Digital technologies are having a pervasive influence on businesses focused on consumer packaged goods, transforming the customer experience, enhancing productivity in operations and improving the way employees collaborate. Yet, many organizations fail to capture the full potential of digital technologies because their leaders lack a transformative vision. Executives with an incremental vision get what they aim for – incremental improvement. Those leaders who realize the transformative power of digital can achieve much more. And better yet – those visionary executives who choose to partner with leading edge service providers and IT consultants, have the ability to transform both the customer experience and the innovation culture within their organizations.
A bottom-up approach does not deliver successful digital transformation. Only the top layer of a company can create a compelling vision of the future and communicate it throughout the organization. Often, the real benefit of transformation comes from seeing potential synergies across silos, and then creating the conditions through which everyone can begin to unlock that value. Senior executives are solely positioned to drive this level of change.
Over the past year, Brillio has committed itself to understanding, both internally and in partnership with a global roster of leading retail and CPG clients, the impact of digital technologies on the reach and the performance of organizations.
We’ve been focused specifically on the “What” and the “How.” The “What” represents digital intensity, a measure of the strength of digital activities of an organization. The “How” represents transformational practices, a measure of an organization’s vision, governance, and skills. Companies that are strong in digital intensity conduct numerous digital initiatives, but only effective transformation management help to identify and deliver digital investments in a powerful and well-coordinated way.
Digital Awareness is not the same as Digital Transformation.
Awareness of the digital trend is not sufficient to drive transformational change. The true question is “how many organizations have encapsulated this trend within a transformative vision for their company?” Digital technologies are gaining increased attention from large-company executives, and US-based enterprises seem to be ahead of the curve, as they appear to be distinguishing themselves from their global peers by translating that awareness into a transformational vision of the future. At Brillio, we look at how our clients, in consumer-facing industries, are integrating digital transformation into their strategic visions.
The following approaches reflect both the priorities of the organization and the nature of competition within the respective industry.
Digitizing Operational Processes: Organizations whose fortunes are closely tied to the performance of their supply chain and core operations often start with this approach. The business drivers of such digital visions are often productivity and efficiency and the need to integrate disparate operations. The intent is to increase visibility and decision-making speed or to collaborate across silos. Centralization and digitization improves productivity and creates deeper, more sustainable organizational capabilities. Digitizing enables companies to focus on driving consumer packaged products through the supply chain to the customer in real time and on a demand-driven basis. They are able to collaborate more effectively and efficiently, inside and outside the company.
Digitizing Customer Experience: Many organizations have chosen to make the customer experience a focal point of their digital transformation. These organizations focus their digital efforts on improving understanding of customer behavior through better use of analytics and digital channels. There are three key drivers for a customer experience-driven digital vision:
Delivering an Integrated Customer Experience: Using digital across multiple channels establishes a better connection with consumers. Organizations that focus on delivering an integrated customer experience tend to focus on multi-channel coherence and a personalized experience for the customer. The customer’s digital experience significantly impacts the way that the consumer accesses a company’s brand, gives feedback and encounters what they believe to be a digitally tailored experience.
Using Technology to Deliver the Digital Experience: Enabling technology to deliver a customer experience-driven vision requires using digital tools to understand and influence customer behavior. The technologies which consumers use in their daily lives, such as smartphones and tablet devices, unquestionably make a real difference in how they go about browsing, shopping and showing allegiance to a particular brand.
Those organizations – more often than not referred to as early adopters of emerging technologies – are embracing digitalization as a means to improve business efficiencies, drive heightened process improvements and most importantly – show market leadership.
Shifting the Business Model
By enabling a shift in business models, beyond automation towards digitalization, calls for a vision focused on operational process simultaneous with the digital customer experience. Companies with this approach embrace digital transformation, even if it represents a fundamental departure from their current mode of operation. Truth be told — the rapid pace of change in technology is forcing major brands to redesign their business models accordingly, using digital technologies to extend their reach.
Making infrastructure more intelligent is often times the mandate spoken by Brillio’s customers within the CPG and Retail sectors. Working in tandem with our horizontal practice offerings – Mobility, Cloud, Analytics – we embark on transforming digital visions into actionable initiatives as a way to prepare our clients for the next long term shift in their industry.
Organizations in all industries are still struggling to understand the long term impact of digital technologies. Moreover, the vision of the changed organization will evolve in concert with the new possibilities created by technical advances and improved capabilities.
Digital vision is the cornerstone of successful digital transformation. Though many executives appear to be aware of its impact on their business, few have incorporated digital into a compelling strategic vision of the future. These visions do not focus simply on implementing new technologies. Instead, they illustrate how organizations can enhance the experience of their customers, streamline their operations or transform their business models.
Digitalization transformation is a journey of innovation.