Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Doing digital right

Christopher Vollmer | Nov. 26, 2014
When it comes to going digital, companies often make three big mistakes

whats your digital story
Credit: Wesley Fryer via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

If analysts are right, worldwide technology spending will total US$3.8 trillion this year. A significant chunk of that money will be devoted to re-engineering business processes and customer experiences for the digital world. And unfortunately much of it will be wasted.

When it comes to going digital, companies often make three big mistakes. First, they try to just "become more digital" and start without a real strategy. That's a killer. It's almost impossible to get where you need to be without knowing where that is or having a clear map or plan to guide you. Next, they fail to put the customer or user squarely at the center of what they're doing. That won't work now that everyone has seen what truly customer-centric businesses can deliver. (Think Amazon, Starbucks and Google.) Finally, they are too slow. We're operating in an age of digital disruption, a time when innovators can leverage fast-changing technology and user preferences to upend traditional business models. (Think Apple's new Apple Pay.) In this game, speed absolutely matters.

So if you want to make sure your company's investment in digital actually brings more dollars in the door, start by crafting a clear strategy and iterating against it. Make sure every facet of it has the end goal of making a positive impact, direct or indirect, on your customers. And do it now. In our digitally disruptive world, you need to act with the urgency of a startup, and with the same big ambitions. Your aim can't be to just re-engineer your business and improve on the margins. You want to reimagine how you participate in your category. You want to move beyond where your company is today, to a place where your customers aren't just satisfied but delighted. And you need to accelerate well past incremental growth to achieve real transformation, the game-changing kind that propels your company into a more profitable and sustainable future.

While you're at it, here are three things to keep in mind. They're the three biggest digital trends shaping the future of business, and they should be an integral part of your digital strategy:

Mobile. As they say in the angling game, you want to fish where the fish are. Today your customers are anywhere they want or need to be thanks to mobile technology. Mobile is central to connecting with them not only in the digital world but also in the physical world, since just about everybody now carries a mobile device. In many industries, mobile also is crucial to connecting with your workforce and your external partners. It has to be thought of as your "first screen" -- not an afterthought.


1  2  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.