Digital Transformation 4: Implementation

Evoke International

As we bring our Digital Transformation series to a close after covering the essential pillars of why shift is happening, how to roadmap and finance your new strategies, now’s the time to progress from innovative strategy development, to a framework, to practical execution.
Digital transformation is no mean (or small) feat. Here’s our step-by-step plan on how to initiate a sustainable change to your business model to meet your digital target outcomes.

Identify Transformation Objectives

Every organization will have a slightly different set of transformational objectives, with different priorities, but this is a vital first step for organizational alignment. As well as putting both employees and the customer at the center of the strategy, it’s important to recognize that this is only a part of the new narrative. In addition to re-thinking and re-designing an entire business model for the purposes of a digital customer experience, it’s important to focus on the following too: transforming business processes to streamline costs; improving end-user experience; optimizing infrastructure and operations to improve agility, flexibility and cost-effectiveness; gleaning from analytical insights to make better decisions, improve efficiencies and gain competitive advantage; creating an environment with fluid employee/management communications for better productivity, loyalty, continuity and buy-in. A strategy needs to be developed with a phased implementation plan in line with budget and operational feasibility. Then, allow your next steps and phases to be unfolded for a clear sense of sign posted direction, which includes KPI’s and milestones.

Outsourcing digital transformation

You don’t know what you don’t know. In as much as you are ‘in it’, sometimes it’s hard to get that outsider perspective because you are absorbed in the minutia. Not to mention, most companies have their blinders on to the reality of both employee and customer sentiment. A neutral third party view should be considered from the outset for expert guidance and continuity. It’s a far more efficient and sure-fire route than haphazardly making it up as you go along. Having experts guide you through the process will ensure that internal politics and perils are cleaned out via an outside-in, inside-out company detox. An outside assessment is the most palatable way for companies to address other issues and shortcoming in the process. You will find that outsourcing digital transformation not only takes the heat and pressure off, it’s also a surprise albeit necessary health and awareness assessment for the company as well as an overall assessment of current processes operations and analysis of Digital Transformation pathways.

Conduct a full assessment

In conjunction with outsourcing digital transformation, companies need the equivalent of an MOT – down to the finer details. In additional to a full internal assessment it also needs to include a complete market and competitive analysis assessment – to provide a fully contextualized POV for informed decision making. A market assessment defines what your future industry or market will look like in a digitally transformed landscape. The key areas you’ll focus on are: ways to analyze the digital maturity of customers and employees and predict where they are headed; how to make relevant predictions of a possible business future, mitigate risk and capitalize on upswings; how to analyze the steps into the future of your digitally transformed business landscape and turn that analysis into tangible gains for the business. A competitive analysis assessment covers evolving real-time world dynamics and how you can align with trends and movements in the market ahead of your competitors. It aids in understanding the ins and outs of how the competition works. The key areas you’ll focus on are: examining your competitor’s digital customer experience (if they have one) – how solid is their service? How do they engage with their customer base? How do they optimize their service or product across a sea of digital verticals? The list is endless but that’s where our Commercial Analysis Software Tool (CAST) comes in to contextualize all of the data into usable and severable information – focused and tailored specifically to your needs and providing the answers to the questions you have.
Digital Transformation Implementation
CAST serves as an ongoing monitoring, modeling and analysis tool, to ensure real-time strategic adjustments, predictive analysis and vertical integration on wider business development, planning and on-going understanding of customer behaviors. With these wider narratives at play, it aids in the development of products and services that respond to those needs as desired by customers and the continuation of streamlining operations, increasing RoI, productivity and both customer and employee satisfaction for long-term sustainability. CAST can be configured to go beyond monitoring and situational awareness. Decision support analysis can be configured in CAST, using formats and logics determined by the organization. Depending on the need, either data-modeling or computational simulation tools can be integrated into CAST, allowing it to serve as a multi-level strategy and decision analytics tool.
The integration of CAST is essential as a living breathing mechanism that has the ability to map and monitor problems from a macro to a micro level. By using it, an organization can integrate multiple information flows to develop and maintain situational awareness and understanding. In turn, and in CAST, an organization can design comprehensive strategies that support adaptive and anticipatory action and use the same data feeds to monitor implementation and effects. The CAST process begins with the identification of problem sets (i.e., the need to Digitally Transform.); conflict boards are then configured at a macro level for each problem set to then begin information pulls down to a micro level for each problem set. CAST can be configured to maintain awareness at multiple levels – C-Suite, program manager or operational or program implementor, with the same information. Information can be collected from any number of open source traffic sources such as industry journals, CRM’s, web hiring/recruitment sites, social media, market spending reports, vendors announcements, procurement and supply chain activity, etc. This enables the organization to determine where intellectual attention and practical activity is being focused and why.

