Both within the private and the public sector rightly there’s a healthy interest in properly and effectively embracing what is labelled “Digital Transformation”, in order to reap the very real benefits that this approach does bring.
Listening to and reading about what is being said about Digital Transformation, it is abundantly clear that there isn’t a clear definition and understanding of this important and truly business transformative strategy.
VerseOne as the market leading provider of web-based technology platforms and Digital services have been championing and leading the proper adoption and deployment of this methodology over the past 10 years, which has benefited over 150 customers of VerseOne. As such we believe we have a thorough understanding of this, which has been well honed through practical deployment at our customer organisations; be it within the Social Housing, The NHS or the broader commercial sectors.
Let’s be clear, Digital Transformation isn’t about user-friendly or great looking websites, or setting up some social media channels, or integrating some of the key enterprise systems. Though all of these do form a part of the bigger picture which needs to be kept in mind, in order to effectively to deploy and gain the most from Digital Transformation.
So what is our definition of Digital Transformation?
Digital Transformation is a “whole organisation approach” and a way of life that places the customer at the very heart of the business and concentrates on making all aspects of the customer’s interaction simple, clear, fast and as cost-effective as possible. This means a customer first culture, supported by a joined-up process and integrated technology systems across the whole organisation. Simply put, Digital Transformation is all about people (our customers and the team within our own business), collaborating to create fruitful and amazing experiences that engage and wow the customers, ensuring continuous delivery of better business outcomes for them, leading to real competitive advantage for the business.
This means everyone within the organisation needs to be involved by adopting and applying a whole of the business approach and mindset to customer interaction and service delivery. This needs to be supported by Digital tools and methodologies that actively support a deliberate move away from operating in silos. Services need to be reusable and interconnected, supported by platforms that can be leveraged and shared by everyone across the whole business in the quest to give the customer the best and most joined up experience of your organisation.
Coming back to VerseOne one of the founding principles of the business was to focus on what we affectionately call the “3Ps”. These have remained as one of the pillars of the business over the past 10 years, significantly setting the business apart and contributing to the growth and success achieved. In essence, the business was founded and has concentrated on delivering Digital Transformation solutions right from the start and arguably we can claim we do know a thing or two about this.
So what are the 3Ps?
Process – this is ensuring the existence of joined-up processes across the whole business with exceptional customer engagement and experience at the forefront of everyone’s mind. This will lead to efficient and cost-effective service delivery which again “everyone” needs to understand and practice. Issues such as usability, user experience, service design and other customer transformative experiences and flow of customer critical interactions throughput the business need clearly to be thought through, streamlined and communicated internally and externally. We of course practice this within VerseOne and ensure our customers have a similar focus within their own organisation when rolling out Digitally Transformative solutions.
People – this is intended to highlight that “all stakeholders” within the organisation need to be bought in, engaged and involved and actively lead by example. Digital Transformation would only deliver real benefits if a “whole business” approach is adopted. This means everyone within the business having deep understanding of the customer – their sector-wide and specific issues -, being trained, empowered and passionate about handling customers, their needs and issues.
Platform – This is where most people focus on when thinking about Implementing a Digital Transformation strategy. Whilst this indeed is an important component, as mentioned above, to get the most from the overall strategy the other “2P’s” would also need firmly to be in place. Here the focus absolutely should be all about the right technology platform(s) that underpin the Digital Transformation agenda, facilitating a true interconnection of all vital areas of the business (back and front office, including 3rd party partner organisations) in order to provide a seamless, rapid and fruitful experience for the customer. As mentioned earlier we’re in the age of the Customer as our customers expect and demand more. More channels, more devices, more options, more content. With the lines between the physical and digital becoming ever more blurred and meshed into one, our customers expect to be able to move seamlessly between these and just have access to “the right content” that they need anytime and on any device. We, therefore, need powerful, designed for purpose, flexible and truly interconnected platforms to meet this ever-evolving challenge.
With this in mind, it is more than fair to say that Digital Transformation is in VerseOne’s DNA. For over a decade we have created and deployed innovative and robust solutions that seamlessly integrate with our customers’ existing platforms across disparate devices, systems, and processes. This has been made possible by the incredibly powerful, flexible and open standards-based technology platforms that we’ve created and continue to create that makes us to be the partner of choice when it comes to implementing an effective Digital Transformation strategy.
So the key message is that effectively to gain the many real benefits of Digital Transformation a well thought out and tailored strategy for “your specific needs and circumstances” needs to be devised. It has to be recognised that the strongest drivers of change in today’s digital landscape are the rapidly evolving expectations and behaviours of our customers. Only by keeping pace with this could the battle for engagement, loyalty and relevance be won, ultimately creating an effective competitive advantage and thus a real Return on Investment (ROI) for implementing a Digital Transformation initiative. In short you need to ensure your Digital Strategy aligns to your business goals, and as importantly to the needs of your customers and your employees, all underpinned by powerful and interconnected technology platforms that meet the needs; not only now but in the future too.