating an ecosystem and working with new stakeholders is a new requirement for companies looking to digitally transform. It could be to integrate new capabilities like AI, VR/AR, robotics, better leveraging data, data security, IoT or multi-cloud. These are all capabilities that require new skillsets and expertise, and in order to move fast in using these, an ecosystem is the only way forward. Partners could even be in the disguise of competitors or disruptors.
Organizations are truly at the center of the digital revolution and the fear of disruption is, in more cases than not, justified. Digitally transforming is the way forward: organizations need to prioritize these CRAVE principles, or risk extinction. Best practices are emerging, and these strategies framed by CRAVE will guide organizations to be able to navigate the journey towards digital transformation.