Bringing it all together

Assessments, analysis and planning are to a degree, the hardest parts of your digital transformation journey – but actions speak louder than words. Identifying the solution and implementing that solution should be easier part of the journey, but it’s still no walk in the park, and to do so smoothly with full communication and buy-in from employees and customers is even harder without the right plan and communication tools for both. If there is one kernel of (perhaps uncomfortable) truth that comes from digital transformation, it’s that culture change is instrumental to make any progress forward. Organizations need to continually challenge the status quo, experiment and ultimately get comfortable with trial and error. And finally, have a sense of humor and empathy. Rough waves lie ahead but with the right attitude and compassion for each other at all levels of the organization, the experience will be remembered for its transformational effect on all fronts.
That’s the end of our Digital Transformation series. Stay tuned for our next series covering a complex and complete look at CAST.
Evoke International
Evoke International.

Digital Transformation 3: Financing Change

You’ve heard the phrase: ‘you’ve got to talk, the talk and walk the walk’. Up until now, we’ve done all the talking on why digital transformation is no longer an option – but a necessity – and then some. And right now, that talk needs some legs…
As much as we can string together the A-Z on all the promises digital transformation can offer, those promises remain empty if you don’t foot the bill for it – and often it’s no small sum.
Digital transformation is a massive undertaking for both a company’s and its finances. But it should not deter you from making that leap forward to new zeniths. Instead, a financial plan – one that is realistic yet takes into consideration the aspirations and opportunities available to your organization as well as expectations, need to be set in order to lift your digital transformation off the ground and into action successfully.
There are many moving parts in a digital transformation plan of action. In knowing how and where to assign financing, your plan should have a rock-solid foundation from which to build upon – one that accurately reflects the scale and complexity of the initiative. And it will be complex.
First and foremost, it is important essential to have C-suite members fully on board – without their commitment, a digital transformation plan is a non-starter. For a digital transformation to be successfully financed, top tier management must embrace the need for it and thus consent to budgetary allocation. In fact, the traditional budgeting model is another portion of the business that will need to undergo an overhaul – as it too needs to transform digitally – especially with crypto/digital currencies on the rise – but that’s a conversation for another time. Digital has become omnipresent in how it now stretches across different departments, roles, and locations and thus involves a company from the top-down and bottom-up but the level its utilized is often limited or unbound by funding. A collaborative approach allows for a more holistic understanding of how digital transformation will affect a core business structure. By involving everyone to whom this transformation touches, the budget will need to reflect and facilitate those key changes with a clear sense of purpose, feasibility and vision.
As this is a company-wide change, you’ll want to break down the digital transformation plan into different Lines of Operation (LOO) – so you can allocate and examine where your budget is taking effect in small and steady steps. Your digital transformation is a wider narrative – but it is made up of several micro-narratives. Also, by going at it in baby steps you allow yourself to walk before you can run, not to mention move at a pace that’s financially achievable. Oftentimes the sense of world impact and making a marked difference in the industry can get the better of us. With all the good and honest intentions to one side, logic must be applied, especially where money is concerned.
