Five Steps for a successful Digital Transformation
Customer expectations have outpaced traditional companies’ ability to meet them. While consumers passionately embraced mobile phones and social media, companies continued to do business as usual. Consequently they have lost touch with their clients, and no longer understand what customers expect from them. This discrepancy has enabled new entrants to step in with new business models based on mobile, social media, IoT and cloud computing. Sometimes new entrants will offer a similar product at cost-price in order to sell something else, making it hard to compete.
To avoid falling further behind, businesses must quickly transform themselves to align their value proposition with their customer expectations. Instead of simply transacting a sale, a business must establish a customer relationship. Customers expect vendors to add value even after the purchase is made – and to do so in an online, digital way.
This Digital Transformation is not about replacing an analogue product with a digital version, as happened to the imaging, printing, and music industries. Instead, it’s about digitizing the value chain in order to develop, produce, distribute, sell, consume or service products. During this entire product lifecycle, data is generated that can be used to enhance the customer experience, shorten the time-to-market, or increase efficiency. This creates a competitive advantage that can make the difference between being disrupted and being the disruptor.
Follow these 5 steps for a successful Digital Transformation:
Step 1: Improve the Customer Experience (CX). Your first step should be to think about your customer. What is her current experience? How does it compare to the experience she gets from my competitors? What are my strengths and weaknesses? And then: how can I use technology such as cloud, mobile, and social to enhance that experience? How can I optimize my products so that they become part of the digital experience? The more seamless the online and real-life experience are integrated, the more your customer will enjoy them.
Step 2: Move to the cloud. Collecting, analyzing and sharing data are key activities of the Digital Transformation. Sensors in cars, toothbrushes, elevators are constantly generating data that must be accessible from different locations and by different applications. This is only possible if the data is stored in a cloud. Moving data and applications to the cloud is therefore a requirement for a successful transformation.
Step 3: Make it Mobile. The smartphone is a powerful tool for interacting with your customers. Always at their side, and always on, it can help you collect vital customer information. Moreover, customers expect you to communicate with them via their mobile device. Developing an app allows your customers to access your service anytime, anywhere, and to enjoy the same experience as they would when visiting you in person. And with the customer data you can customize their experience, making it more personal and meaningful.
Step 4: Use Social Media. Studies show that the average person spends three hours a day on their smartphone, and that a significant amount of that time is dedicated to social media. This makes social media the most obvious and effective channel for reaching your customer. But although buying ad-space on Facebook or Twitter is simple and straightforward, it is not necessarily the most effective way to develop a customer relationship. Instead, try to engage your audience by sharing interesting content that can be shared and will create interaction.
Step 5: Build an eco-system. Allowing third parties to contribute to your product is a great way to increase its value. Allowing developers to use your (digital) platform to develop their own applications based on your product can significantly increase the value of your product, to the point where customers actually want to buy from you simply to get access to the third-party applications. The iPhone would be significantly less attractive without access to millions of third-party apps. Once the ecosystem is in place and active, it will be difficult for competitors to replicate, giving you a competitive advantage.
The foundation for such a transformation is a network that connects everything and everyone. Connectivity is the cornerstone that allows you to transform your business and make a giant leap forward. As a leading global information and communications technology solutions provider, Huawei offers the products and services you need to build a fast, reliable and secure ICT infrastructure. Our services help you to through your Digital Transformation project from design through implementation, and from operation through optimization of your ICT infrastructure. With more than 25 years of experience, over 1000 experts, and 1600 partners worldwide, we can help you achieve your Business Outcomes in the short and long term. To learn more about Huawei Service, please visit us during Huawei Connect; go to http://e.huawei.com/en/services; or contact your local Huawei Service representatives or Certified Service Partner.