IT leaders can set the tone across business units to improve the customer experience, exceed customer expectations, and drive market value. There are practical ways to help your business get started, and succeed, with digital transformation.

70% of digital transformations fail to deliver on their promise. Why do some digital transformation efforts succeed while so many others fail?  Successful organizations understand and engage with, their market to deliver on the customer’s expectations of a personalized, multi-channel experience.

Mobile phones and digital touchpoints exist in almost every aspect of modern life. Yet, many business leaders don’t believe their companies possess the necessary technology capabilities to create a digital transformation strategy, let alone deploy and deliver.

There are practical ways to help your business get started, and succeed, with digital transformation. An agile, flexible strategy is the cornerstone of digital transformation success. Utilizing the right technology to ensure digital strategies transform the most fundamental business needs is key.

Tip #1

Cloud adoption is a top priority for any business that is engaging in digital transformation. The biggest players in public cloud platforms enable companies to move faster than ever before. Aging IT infrastructure can be swapped out for cloud services that are dynamic and flexible enough to meet the needs of the business, today and into the future. Organizations now have the ability to rapidly prototype, convert services to products and cost-effectively experiment in new markets with minimal risk.

Tip #2

SaaS platforms allow businesses to leverage technology to meet customer demands faster. Connecting SaaS applications like Salesforce and NetSuite to digital customer experiences, and leveraging data analytics with web and mobile apps, means businesses are building a true 360-degree view of their customers. Using customer feedback and user data, companies are learning when, why and how customers are doing business with them. Those insights fuel a more engaging, immersive, and unique customer experience.

Tip #3

Modern buyers expect personalized customer experiences. They want the “Amazon” purchasing experience. They expect unique, experience-driven purchasing that’s designed around the individual consumer’s personal preferences. It’s expected that purchase history and purchasing patterns are taken into account.

Analytics published by the big four shows that companies that recognize customers by name, purchase preferences, and purchase history are more likely to retain customers and extend wallet share.

Recommending products based on customers’ data will improve the purchasing experience but requires an in-depth understanding of customers’ requests, product feedback, and support needs. The right data analytics enable organizations to craft extremely well-targeted campaigns to match customers’ unique preferences, resulting in the most personalized experiences. Those multi-channel experiences — delivering the right message at the right time — are key to a successful digital transformation. Companies that can deliver on immediacy, along with personalization are winning.

Tip #4

The proliferation of mobile technology and digital touchpoints has enabled customers to get what they want, whenever they want, and how they want it. Consumers are not forced down a journey that is limited to a single channel. Customers browse in person, buy online, and engage with chatbots. They expect their feedback on mobile apps and direct interactions on social media to build brand loyalty. Successful organizations understand the power of the multi-channel customer experience and how it drives the digital transformation strategy.

Conclusion

Digitally transforming your business has many layers of complexity but there are practical ways to get started. To recap:

  • Leverage cloud-first platforms for agility and speed to meet customer demands in real-time. Cloud providers tend to be more secure and many offer serverless architecture, microservices, and automation with orchestration to keep organizations ahead of their competition and engaged with their customers.
  • Connect SaaS platforms and data analytics to the customer experience on web and mobile apps to gain a 360-degree view of the customer and create a differentiated customer experience.
  • Personalize the customer experience by evaluating purchase history and purchasing behavior. Deliver on the “Amazon” buying experience.
  • Create seamless customer experiences across multiple channels. Integrate all the digital channels to aggregate data and power a single, user-friendly, engaging experience.

Leaning into these areas, and focusing on the customer experience, helps IT leaders, to prepare an organization for digital transformation. IT leaders can set the tone across business units to exceed customer expectations, improve customer experience, and drive market value.

— Aaron Gette, CTO and Partner at West Agile Labs

aaron gette

Aaron Gette is a proven thought leader and influential IT professional with over 20 years of experience. Aaron has worked with Startups and Fortune 500 companies in the Bay Area, delivering CIO and CTO level leadership. Aaron’s ability to build and manage high functioning teams has led to the successful growth of companies, converting traditional IT infrastructure into revenue generating powerhouses.

Larry Wolff is the founder & CEO of Wolff Strategy Partners, a boutique consulting firm specializing in Enterprise Strategy Management and Digital Transformation. Larry has served as CEO, COO, CIO, chief digital officer, and management consultant for public, private, international and emerging growth companies. His specialties include corporate and IT strategic planning, technology-led business transformation, business and IT turnarounds, merger integration, and large-scale project rescues.