Alongside the requisite financial requirements to action a digital transformation plan, there are almost certainly going to be additional areas that will need to be considered in a digital transformation budget. These can be easily missed or overlooked, so it is crucial to consider the hidden costs that you’ll inevitably incur. Digital transformation is quite literally, turning an organization on its head – especially if you’re doing a holistically 360° makeover. With that, entire departments will need to be re-trained according to the new processes and operations. New skills require education and time – time is money. If your transformation is going to impact your processes, how will necessary changes be rolled out and what is the associated cost of those changes and allotments? And with new digital solutions and platforms, you will want to invest robust security systems to protect intellectual property and assets, not to mention the ongoing monitoring and maintenance associated with those new systems. Then comes the question – outsource or internal – in the long run what will be the most economical and is it better to outsource in the beginning and then slowly internalize for cost efficiencies?
Evoke Digital Transformation
Among other investments is capitalizing on data. As we enter into the 4th industrial revolution – the digital era, data is the new oil – the lifeblood of every organization hoping to forge into the future and not just survive but thrive. While gathering and organizing data is a critical piece in understanding where the business needs to go, it’s more important that you understand the data and the context in which it lives. Everyone has data – but the real question is, is all that data, statistics and analytics really telling you what you need to know about a complicated, changing, and contested world? Do you know the why’s behind your numbers and narratives? Data provides insights as long as the world that produces that data is stable. But if your world is shifting in ways that you don’t understand, if you don’t trust your numbers, or how far they’ll take you, you need the more comprehensive, data and simulation supported approach of our CAST system.
CAST is a ‘Why’ machine. It equips you with a complete 360° data-fueled and simulation-supported picture of the world, your competitors, your customers, and how wider events and the market is and will affect your business. This isn’t just more numbers, this is a real contextualized understanding – translating all of that data into useable information that generates insights for your strategies, marketing and most importantly sales – creating true understanding of why your consumers/citizens are making the choices they are, who they really are, what they really want and how to deliver it to them.
We look at the connection of social media/digital data and the real world, and how it applies to understand the underlying dynamics in the market. This provides a deeper sense of the fundamentals and how that translates into numbers and narratives. We give you cause and effect, track and optimize the connection and the customer journey, and what it is that helps a customer to decide to take that journey. Our predictive forecasting can also tell you where your business needs to go, help in risk mitigation, assist in identifying market, product and service gaps, and help you package your business for sale or investment in an oversaturated or booming market.
CAST isn’t just about pulling reams of global or localized data – it’s about real contextualized understanding – translating all of that data into useable information that generates insights for your strategies, marketing and most importantly sales – creating true understanding of why your consumers are making the choices they are, who they really are, what they really want and how to deliver it to them. An investment into a system like CAST translates not only to a more defined digital strategy but a clearer sense of purpose which ups both employee and consumer engagement and productivity, streamlines internal and external communications, and most importantly identifies where to spend your cash flow more effectively for greater RoI and an edge over your competitors – accurate knowledge has a way of making that happening.
Ultimately, the key driver behind any digital transformation project should be to deliver value. If you focus solely on the features you want delivered without thinking about how they serve your overall vision, the project is unlikely to deliver the results you’re after. As you define your budget, then, think about the precise reasons why you want to undertake the work you’re planning.
The entire plan also needs to be regarded as a long-term journey. It is imperative to view the entirety of the financial plan as an on-going initiative – it is a road that will constantly evolve and therefore must not be treated as a one-off cost. Apply a degree of resilience and flexibility to your digital transformation journey, knowing that plans can and will be thwarted or shifted according to roadblocks, new gates and disruptors.
In the next chapter of our Digital Transformation series, we look at how to go about implementing your digital transformation plan.
Evoke International
Evoke International.

