You’ll need more than a top notch website to keep pace with your competitors in today’s digitally driven economy, warns Jon Holcombe, Head of Digital Strategy at Switch.
Has your organisation had a dabble or a deep dive into digital in recent times? For many Australian enterprises, the answer is yes.
Collectively, local businesses are expected to outlay a whopping $117.2 billion on IT equipment and projects this calendar year, according to Gartner. Digital business programs are likely to account for much of the spend, as organisations look to digitisation and automation to deliver efficiency gains and help them provide an outstanding customer experience (CX).
The latter has become an urgent imperative, for enterprises in all industries. There’s a growing body of evidence that shows CX plays a critical role in attracting and retaining customers. For many businesses, it’s their secret sauce; the chief factor that differentiates their brand from those of their competitors.
Dabbling or doing it well?
But investing a few – or a great many – dollars in digital solutions is one thing. Understanding how to harness the extraordinary power of this technology to drive mind and market share is quite another.
As a long-time digital strategist, I’ve watched scores of enterprises embark on this journey and I’ve seen how digital transformation can boost productivity, growth and customer loyalty.
I’ve also observed many businesses whose investment in technology has failed to yield the desired returns. Invariably that’s been due to a lack of digital maturity on their part.
Want to avoid joining their ranks? These are the five things that define a digitally mature organisation in 2022.
1. Clear KPIs
Does your company have an overarching digital strategy or is its investment in technology more of a deep dive into the unknown? For digitally mature organisations, it’s very much the former. They have clear goals for each and every project and they understand the resources they’ll have to expend and the returns they should generate. Their digital focus invariably reflects their organisations’ broader objectives, and they set quantifiable KPIs, so they can measure the success, or otherwise, of their initiatives.
2. Great collaboration
Can you state who’s responsible for the successful implementation and operation of all things digital within your organisation? The digitally mature know it’s a whole of company affair, even if they’ve arrived at the point of hiring a chief digital officer. They’ve developed frameworks and forums to bring leaders from product, marketing, operations and ICT together, and they draw on their varying perspectives and understanding of the enterprise to drive digital capabilities that are underpinned by appropriate technologies.
3. Data well done
Some things just go together. Think bacon and eggs, rock and roll, and digital and data. It’s not for nothing that the latter has been dubbed ‘the new oil’. Whether your focus is on business intelligence, smart decisioning, automation, personalisation, or the creation of multi-channel, connected experiences, data is the fuel that will power your project. Provided, that is, it’s been aggregated and stored in a form that’s easy to access and interrogate. Digitally mature organisations make this a priority and they derive maximum benefit from the insights their teams are able to extract as a result.
In the commercial world, technology shouldn’t be viewed as an end in itself. It’s an enabler that helps businesses provide higher quality, more responsive service. Digitally mature organisations know this and place customers at the heart of everything they do; striving to create consistent, joined-up experiences that surprise and delight the individuals and businesses that keep them in business.
5. Top talent
Asking someone with no relevant experience to perform a specialist role isn’t generally a recipe for success. But that’s the approach businesses often take, when they’re finding their digital feet. It’s not uncommon to see project managers and product specialists drafted in from other areas of the organisation and expected to familiarise themselves with the digital landscape on the fly. This doesn’t happen in digitally mature organisations. They understand the value digital experts bring to the table and they’re prepared to spend what it takes to hire them, or contract their services for the duration of a project. They see it as an investment that will help them generate value, not an impost to be minimised at all costs.
Set for success
In today’s times, customers are increasingly defaulting to digital. It’s how they expect to be able to interact and transact with your organisation – and they expect those interactions and transactions to be integrated and effortless, whenever and however they occur. Fail to meet those expectations and there’s every chance they’ll take their business elsewhere.
So, it’s clear today that digital maturity is an ongoing journey and requires much more than just ‘building stuff’. Against that backdrop, making smart, strategic investments in digital solutions and capabilities is essential. Understanding what you’re trying to achieve, pulling the right people together and providing the resources they need to succeed will help ensure your business derives maximum return from this transformational technology.