It is at the discovery phase when companies are expected to convert their digital ambitions into realistic and attainable goals and when the future shape of their newly digitalised company will be created. This is an incredibly important task and it will determine the success of their digital ambitions, for, without a clear idea of not only what we want to do but what we should do and what we can “realistically” achieve, companies will be starting a race with no end in sight.
And why do I say that it is important to determine what we SHOULD do? I have seen many cases where companies fail to achieve their digital ambitions and the successful outcomes of their innovative inner revolutions just because they did not approach the Discovery phase from a realistic standpoint.
So where should we start creating this realistic standpoint for our digitalisation endeavours? Simple, we should start with what is most important for any company, digital or otherwise: The Customer.
The customer is the beginning and the end of any company’s transformation, innovation, revolution or digitalisation. And the question we should ask ourselves is: How are these changes going to affect my customers’ perception of my company’s service and value proposition? If our customers simply “don’t get it”, our efforts will go to waste before they even had time to materialise into new products, services or value to our customers and, by extension, our shareholders.
Knowing this, companies should ask themselves whether their customers will appreciate a new e-commerce capability, namely our new, innovative processes that are built using the latest computing technology, cloud, CMS, CRM and EMS systems. If our customers’ answer is simply “so what?”, we are just shooting ourselves in the foot with all these unnecessary changes.
Every decision a company makes should be made whilst keeping the value it represents for its customers in mind. Moreover, if our customers perceive more value on our products and service offering due to the changes we have made and after a successful digital transformation, their newly found (or renewed) love for our company will impact positively on our bottom line.
It is very tempting indeed to digitalise our business completely and to adopt the latest technology in the process, but always remember: a business, digital or not, is only business. And its raison d’être is none other than providing value to its customers and shareholders.
So when our company starts a digital transformation, we should first “Discover” what our customers really want and what they expect from us and the journey we are embarking on. Once this is determined, the phases that follow as well as the processes and deployments can commence but, with every step taken, the question of its impact on the customers should be remembered. There is always time to change the course of a grand voyage but if a wrong endpoint has been set, whatever course we take will undoubtedly take us in the wrong direction.
By Iván Muñoz.