Digital Transformation 2: Road Mapping

If the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that Digital Transformation is the answer to the many questions companies are challenged with right now. Even before Coronavirus hit business where it hurts the most, it was a hotly debated topic on the forefront of most corporate agendas – should we, shouldn’t we? How and when? And then in one fell swoop, the answers to those question came: Yes. With outsourced expertise. Now.
In our previous article in the Digital Transformation series, we rounded up the reasons why you need to get on the bandwagon. We discussed the need to start at gut level, by having an introspective look at existing processes, what works, what doesn’t and thus creating new system processes, culture and strategies with the incorporation of digital modeling to ensure sustainability and legacy survival.
The road to digital transformation is not straightforward – there are many junctions, forks and hair pin bends. As instant as the world online is, ones ascent into its orbit, is a much longer and more thoughtful process. Case in point, it may be an 8.5 minute space shuttle ride into space to then smoothly dock with the International Space Station, but getting it there took over 60 years of blood, sweat, tears, tragedy and success. We’ve launched companies into digital transformation process several times over – helping them to avoid the avoidable, and the turbulence and encumbrances that often await behind the clouds of inexperience – especially for aspirant companies breaching the ceiling for the first time.
The beginning of any change starts with an integral inward look and genuine assessment of the company: what are our values? Who are we? Who do we want to be? Where do we want to be in 5-10 years time? Then a look around at competitors, the market and where you really sit in that field and the marketplace? What is the real perception and narrative of the company – not what you believe it to be but the real qualitative and quantitative data of what your customers and consumers believe you to be. If you don’t understand the perception and reality of the situation, you can’t effect fundamental and substantive change – only bandaids and duct tape solutions that will one day crumble and compound once fixable problems into irrevocable contretemps – not to mention being left behind and irrelevant. One must have the foresight to leverage real understanding with contextualized data to build and test actionable strategies, which align with newly created digital business models, mission, vision and corporate/brand goals. For companies that want to tackle this on their own it means pulling apart CRM’s, every set of analytics they can get their hands on, purchasing research and white papers within their industry, exploring the thousands of digital modeling programs to move forward with and the development and integration of digital platforms, tools and apps to bring them online – not to mention the constant and consistent monitoring, data pulls and analysis that needs to be done moving forward for tracking, predictive forecasting and strategic adjustment. Plus, their has to be an allocation to create a consistent proactive communication strategy with employees and consumers on those changes, the phases of implementation and what that means to them and why. Or, you can pick up the phone and call someone like us with our proprietary CAST system to do the heavy lifting – either way, it’s a huge undertaking and requires full corporate commitment with an extraordinary amount of assessment, fore planning and financial pledge. You’ve heard this reiterated many times – but it’s not a case of saying it and then hoping for the best. It’s creating the big goal followed by all the micro steps upwards to reach the destination – at which point, you’ll move the goal post once more. Because shift always happens.

Evoke Digital Transformation Dubai

Some of the major questions you should be looking at in your assessments include:

