At its core, digital transformation refers to harnessing the power of new technology to create a better experience for customers and employees. Innovative companies use technology to identify new ways of increasing their reach and enhancing their revenues by making better connections with employees and customers. Through leadership in digital strategy, they increase their competitive advantage. Companies that lag behind are rapidly becoming obsolete–the victims of so-called “Digital Darwinism.”
The digital transformation is distinguished by investment in four primary technologies: social, mobile, analytics, and cloud.
In a Deloitte survey of more than 4,800 executives and managers, 76 percent of respondents said that digital technologies are critically important to their organizations’ success in the current environment. The Deloitte study noted that as organizations move from the early stages of digitization to fully mature users of these tools, they reach specific milestones.
For example, companies that have just started their digital journeys select individual technologies to address specific business problems. More digitally mature organizations design and implement comprehensive strategic plans that rely on digital technology to transform the foundation and infrastructure that all business operations use as a base.
Though most business leaders recognize the importance of investing in technology, many face executive-level obstacles when it comes to moving forward.
- Failure to understand customer behavior or to appreciate the impact of a new customer
- Lack of data or return on investment to justify allocating resources to digital technology
- Issues identified by risk management, compliance, or legal
These challenges can delay implementation of important digital solutions that could significantly improve the experience of both customers and employees.
The connection between customer experience and digital transformation
Meeting customer expectations and attracting the highly talented employees needed to compete in the digital economy requires a new look at implementing a digital strategy. Your organization’s ability to create a complete digital strategy using a top-down approach is critical to staying relevant in an increasingly digital world.
That means connecting with customers where they feel most comfortable; nurturing relationships through digital channels. Mapping the customer journey has taken on new significance in the digital economy, and the identification of low-performing digital touchpoints is critical to designing and implementing effective solutions.
For most businesses, increasing organizational flexibility and efficiency are important goals in strategic planning. This can be seen in the selection of digital transformation initiatives. These are intended to accelerate innovation; modernize IT infrastructure for increased flexibility, agility, management, and security. They also improve operational agility to increase the speed at which the organization can adapt to change.
With more technological advances just ahead, including wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality, and artificial intelligence, being flexible and adaptable in your long-term digital strategy is important to success.
While it is difficult to quantify the success of digital initiatives when measured against traditional methods, useful data can be mined from existing reports and analytics.
As digital advances are implemented, these measures begin to rise, demonstrating that your organization is on the path to success.
Understanding the employee experience
Evolving customer behaviors and expectations run parallel to employee behaviors and expectations. Employees are the internal customers of the organization. Companies intent on providing a high-quality customer experience must begin by addressing the employee experience.
Employee engagement measures the level at which staff members are willing to use discretionary effort for the good of the company. It also measures their likelihood of staying with the organization in the long term. Factors that contribute to engagement include the employee experience, recruiting and onboarding processes, compensation and benefits, and training and development programs.
The employee experience is made up of all of the day-to-day details that, when taken as a whole, influence employees’ impressions of their digital workplace. Relevant components of employee experience range from the mundane, for example the distance between parking and their desks, to more significant issues: whether they have the tools needed to be effective in their roles, their relationships with co-workers and managers, and their level of connection to the company culture.
Unfortunately, optimizing the day-to-day employee experience presents challenges for even the most prepared organizations. Recent research by Deloitte University Press offered the following conclusions:
- Organizational culture, employee experience and engagement, and employee brand proposition are top priorities among business leaders.
- Almost 80 percent of the executives surveyed rated employee experience as very important or important, but only 22 percent said that their organizations can be considered excellent at building a differentiated employee experience.
- When it comes to preparedness, only 41 percent of respondents believe they are ready and have the tools necessary to address the challenge of creating an optimal employee experience.
This presents a problem for business leaders, the employee experience directly connects to the customer experience.
The digital transformation is at a tipping point. Embracing digital technology is a necessity for survival in an increasingly digital economy, and organizations that delay further will be unable to compete.
Research shows that by adopting a people-first culture, organizations can reap many benefits. These include happier employees, more positive customer experiences, and increased employee productivity, efficiency, and profitability. Technology is changing how employees communicate and connect. Embracing technology gives businesses the opportunity to better control and shape how it will evolve as a part of their strategy.
Organizations that proactively invest resources and time into digital transformation can avoid digital Darwinism by adapting to change rather than fighting it. Developing a high-level digital workplace strategy allows employers to start taking full advantage of the connection between employee engagement and customer satisfaction.
Learn how developing a high-level digital workplace strategy can allow your organization to start taking full advantage of the connection between employee engagement and customer satisfaction.