Digital transformation isn't about automating things. Source: Shutterstock

Digital transformation isn’t about automating things. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s how to get started with digital optimization

ORGANIZATIONS often feel uncomfortable discussing their digital transformation goals outside the boardroom, especially when their projects don’t involve cutting-edge digital solutions.

However, it’s these businesses that tend to get the most out of their investments, drive the biggest productivity gains, and achieve the highest improvements in employee and customer satisfaction.

Organizations, especially those that seek to go digital on a shoestring budget or those that are incredibly cautious about what they invest in, usually put the customer-first when making their choices. It’s why they win.

Most businesses, whether they’re SMEs or enterprises, irrespective of how old they are, have some sort of technology already supporting its various divisions.

They have a CRM, an ERP, or at least some sort of electronic project management and accounting systems in place.

To climb the digital maturity curve, they don’t need more technology solutions. Instead, they need to smarten-up existing implementations and get disparate systems talking to one another to create actionable intelligence.

Focus on customer-pain points

Shift your focus from digital transformation to thoughtful digital transformation. That way, you’ll be driving an incredible amount of attention to customers and customer pain-points.

This is critical because although customers compare every experience to the best they’ve had across industries, they’re most likely to be wowed by digital projects that just support them intuitively.

Luggage manufacturers, for example, can wow their customers with global support when it comes to repairs.

It’s rare that support will be needed in the location the product was sold — so tying up and digitally integrating with companies in other parts of the world to offer support can really delight customers and show them the company is willing to go the extra mile to help them.

Companies of all sizes focus their digital transformation projects to support their customer’s needs and simplify their lives.

Take AusPost for example, they could spend millions on digital projects but chose to do things that put customers first, which immediately drove improvements — for customers and employees alike.

Help employees become productive

Companies must think of their digital transformation projects as a way to support their staff, not replace them.

If some tasks get automated and staff need to be assigned other tasks, that’s alright — but chasing projects simply to lighten the workforce isn’t a smart idea.

Instead, companies must try to find digital tools and solutions that support their staff and improve their productivity

Doing so not only helps workers free up time to think outside the box and innovate but also forces them to look at the things they do everyday, question if there is a better way to do the same things, or look for insights to improve what the company is doing everyday.

An interesting first step on the digital transformation agenda for most organizations is robotic process automation (RPA). It’s not exactly artificial intelligence (AI) but it certainly hits all the right boxes in a lot of ways.

RPA is one of the best ways to lighten the load for staff and not only see immediate productivity gains but also observe how executives spend their time and channelize their energy.

Ultimately, companies that really want to accelerate their digital transformation journey need to understand that the best way to get the most out of their budgets is to make sure they get find what customers and employees really need and use their investment to deliver on those needs.