What does digital mean to you? How is it going to fundamentally improve your product/service? What new services do you need to offer and what services or products are no longer relevant? How do you deliver that digitally? How do you create an enjoyable and intuitive digital customer journey? How do you or your service/product become indispensable to the consumer – a part of the fabric of their lives? How do you use your experience and products to disrupt the market? What can we realistically afford to do? Can and do we want investment? What are we willing to live with and what are we not willing to live without?
Digital transformation does not have a cookie-cutter formula – it moulds differently for different companies. Once you’ve been able to establish answers for those questions, you’ll need to start developing a roadmap – of how and when you’re going to implement and how much its going to cost you.
A road map – an indispensable keystone that coordinates all – is how the many strands and bands within a company’s overall strategy are streamlined for the purposes of increasing profits, reducing costs, creating better, easier and more effective processes with faster and cheaper/competitive delivery of products and services – not to mention creating buy-in, belief and loyalty from employees and consumers alike whilst maintaining steady growth. Digital transformation is a necessary step in that direction – it is no longer a debate but the new model of sustainability, survivability and future-proofing.
The first part of the roadmap is developed post assessment – utilizing the data and analysis to create the new corporate strategy. We generally advise clients to create the full-blown ideal data-backed strategy and then dial it back to fit it into what’s financially and operationally feasible per each phase, with the ability to scale should it become possible through growth. Once strategies are refined, the implementation plan has to be developed – this has to take into consideration changes that can be made without disrupting customer services and within financial boundaries. Clear KPI’s, milestones and corporate goals have to be defined for each phase in addition to realistic timeframes to develop and install digital platforms, transition systems, performance testing, develop Standard Operation Procedures (SOP’s), departmental and corporate policies and procedures, and complete staff training. Additionally, messaging, narratives and strategies must be developed for both internal and external communications for employees and consumers that run in parallel to systems development, business development and sales and marketing initiatives. The transition is essentially an 80/20 split – 80% on research, development and planning and 20% on the actual implementation itself. If the planning isn’t meticulous and clear from the outset, the implementation will be nothing more than a series of expensive failures. There are some things in life you can wing with a prayer and bit of luck – this isn’t one of them.
Through another lens, digital transformation is effectively, brand evolution – and it can start with simple daily tasks that move employees away from spreadsheets and PDFs straight into powerful, electronic collaborative versions, digital project management platforms or CRM’s that work on all devices. Modern e-forms have advanced capabilities like validation to eliminate errors and omissions, automatic calculations for accurate data, e-signatures so there’s no need to print and data transfer eliminating the need to rekey information. Automating everyday processes will begin to shift gears into a holistically digital mindset – not to mention cutting down time, effort and increases accuracy – no form left to be buried in a pile on someone’s desk – creating collaboration, teamwork and greater operational oversight. The benefits can be transformative, from major cost reductions in operations to massive productivity increases – digital paves the way for cohesive strides forward – but make sure you have a plan for that transition and allow for periods of adjustment into those changes, even simple ones. The transformation doesn’t always mean blowing the building floor by floor into a crater and rebuilding from the ground up – sometimes it just means ‘doing better’, but that requires ruthless honesty on what it really means to survive today and into tomorrow. The days of companies resting on their laurels and living in the limbo of ‘we’re ok and doing fine now’ has been quickly been replaced with the ability to ‘adapt or die’ as evidenced by the recession triggered overnight by the coronavirus and 25 million layoffs globally in its wake. Limbo, indecision and clutching to the comfort of ‘what works’, rather than embracing innovation and regeneration has bought many companies a one-way ticket into extinction.
It may not be an easy road ahead, but it’s certainly a necessary one. It’s now or never.
In the next series of Digital Transformation, we look at financing digital transformation
Evoke International
Evoke International.

Digital Transformation 1: Shift Happens

Imagine, for a moment, what it would have been like if Coronavirus had hit us back in the early noughties. It was a time which predated iPhones, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram – the technology, which has become our saving grace for communication during one of the most disruptive periods in recent world history.

In our new Digital Transformation series, we wade through the ways businesses can future-proof themselves – and why crucially, digital is no longer an option. It is a means for survival.

