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Strategy first, technology second

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

I have a Google habit. It’s the curse (or blessing!) of growing up in the ‘digital age’ (but please, don’t call me a millennial). That’s to say that I rely on my smartphone to Google anything and everything. Admit it, you’re guilty too.

Scientists believe that this habit of ‘googling’ everything is actually making our attention spans shorter. It’s a common practise in this ‘digital’ era; throw technology at a problem and it will solve it. That works, right? When it comes to your business, the ‘Google’ effect is not the answer.

Don’t stumble in the dark

To thrive in the digital age, it’s not about having to bring every piece of new or exciting technology on board, and shoehorning it into a place in your organisation. It’s about carrying out your normal business functions and processes more effectively and efficiently. It’s about enabling your employees to better serve your customers.

Just bringing in any technology with no clear roadmap for how this will evolve with your organisation, and solve business problems, is fruitless. There are some scary stats out there telling us that two thirds of digital transformation initiatives fail. But it doesn’t need to be that way.

Strategy first

What experience do you want your partners, suppliers, customers and employees to have? It’s not about the technology. It’s about how they feel when they’re using it; and you certainly don’t want that to be one of frustration or fatigue with the system. Rather than focusing on the technologies you think you need, or that you want, which is an operational move, take the strategic move first.

Consider how anyone interacting with your organisation behaves; whether it’s web, social media, telephone or any other channel. This will help you to identify the processes causing the biggest pain points. Once you understand the gripes in your current processes, you can pinpoint the key areas which could benefit from change.

Technology second

It’s all very well knowing where you need to change today. But how does that help you decide on what your technology stack looks like?

Understanding what you want your business of tomorrow to look like is key to ensuring the changes you make today enable your business to grow. It’s important to consider your culture; how will you manage the change internally and prepare your business to transform? Once you’ve got these details in tow, you’re well on the way to mapping the technologies to which will overhaul your creaking processes and bridge that gap to where you want your business to be.

This might not be something you can carry out alone; many businesses bring in outside agencies with the expertise in user journey mapping and technical architecture. It will certainly pay to consult the experts in the long run for the success of your transformation. They’ve been there, done it and learnt the lessons.

So, before you throw technology at your problem, take a step back to consider the bigger picture. Your business will thank you for it.

Download our whitepaper “Talking Transformation – a CEOs guide to dealing with Digital Disruption” for more information on how to move your digital initiatives forward.

Digital transformation; the Trending Business Transformation

Author: Infomentum

Author: Leigh Hopwood

Gone are the days of focusing on saving money. Business leaders are now looking at either how to simply keep up with their customers, or how they can profit from digital.

The result requires business transformation. Or is it digital transformation? What is the difference?

To be honest, there should be no difference. Or there certainly won't be as time goes by. Becoming a digital business could be compared to the days of computerising your business back in the 1980s. The installation of a computer to enable you to do your job quicker is no different to implementing a digital strategy in order to operate more efficiently, and deliver a more acceptable customer experience.

Although you might call it digital transformation, what you're actually doing, if you're doing it right, is transforming your business into a modern business ready for the next stage in its life.

Why is this transformation important? What will digital transformation bring to your business?

- Growth and opportunity
- Enable you to take products to market faster
- Exploit the talent in your digital savvy workforce
- Provide a platform for innovation
- Quality customer conversations regardless of channel
- An opportunity to build brand loyalty again
- Huge cost savings - from tech savings, to people

Above all, undergoing digital transformation will enable you to create a sustainable business by remaining competitive.

Sounds great, eh? But where do you start? Check out our Digital Transformation Strategic Assessment and we'll help make sure you've got the right approach to transforming your business.

Why not watch our video on Digital Trends to find out the key technologies disrupting businesses.

6 Things to Consider in Your Digital Strategy

Author: Infomentum

Author: Leigh Hopwood

Until now, your business will have invested in technology solutions to streamline processes and save money. Some of this investment may also have been in improving the customer experience.  From ERP to document management, marketing automation to client and internal portals, so many aspects of a business are now automated.

How joined up are these technologies? Are they meeting the modern users expectations? Are they in line with your digital strategy?

