5 Digital Transformation Myths

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5 Digital Transformation Myths

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by Lauren Cahn

Digital transformation, roughly defined as leveraging technology to revolutionize your business, is underway everywhere, with as many as 98% of enterprises already engaging in digital transformation initiatives. It’s the wave of the future, and increasingly, it’s perceived as a “join or die” proposition.

Unfortunately, many businesses have already wasted significant money and resources on digital transformation initiatives that have failed as a result of poor planning. In fact, fewer than one-third have succeeded, according to McKinsey & Company, with the trend veering further downward. why? Check out the myths of digital transformation:

Myth: that digital transformation is just for tech companies

Digital transformation benefits all businesses, not just those engaged in buying and selling tech products and services. Whatever your business, your customers want instant results and real-time information. They want global consistency, 24/7 connectivity and availability, and personalized treatment matched with a 0% rate of error. If you’re not providing that level of service, someone else will. And if that someone else doesn’t exist today, you should probably expect them to sprout up and swoop in anytime now, fully prepared to deliver precisely what your customers want.

Myth: that digital transformation is focused solely on customer experience

Customer experience is a key driver of digital transformation. But so is employee experience, and the two are inextricably intertwined—with employee experience being acknowledged as, itself, a key driver, in building customer experience. Yet data and organizational silos interfere with employee satisfaction, creating miscommunications, inconsistencies, and delays. Digital transformation can break down those silos, making data accessible across businesses, enabling task automation and process transparency, with the end result being employees who are better able to deliver customer satisfaction.

Myth: that digital transformation is something you can “buy”

Ah, if only we could sell you a solution called digital transformation! The reality, however, is digital transformation is not a “thing you can buy and plug into an organization,” as the Harvard Business Review puts it. It’s not just technology. It’s not just infrastructure. It’s not just any one thing at all. Rather, digital transformation is a full-on, enterprise-wide, fully-synergized master plan to leverage technology to revolutionize the way you do business.

Myth: that digital transformation can be achieved on a project basis

One digitalization project does not a digital transformation make. While digital transformation will typically involve a series of digitalization projects, those projects must be part of an overarching enterprise-wide strategy that includes:

  • Securing management and stakeholder buy-in
  • Preparing the CEO for what lays ahead
  • Changes to organization (for example, appointing a team to enable digital transformation)
  • Setting clear metrics, or KPIs (key performance indicators), to quantify success
  • Securing necessary capital investment
  • Selecting lighthouse projects that promise to build momentum and commitment

Myth: that digital transformation looks the same across industries

Every industry has its own set of unique challenges to digital transformation. For example, it’s thought the insurance industry has been slower to harness the power of digital technology because of a lack of competition for customers (customers tend to stay put with their insurers). Yet the future of insurance is digital, as McKinsey notes, and even if insurance company customers haven’t yet been clamoring for digital transformation, employee satisfaction demands it. And insurance companies that recognize this are placing themselves ahead of the pack.

We saw this in action with a life insurance company we work with at Exela, which keenly observed its employees were frustrated because workplace restrictions meant they had no place to store their belonging. Our solution was simple: Exela’s Intelligent Lockers, which provided a convenient, intuitive, and secure storage option, significantly impacted employee retention while providing the gentle path-clearing toward digital transformation that an insurance company needed.

By contrast, we have the retail industry, which has been adopting digital transformation at breakneck pace. For retail (and other) clients chomping at the bit, Exela offers its cutting edge innovations and more comprehensive integration.  For example, an industry-leading shipping company we work with at Exela had been grappling with a disturbing level of customer attrition due to gaps in intra-enterprise communication. Exela jumped in automate and provide automation tools that enabled superior analytics, mobile technology, and in-site support that cut the company’s processing times in half, among other untold benefits.

The bottom line is Exela is in a unique position to leverage our broad industry to understand and anticipate the unique challenges to digital transformation that exist in virtually every industry. We’ve got the solutions, including both systems and support, to set your company on the road to a successful digital transformation.

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