Twenty years ago or so, only a handful of households had a (stable) broadband connection. while others had the painful crawl of a dial-up connection. What is vital to us now, was only lifting off the ground then. While we now heavily and easily rely on applications like Zoom, House Party or Skype to speak with our friends and family, the idea of video chat required expensive equipment – and you were certainly seen as posh.
The pandemic is doing immense damage to the tumbling economy – but imagine how much worse it could have been had shift not happened. Had it not been for the digital revolution – with cloud computing making it more readily feasible for a business to scale up quickly, online retailers would have massively struggled with the surging demand put upon them at present.
Digital is not an option now – but while necessary, incredibly daunting, and why many companies have been talking around the edges of the need for digital transformation, but far fewer have begun to take that leap. The proof of the need for change to gain sustainability and longevity in an uncertain world, can be found in the 30% global rise in e-commerce since COVID-19 hit – indicative of bored trapped employees surfing and buying from their homes – whilst brick and mortar business, shut off from their clients, have had to lay off staff and close their doors creating a surge of 6.6 million employees filing for unemployment in the U.S. alone. The double-edged sword for digital-based companies has found them unable to keep up with the surge in demand, creating delivery delays and in some cases, the inability to take on new orders at all. No surprise that sales in disposable gloves are up 670% but a slightly startling that the second fastest growing online product sale is for bread machines, up by 652% followed by a litany of foods such as soups, rice, packaged foods and weight training equipment – no doubt to decrease the impact of all the food orders. The fastest declining online sales are luggage & suitcases, down 77% in no small part to global travel restrictions, followed by cameras, swimwear, athletic gear and bridal wear. Employed persons under the #WFH restrictions are clearly doing more impulse buying and attending to home projects with electronic, home & gardening and home improvement sales up 400%. Will the results continue as we #FlattenTheCurve or is this the new normal? The one certainty is that the move to digital has fast become an imperative priority.
Off the back of those figures, many employees working in companies that have been avoiding the digital leap, happily languishing in traditional structures that have worked thus far, are now reeling from a lack of adaptable operations, stunted communication and the inability to deliver effective products or services to their consumers – creating a slowly circling cycle of corporate death in an already wounded economy as customers leap from the comfort of what they’ve known, into the arms of online convenience – putting these traditional analogue companies in the impossible situation of implementing overnight changes without the luxury of forethought, planning or preparedness – wreaking havoc with operations, overall morale and their bottom line.
Digital transformation has become a slow burning realization, over the the past decade, that it’s an unavoidable and necessary core change to every business model. It’s not an overnight ‘fixer-upper’ – it’s an ideological change and a gutting of well-worn existing processes to create a new system model, culture and strategy changes to ensure sustainability and legacy survival – should a phenomenon like COVID-19 reek havoc onto the world again or far more likely, a digitally born more nimble model of your business renders you obsolete. Digital transformation may as well be code for: future-proofing for survival.
We’ve long helped clients begin that slow climb towards the summit of full digital transformation starting with a full corporate assessment and then developing a palatable and feasible implementation plan that is phased in line with budgets and operational tempos – careful not to create chaos or disruption but an operational easement through education, training and most importantly, understanding. Through our real-time data-backed systems, we also conduct a full market analysis with predictive forecasting that helps us to create a transformation that will still be ably adaptable and responsive in 10 years time, keeping you ahead of the competition and allowing you to address both current and future needs. We take into consideration the need to consider past, current and predictive data patterns but also the need to contextualize that data, so companies not only see the patterns of buying, but understand the why, the causation of conversion and create systems and processes responsive and facilitative to that nature.
The current market disruption has seen a vast change in buying behaviors in this COVID-19 pandemic – which of course will give pause to companies as to how they adapt their businesses to these new and sudden changes. One survey of U.S. and U.K. consumers found that 96% of Millenials and Gen Zs are concerned about the pandemic and its effects on the economy. This concern is leading them to change their behavior more dramatically than other generations, which includes cutting back on spending, stocking up on items, and spending less on experiences.
Although still concerned about coronavirus and its effects on the economy, older generations are slightly less concerned than younger generations and letting it impact their shopping habits less. For example, 24% of Boomers and 34% of Gen X said they were letting current events impact what items they purchase, compared to nearly half of Millennials.
While survey data shows that women are more likely to be concerned about the effects of COVID-19, it also shows that men are more likely to have it impact their shopping behaviors. One-third of men, compared to 25% of women, reported the pandemic affecting how much they spend on products. Additionally, 36% of men, compared to 28% of women, reported it affecting how much they are spending on experiences (travel, restaurants, entertainment, etc.).
Men were also found to be shopping online and avoiding in-store experiences more than women. This includes taking advantage of options that limit in-store interactions like BOPIS (buy online, pick-up in store), curbside pickup, and subscription services.
