The way customers interact with businesses has dramatically changed, customers are engaging far less with your people and increasingly more directly with your technology. Banking is the perfect illustration of this. What was once a branch-centric business where customers would interact face-to-face with tellers, has now transformed into a predominantly digital business where customers prefer to interact with online banking apps. Today, ask anyone in banking which is their busiest branch and they will say it’s online.
This is not an industry-specific trend; it is a mega-trend that spans both the consumer and B2B sectors and one that cannot be ignored as it presents both an opportunity and a threat to every business.
The Digital Opportunity and Challenges
When we think digital, we usually think of market disrupters like Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb as the drivers of the digital trend, but it goes way beyond these consumer brands. Digitalization is now everywhere: we socialize online, we shop online, we plan our holidays online, we consume news online and even a third of all marriages today originate online with a swipe right.
For your customer’s digitalization provides convenience, speed, and choice, while at the same time it provides your business with an opportunity to increase productivity, reduce cost and enable agility. It is this perfect cohesion between supply and demand benefits that makes digitalization not only a necessity to survive in a digital age, but an attractive opportunity to thrive.
However, maximizing these benefits requires organizations to overcome the key challenges that are inherent with digitalization:
Agility – As lines of business are required to rapidly innovate and bring new products & services to market, how do you create an agile environment that can respond quickly to changing customer preferences and can keep pace with a relentless rate of change?
Security – How do I provide a comprehensive security model given my Applications now extend outside of the organization? As you collect more personal information from customers digitally, how do you ensure you protect this data and maintain trust with these customers?
Experience – how do you ensure that you deliver the best possible experience to your customers at all times and capture customer’s feedback to continually drive improvement?
According to IDC, 89% of organizations have the intention of becoming digital and although 37% have already started integrating and executing a Digital First approach, only 7% believe they have truly become an enterprise-wide digital business.
What Does Becoming Digital Mean?
There is much hype about digitalization and even more discussion about what it is and how organizations embrace it. At HighPoint we view digitalization from three perspectives:
(i) Digital on the Outside
This is where digital is obvious to see. It’s how you engage with your customers, driving new and innovative ways to deliver services through digital channels. It’s Click-and-Collect, Customer Apps, Support Portals, Chat-Bots, and Automated Services. It’s about differentiating through service delivery that is responsive, personalized, and effective.
(ii) Digital on the Inside
This is where organizations integrate Applications and data to automate business processes, streamline information flow across the organization, and leverage data to gain valuable business insight. Here processes can digitally traverse systems removing duplication, automating manual tasks, and driving efficiencies. It’s also about utilizing the wealth of digital information to analyze trends, performance and make better-informed business decisions.
(iii) Digital First
Digital First or Digital Transformation is what underpins both of the above. It’s about creating an environment that accelerates digital innovation and supports agile development. It’s providing an infrastructure that is dynamic, resilient, and can digitally connect every part of the business, and it’s about providing the tools, analytics, and automation that enable you to transform how you manage and operate your digital environment.
So Where Do You Start?
Digital Transformation is not an application you can simply buy and plugin. It’s not a token digital gesture like a customer app. It’s a program that takes you on a journey to becoming digital on the inside, digital on the outside, and ultimately becoming an Agile Enterprise.
At HighPoint, we see this transformation journey to becoming an Agile Enterprise as a number of distinct executive-sponsored programs of change that touch every part of your organization. From defining how technology underpins your business strategy via a Digital Business Architecture to the necessary organizational change required to keep up with the demanding rate of change and innovation to keep and attract new customers, HighPoint has the experience to support executive-level stakeholders through a roadmap of incremental change towards the ultimate destination through our service engagements:
(i) Application Assurance
The first step is to ensure that your critical business applications are accurately identified and understood. Are they meeting the performance, security, and agility requirements of the business and more importantly your customers? Technology has advanced significantly in the area of sophisticated analytics, cognitive machine learning and the automation of environment provisioning and management Application Assurance provides you the in-depth insight that enables intelligent workload placement and optimization to business-critical applications to ensure that these consistently perform in the best way possible.
(ii) Secure Software-Defined Infrastructure
The creation of your Digital Business Architecture enables the provision of a hybrid scalable infrastructure with integrated security through an architectural approach, leveraging automation and policy-based orchestration & provisioning that reacts to the changing business demands. With an open extensible platform for your developer ecosystem using secure containers and microservices you can place control in the hands of the business through self-service
(iii) Next Generation Operations
The Services Automation platform provided by High Point delivers a tightly integrated suite of service enablement applications that support organizations in meeting the challenges of managing converged infrastructure environments. Leveraging real-time network, sensor, application, and consumer analytics for the identification of new opportunities and threats to dramatically improve systems availability, productivity, and efficiencies in IT management.
How do you start?
Make no mistake about it, the world is going digital fast and the phenomenon of digitalization is reaching an inflection point.
Every company in every industry will be dramatically affected, and it is the responsibility of CEOs to lead the charge by building the right capabilities for their companies to remain relevant in the digitized environment, achieve growth, and fend off competitive threats. For some CTOs, it’s their first time embarking on a digital transformation, meaning they are in unchartered waters and the same is likely to be true of their team.
The journey to digitalization is complex and wide-ranging. Having an experienced partner by your side is key. Working alongside your executive stakeholders, the transformation service engagement offerings from HighPoint are designed to help you navigate and accelerate your transition to the Agile Enterprise.
If you would like to explore more about the topic of this blog, please contact the HighPoint Team.
Written by Neil Dearman, Head of Technology, HighPoint