It’s the buzzword of the moment, but what does ‘digital transformation’ mean for your business?
At Digital People, digital transformation is a subject close to our hearts. As digital practitioners for almost two decades before becoming recruiters, we have first-hand experience of developing and executing digital transformation strategy for leading international blue chips, SMEs and start-ups.
For some, ‘transformation’ may be relatively simple – such as establishing a digital presence and getting the digital foundations in place. For others, it could mean re-platforming to provide greater levels of functionality for customers, or playing catch-up with new and disruptive market entrants, and the need to react rapidly to changing customer demands in order to protect market share.
For mature businesses reliant on traditional marketing channels such as direct mail, or used to selling through catalogues with hundreds of thousands of SKU’s in multiple languages, transformation can represent a wholesale change in the way a business takes its product or service to market. This can necessitate the need to re-train or re-role internal teams with a ‘digital first’ focus and, in doing so, divesting or reducing reliance on expensive, less effective or less measurable media in favour of highly trackable digital channels that can accurately measure return on investment.
Ultimately, whatever the size of business and wherever it sits on the transformation scale, its about building a business growth strategy that will enable you to capitalise on, and take advantage of new opportunities created by emerging technologies or channels, to increase agility and efficiency, and to meet changing customer demands and expectations. The key questions to ask when forming your strategy are, is the product or service you sell changing? Is the way you sell your product or service changing? Or is it your business and its processes that needs to change?
Whichever way, there is no magic bullet when it comes to transformation, but those that fail to react to market conditions and refuse to embrace change, risk certain demise. Examples of successful businesses that no longer exist after their failure to transform include the much cited Blockbuster. I know everyone uses that example these days, I offer a real-world example of my own… I actually remember a senior stakeholder in a meeting about 12 years ago asking; “why do we need to spend all this money driving visitors from Google, when we already have a big yellow book?”.