We are living in the times where a popular business existing for over two decades find a potential market threat in a 9-months-old Digital native start-up. Irrespective of the line of business, Digital Transformation has become nearly inevitable to stay sustained. While we are at it, let's just admit that it’s no small race to get the gold star first. The accelerating digital technologies such as one-click Customer service touch points, immersive VR/AR experiences, voice-based virtual assistants tagged to electronics… all are brought into play. Nothing feels like fantasy anymore!
Finding the right ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ that can create significance, bring in the much-needed Digital Transmutation and result in Magnum opus is quite a task. So, in this article, we will discuss a way to achieve the ultimate golden standard which is… sustainable Customer Value to a business. Let us imagine a matrix of Digitization state defined by a company’s Digital Capabilities against Integration Capabilities. Based on their current status of Digital readiness, every company lies somewhere within this matrix. To achieve the gold standards, the company will have to move upwards from one state to other and eventually attain a state where it can distill best out of every asset and technology synergistically. Digital Success!
There is no comprehensive know-how guide for Digital Alchemy that works for everyone. Digital Transformation is to emphasize the uniqueness of a business using the right amount of Technology as an accelerator and it is impossible with a one-size-for-all approach. Every company whether a Digital-native or a Traditional company investing efforts to stay relevant to its millennial customer base would be in one of these below-mentioned stages before achieving the Elixir of business value.
This is the rudimentary stage where naturally deteriorated (with time) entropic forces make a business resistant to change and adoption. Every day we work with enterprises and no one wants to be stuck with the primitive stages of Technology.
“But these organizations are having siloed efforts of Business Analytics, Digitization of Customer Services, Cloud Migration and other technological efforts without the end goals of achieving gold standards in sight.”
What’s required at this stage is a strong intent towards betterment and ability to bring all the stakeholders on board to achieve the goal. In simple words, their current system doesn’t capture (enough) value for the employees or customers, and it requires decomposition and Putrefaction, which is ‘Nigredo’ in Alchemy terms. It must be a natural progression.
It is always suggested to believe in ‘Incrementalism’, especially when your company seems to be at this condition. Start small, maybe with IT infrastructure, Data Integration, Inside Operations and slowly find your way up. Choosing the technology partners and vendors carefully might require a lot of brainstorming, but it's worth it, to avoid a scenario where the golden opportunity can turn into a pitfall.
In an urge to stay up in the race, companies oft-times fall into this category and we came across a lot of such during our assessments and client interactions.
“These companies are hot on Digital, have Digital Transformation at the top of their every agenda and desperately adopt every technology emerging around them and struggling to integrate them to their main aim and get people to adopt the sudden storm of changes.”
This is a path drifted away from achieving Digital Alchemy which eventually ends up making the business leaders worry about their Return on Investments. What it needs is ‘Albedo’, Purification, strategizing and streamlining of alacrity.
It’s always necessary to have a system to constantly reassess the current Digital Strategy and check how well the new adoptions are making synergies with the rest of the infrastructure. Some adoptions that have saved our clients from being disrupted at this stage are - App modernization in DevOps way, automating manual processes using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Improving customer interaction by introducing new digital touch points. The sense of confidence that comes from customers who are treated with excellent service and experience is long lasting.
Successful Digital Alchemists aren’t the ones who create gold with DT and stop there. It is always important to reinvent themselves to stay sustained.
Try these to turn your disruptable-business into a bi-modal enterprise:
Traditional Product with Digital Service – You can still sell the same product that made you special to your existing customers but adds value by transforming the way you do it through digitally enabling the current business model. Build applications (In-house or Third-party) that’ll serve your customers better. Traditional Service with Digital Service – While your traditional (off-line) service is serving your existing customers, make yourself available to the new generation prospects with services that are gadget-friendly. That way, you aren’t going too away from your current base but still ready with an expandable business model for the new-gen. Going all Digital overnight would create a lot of unwanted confusion within the organization which will eventually affect the customer value.
Transforming the businesses that are set down in this state is the toughest of all.
“Business in this state are ahead in their journey of achieving Digital Alchemy but are struggling with the adoption of data-driven technologies.”
Organizations stuck at this stage holds a lot of unutilized data and requires immediate attention towards employing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Algorithms to achieve gold standards. They strongly believe in an extreme level of information and system consolidation but, is a screaming need for Digital Discovery. As they say, Adopt or die. What can save these businesses is ‘Citrinitas’? An awakening to dust off the unmined data?
They are one step closer to achieving the gold standard because system integration is the toughest one of all tasks needed for Digital Transformation. Since the consolidation is in place, they just need to perform a Readiness Assessment and spend time on picking the right technology(ies) that can improve the value and customer experience and monitor the progress. There are literally thousands of technologies available and the number is only growing day by day. AR/VR, Artificial Intelligence, Bots, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Block Chain the list goes on.
The ultimate position everyone would love to see themselves in but is not an over-night journey to reach there. This is where the enterprises constantly disrupt their own models through continuous innovation which is nothing but distilling the best out of every asset and technological adoption. It’s not a destination but is a state of continuous rediscovery for the business. The enthalpy needs to help the system functioning at an optimal level of Digital Success.
Once the unique recipe and modus operandi are found to Digitally Transform the business, the leadership needs to transcend this movement by establishing the new agenda of culture, purpose, and future; and make it articulated well to the entire workforce. They must act as the change agents to drive the digital and physical business transmutation. A DT journey map needs to be drafted at every touch point with intent and attribution. Understanding that Digital Literacy is the only way of business, every part of the business must feel responsible for the Customer Experience and Innovation to make it happen. When Innovation becomes an integral part of the culture, that is ‘Magnum opus’!
Why are we one of those very few successful Alchemists?
For a Technology company who is not even a decade old, Qentelli has an impressive collection of illustrative cases demonstrating how a Digitization can rebuild the business in more than one way. When a giant global food chain was feeling left behind mainly because of,
- Their Monolith ERP Application for POS and Back office operations
- Siloed implementation of CI
- The time spent to spin up new Environments
- Multiple versions of the core Front- and Back-of-store Applications
- Incorrect versions of Software deployed to Environments
- No streamlined process for Test Data Management
- Inconsistency in environments, and many other issues.
That is exactly when Qentelli has stepped in to introduce production-ready, lightweight containers with standardized images for streamlined CI/CD practices. We’ve used just the right amount of AIOPs that can complement and eventually capable enough to supplant the human IT staff efforts to perform monotonous tasks such as system monitoring, alert response, trouble diagnosis, and course of action drafting. There are more multiple instances where we’ve introduced sophisticated DevOps, Automation, Robotics, state-of-security eCommerce applications, and Application Modernization solutions to Digitally enable them to survive in the ever-competitive marketplace.
Now that we are all on the same page that shift of businesses during Digital Transformation doesn’t mean adopting Digital Technologies to simplify business operations but also carefully choosing them and strategically modifying them to fit well with the culture, value and business goals. Information Technology leaders play a crucial role to whip the magic potion to create gold. Placing the organization on par will only be possible when your Digital Transformation makes enough sense to your employees and customers.