Published by Tania Camacho on the 26 August 2019

digital transformation customer engagement

Digitisation, digitalisation, IT transformation and Digital transformation are all industry buzzwords that bring a lot of excitement amongst some confusion and have taken on many different meanings and ideas. To EC, digital transformation and ‘digital renovation’, is a journey that encompasses many layers. An organisation can’t switch from zero to digital hero overnight. From what we have seen, customers want faster service across a range of platforms, tailored to their individual preferences.

Digital Transformation is about bringing information into every transaction with a client, partner, employee or process. It is a shift to rethinking how your organisation uses technology, people and processes to change business performance.

 “We don’t have a separate digital strategy; we have a strategy that sits in the digital world throughout our business.” – Jon Carney, CDO EMEA, McCann Worldgroup 

Digital Renovation is similar but resonates more with bringing information into every transaction, piece by piece, department by department.  It can be likened to extending a part of your house. The house already exists, but you need to build more bedrooms to suit your growing family and build a bathroom on the other side of the house to spend less time walking across your bigger house. This is Digital Renovation. Taking a platform that you already own and adding, customising, and building upon to make it suit your current and future needs. We see this in terms of adopting specific solutions and implementing it to fix just one section of challenges that you might be having in certain parts of your business.

Why digital matters

The danger here is that the house might be about to fall over, or it might be just serving its day to day purpose. The fact is what could be fixed now, could prevent future hazards. The cost of not doing a renovation or transformation might cost your business so much more by not doing anything about it.  In fact, business leaders around the world are realising how important this is and over 64% of them are saying that over the next four years, they want their Digital Transformation implementations to be in place or they fear that their businesses might fall completely to the ground.

digital transformation

Not all renovations are good renovations. Sometimes businesses fail to think strategically and see a long-term plan by finding solutions to plug into a few immediate problems, like plugging a leaking pipe. It might work temporarily, but will this serve your house (or organisation) over the next few years?  A bad renovation could be building a garage but not owning a car, kind of like building an app that would be cool to have but has no functional use, providing no real added value to you or to your customer.

Renovations done well add to the value of the house. These are solutions that can integrate into other parts of your business (or house) that make processes more efficient, reduce costs (such as accumulating ludicrous water bills) and will drastically increase your customer satisfaction. Because that is the goal, right? Happier customers consume more services and buy more. This leads directly to increased sales and higher revenue.


How Digital Transformation is different 

Digital Transformation, however, is bulldozing the entire house down. It’s about choosing an entirely new business model and the platforms to support this new intended direction. It’s adopting a start-up way of thinking – testing your clients, creating new products and services and delivering them to the market in new ways.

Technology plays the primary role within Digital Renovation. It’s about choosing the best possible platform that suits your business to efficiently do the things you need done.

One of our clients, a company that has been around for many years in the occupational health & safety industry, chose to ditch their legacy systems (bulldoze the house) and chose technology that suited their specific requirements, starting with one implementation at a time, replacing their financial, operational, sales and now talent processes. This has already saved them millions of Rands, and most of these implementations are only in the first and second phases.


The cost of Digital Transformation

One of the most common questions we get is, “How much does it cost?”. The best part of implementing technology is that it saves organisation’s more money the longer it is implemented. In fact, true transformation could be one investment upfront, with a surmountable self-funding effect afterwards. The foundational project could cut costs so drastically that it will pay for the next phase or implementation, therefore continuously paying for each transformative step of the journey.

How does this work?  Meet the Wedge.  

The wedge resembles how your organisation could easily fund Digital Transformation, a mechanism that bridges the gap between cutting costs and financing further implementation.

Microsoft has the deepest and broadest offering on the market. So much so, that the Gartner Magic Quadrant has recognised Microsoft as a Leader in analytics and business intelligence, PowerBI, low-coding solutions as well as a host of other areas.


Who drives Digital Transformation?

Smart leadership drives Digital Transformation. Who would you rather follow? Someone who refuses to face what digital offers or someone who gathers their team and equips them to stand up to head into the digital wonderland. CIOs and IT leaders play a key role in the process, with some organisations assigning business optimisation experts to focus exclusively on the change. CIOs must align themselves with mobilising executives to meet strategic mandates that are being issued by boards and CEO’s.

It’s not too late if you embark on the digital journey today. Digital doesn’t always have to be disruptive, it’s about rethinking. Whether full Digital Transformation or Digital Renovation suits your organisational requirements better, strategic and mapped change is needed, no matter what industry your organisation falls into.

  • Here is a decision framework to help you get started on your journey: 

    • Hire or assign people who understand your business and are willing to learn and drive the change, not necessarily new, external digital heroes.
    • Understand the needs of your customers first, and then your company.
    • Meet with senior executives from different parts of the business to understand their needs, pricing strategies and distribution channels.
    • Meet with one customer at a time to understand a way for both parties to succeed
    • Design a digital strategy with a traditional and online balance.
    • Meet with one customer at a time to understand a way for both parties to succeed
    • Give training sessions across the company to help executives and employees see how digital initiatives can help them.

 We can help you with any step of this journey, contact us to get started today!