Web services, web 2.0 and cloud changed everything.  They opened the door to digital disruption. Combine the advances in technology with changes in people behaviour and their attitudes towards digital, and your business could quickly become out of date if you don’t respond fast enough.

The first step to tackling the challenge of digital disruption is to build a digital strategy to meet your overall business long term goals. Your marketing department may already claim to have one. If this is a digital marketing strategy then we’re talking cross purposes.

A digital strategy is all encompassing. It is a strategy to change the way you do business. It incorporates people, processes, information, technology and your customers across the entire business.

Here are six things to consider when building a digital strategy:

1. Business vision

Understanding your business direction and how you intend to retain or grow your competitive advantage over the next 3-5 years is fundamental to sustainability. How are you responding to changing employee behaviour to keep and attract great talent? Where will your revenue growth come from?

2. Impact on people

The success of migrating to a ‘digital business’ is driven by your people. For businesses with a young workforce, they expect a digital way of working and are more likely to help and support a transformation project. For organisations employing less tech-savvy people that may not see the benefit, and only see that they have to change the way they do their job, may be less supportive.

3. Customer expectations

Understanding your customer buying behaviour and how they want to interact with you is crucial to getting your digital experiences right. Increasing numbers of consumers now expect to be able to correspond with you online. Of course, if you’re a B2B organisation, your customers are still consumers, and expect the same level of digital capability, if not more.

4. Access to information

The rise of digital resulted in information and data being stored all over the place in a variety of formats. Becoming a digital business means you should be making this content easily accessible in order to streamline processes, and make it easier for your employees to access that information so that they can do their job more effectively. It will save a shed load of time too.

5. Integration of processes

The era of silo departments, operating silo databases and running silo processes is over. That went out with the dark ages. Mapping your processes to a customer or employee journey should be second nature. This should mean that your processes are far more integrated into your business, exploiting the information stored in various pockets to deliver a more streamlined experience.

6. Technology roadmap

The technology is here. Yes, it keeps changing, but the digital business is possible now. The trick is to make sure that you plan for the future, expect the unexpected and be prepared to be agile. Having a clear technology roadmap will give you a base point in which to stay focused, whilst enabling disruption to be embraced.

We have consultants ready to work with you to define your digital strategy. Get in touch if you want to talk about it.

Emerging from the cocoon: digital transformation

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

Technology has already become a permanent fixture in everyday life, so the need for businesses to have a digital strategy in place is becoming increasingly obligatory. This poses a challenge for businesses, who not only need to update their legacy technologies to keep up, but also their business methodologies.

In order to address this era of digital disruption, businesses need to go through a digital transformation.

But weren’t we just talking about digital disruption?

In our last blog post, we explored what is digital disruption and why businesses need to stand up and start paying attention. Digital transformation is the period of change that businesses need to go through, in order to cope with digital disruption and come out the other side as successful companies, switched-on to both their customers and their employee’s needs.

Digital transformation is a result of businesses seeking to adapt to this onslaught of disruptive technologies affecting the way that customer, employees and even the competition behave.

But why?

People are becoming more and more digitally savvy; they’re always connected to their device, always communicating and always collaborating with their peers. Our Generation C research demonstrated this. We’ve got employees expecting to work wherever they want from the device of their choosing, and collaborate with colleagues in different locations. Customers are demanding multi-channel experiences and hyper-personalisation.

Businesses that are able to respond quickly to customers, offer collaboration and knowledge sharing to employees and provide flexibility are moving ahead of the competition in leaps and bounds.

Now you know what it is, how do you transform digitally?

In short, businesses need a digital strategy. This should feed in to the wider transformation strategy for the business, meeting overall business objectives.

It starts with identifying your digital vision and where you want to be. Then compare to where you are now – this will determine the gaps so you can start to close them. It’s often difficult to gain an unbiased, holistic view of your business from within, and to understand the future technology roadmap which will enable you to get to where you need to be without disrupting business as usual. That’s where companies like infoMENTUM can step in to carry out a strategic assessment for you.

In my next blog post, I’ll be exploring the key trends disrupting businesses and causing digital transformation. Visit our Digital Transformation Strategic Assessment page to read more on how your business can create a digital strategy.

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