So, how do you then turn all of this data into meaningful information, business strategies and proactive action? It’s only through a through understanding of past data mixed with predictive models that a truly meaningful picture can emerge enough to adjust the business, its digital transformation and its future path confidently with mitigated risk. We’ve developed that process for a multitude of blue-chip to family-run companies over the years and can help wade through the infinite choices to choose a pathway that works for you and you alone.
Let’s back-pedal to see how digital transformation has served businesses to not only disrupt markets but outperform their competitors, and even themselves.
Since its launch in 1994, Amazon has grown to become an e-commerce behemoth. From its humble online bookselling beginnings, Amazon has enjoyed a relentless rise. But – they never rest on their laurels. In 2018, Amazon made $232.89 billion in revenue across all of its business segments but as CEO Jeff Bezos said: “Our customers are loyal to us right up until the second somebody offers them a better service. And I love that. It’s super-motivating for us.”
Amazon has put the customer at the centre of all its moves. The company is constantly learning about them. Data has become the most coveted new natural resource, and whomever can successfully capture and gather insights from it, and then feed that harnessed data into their product development, customer engagement and marketing strategies in a way that creates amazing experiences – generates brand love… and wins. Amazon is able to identify customer behaviors through their searches and what products they add to their cart. This behavioral data shows trends that identify product preferences and buying behaviors.
Digital Change Experts
Then you have retailers like Walmart – the brick and mortar equivalent to Amazon – who are well aware of the need to catch up and working hard to do just that – catch up. As much as there is still a demand for in-person experiences, the status quo is such that we need the option for emulating that expectation digitally.
If traditional corporations do not migrate online, they will become obsolete, much like taxi services did to Uber and Lyft and Gillette to the Dollar Shave Club. Coronavirus has only accelerated the need for new processes – look at how far we have come since 2007 when the first generation iPhone was launched. Since then, we have made a drastic move from analogue to digital. Our smart phones are no longer just a hub of abbreviated text messaging and photos. Our entire lives exist on an integrated device. We can get our first-needs (groceries) met in an instant as well as augmenting a home renovation with nifty measuring apps with real-world distances – and everything in between. For all intents and purposes, COVID-19 has globally and starkly separated the change-makers from the old-timers.
A lot of you reading this now, will have known a world without the world wide web. But anyone born upwards from 2000, were born online. Digital natives are computer literate by the time they can said ‘mama’ and are overwhelmingly tech-savvy – findings prove that at Kindergarten level, infants are learning to code alongside their ABCs to make virtual dinosaurs move – and then some. So, what does this mean? It means companies must adapt to the same level of advancement as this new buyer generation.
Behemoth companies – who have long since relied on the loyalty of their first generation buyers – must move at the pace of their customers’ offspring – bridging the divide of the ‘generational gap’ and remaining relevant to today’s buyer and not becoming ‘Mom and Dad’s’ brand of the past. This is now the primary buyer. In the Middle Eastern region, 50% of the luxury buyers are under the age of 30. As a company, you cannot ignore 50% of your target audience. This generation of buyers has an expectation for e-commerce ease – at rapid fire speed, too. Companies must deliver on that if they have any hope of surviving, not just today but tomorrow.
It would be remiss to suggest that retail has been making inroads on digital transformation already. Apple Pay, Deliveroo and Airbnb, as examples, prove they are on the digital pulse, constantly. While other companies, have simply not needed to and have ridden on the ‘we’re fine’ wave. Well, that’s all been well and good until now – but in five years time or so, there will be ‘an app for that’ and they will slide quietly into the night – nameless and no longer remembered. Business is a brutal turnover of ‘hot’ today and gone tomorrow. Now in the times of Coronavirus, concern is mounting not just about how to stay ‘hot’ and ‘relevant’ but how technology is affecting deeper insider issues such as jobs, wages, inequality, health, resource efficiency and security. These changes are altering the world so drastically that all companies need to undergo a transformation to avoid becoming a sadly avoidable abandoned relic.
Despite the urgency for digital transformation, it doesn’t just happen. As a Strategic Digital Transformation Consultancy, we assess where you are, understand where you want to be, and create the roadmap for how to get there. This transformation means integrating digital technology into all areas of a business to fundamentally change how companies operate and deliver value to customers. While this might be a scary vision for some, it is one of the strongest drivers of change: companies need to adapt their business models to remain in business.
Digital Transformation is not just an IT or marketing initiatives, but a commercial strategy for all industries, whose first step is to truly understand the need to embrace and leverage new technologies along with changing consumer behaviors to grow existing business and expand into new products and services – increasing revenue and reducing cost.
We believe Digital Transformation is not just a technology shift, it’s a generational mindset shift of how companies grow, engage and manage their relationships with their customers, employees and larger world in the experience economy.
In the next series of Digital Transformation, we look at how to roadmap where you want and need to be.
Evoke International
Evoke International.