— Marketing

The right plan is essential to success

By Darren Kirkland

Summary

Only 16% of digital transformations succeed. Why? As we’ve discussed previously, simply investing in new technology does not guarantee success. However, there are some strategies that can increase that chance more than others.

So what strategies could help New Zealand organisations find digital transformation success?

1. Make data accessibility priority #1

 

Data-driven insights make value-adding business decisions possible. Without fast, convenient access to the information required to make such decisions, companies are sailing through a storm without a map, compass or any sense of destination.

So how can a company ensure its information is as accessible as possible?

  1. Create and publish a privacy policy: This will encourage clients and customers to hand over their data knowing it will be safe and used responsibly.
  2. Build the right partnerships: Data has to be gathered and stored efficiently, which requires heavy IT infrastructure. Invest in partners who can either install or run this infrastructure for you, and train staff to an appropriate level.
  3. Focus on people-based measurement: Online data used to be gathered from digital ‘cookies’, however a cookies-only approach doesn’t work as effectively anymore. Namely, with a cookie-based strategy, organisations may not gather all the data they need, missing out on crucial insights. People-based measurement is the act of tracking individual customers across channels and devices to ensure organisations have a more accurate picture of their customer journey.

2. Invest in self-service technology

 

Self-service technology is software designed for users to serve themselves without the need for a sales or customer service agent. For example, tracking shipped parcels via online portals, automatic call-backs for contact centre queues, chatbots helping with basic IT enquiries.

Time is money, and queues impact time. Essentially, the more self-sustaining a business, the more cost efficiently its employees and partners can operate. When investing in digital transformation tools, business leaders or IT managers would be wise to procure systems that enable self-service functionality – look for features such as AI-powered chatbots for customer service enquiries, self-service portals for general day-to-day use, and automatic diagnostic tools for troubleshooting. Basically, anything that cuts down on the need to speak with an agent.

Automation is again a key technology here. Automated systems drastically minimise the amount of interactions one user has to have with another. In our three examples listed above, you can see how AI is being used to capture and utilise data – acting as a tech support agent, handling customer data so users can operate their own system, or pinging issues to administrators if errors are detected.

 

3. Ensure the organisation lives and breathes digital

 

It’s no use investing in all these technologies if the company’s own processes don’t encourage their use.

This step will be fairly unique to each individual organisation. Whether it’s a simple as including digitisation of physical documents in all future processes, or completely transforming the company to include a wide range of new ways of working, will be up to each leader to decide.

The key lesson here is that organisations must completely integrate new digital technologies into their business rather than awkwardly bolt them on to existing processes. This will require a big change management process and probably a lot of staff training, but will help ensure that new investments are used to their maximum effect, instead of being sidelined or forgotten.

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