In today’s world, digital is a fundamental capability required by any business. It can unleash tremendous benefits across the whole organisation by creating a new mindset, a new culture and a new way of working. This makes a business more effective and drives competitive advantage through use of digital to strengthen the business strategy, leveraging ecosystem of customers/partners to bring new innovative products to market, delivering great customer experience and maximising efficiency of operations.
Let’s look at some examples to understand how digital can be used effectively in various areas of a business:
Business Strategy: Build a robust strategy and accelerate its implementation
Creating an ecosystem which fosters extensive collaboration with partners and customers, as well as effective use of analytics (both external and internal), can be hugely beneficial to the creation and implementation of an effective business strategy.
For example, Cisco realised that the way its customers were buying and consuming its products and services was changing. In alignment with wider trends, customers wanted a consumption-based model where they pay for what they use. In alignment with that evolution in customer demand, Cisco announced in early 2021 a formal strategy to deliver majority of its portfolio “as a service” over time.
Cisco has already launched Cisco Plus and is seeing great traction in the market from both the customers as well as partners. This offering allows partners to combine Cisco services with their own to deliver exactly what customers want. This is a great example of a business which listened to market changes and aligned its strategy to meet demand using digital technologies like Cloud, APIs etc.
Products/Services: Bring innovative products to market quickly
Effective use of digital technologies can help product research and development become more efficient and productive through:
Market insight: Effective use of analytics for market and customer insights on market demand.
Product insight: Real-time monitoring through the use of sensors and probes can help provide insight as to how products are being used, what is or is not working well and also help in preventing failures before they happen, thereby providing inputs into product improvements.
Ecosystem: Collaborating with customers/partners for rapid prototyping and creation of new innovative products and revenue streams.
One great example of such innovative product/business model is Threadless, where customers play a critical role across idea generation, marketing, and sales forecasting. Threadless has created a system in which customers submit new design proposals, the brand’s consumer base votes on these and only the most in-demand designs are then produced. This innovative approach ensures that customers function as a critical part in the product design process, which leads to great sales success as only products with a known demand are manufactured.
Customer Experience: Deliver exceptional customer experience
Delivery of personalised customer experience, across all channels, has become the most important differentiator. Capabilities like digital channels and AI can really help with delivery of a differentiated customer experience for any business.
One such example is Upstart, which underwrites personal loans using alternative data and AI. They allow customers with poor credit scores a better chance to get lower rates and a seamless experience of borrowing money, through the use of technology. Upstart has achieved 75% fewer defaults and 173% more approvals for the same loss rate as compared to larger banks.
Operations: Run business efficiently and improve on a continuous basis
In operations, use of digital can enable highly automated processes. Monzo, a challenger bank in the UK, was able to reduce in-app support requests by 50% in 10 months by analysing the most frequently recurring problems and resolving these through automation or self-service. Experis has helped its clients automate operations to increase efficiency and reduce costs through its virtual worker proposition.
Operations can be made even more efficient with the use of analytics to monitor, analyse and proactively manage operational performance. Besides driving efficiency, digital technologies, frameworks and methods enable flexibility and adaptability so that a business can respond quickly to any market changes.
Organisation & culture: Build an organisation and culture that’s ready for the future
A digital-first organisation typically encourages its employees to take risks, make small bets and fail/succeed quickly. The organisational structure of such businesses is often fluid and is equipped to quickly re-align towards change objectives or initiatives so that the best skills can be brought together to help the business succeed. Such organisations can predict their talent requirements and can quickly close any talent gaps through upskilling or hiring. Through its Academy offering, Experis is helping many of its clients solve pressing workforce challenges by providing access to in-demand talent today, whilst helping to build a pipeline for the future.
Technology: Enables businesses to be agile, scalable & efficient
Technology plays an important role in enabling businesses to be agile and efficient. Use of APIs ensures a quick and standard method for integration with partners and third parties and enables the possibility of adding new revenue streams through the monetisation of data or services. Cloud based infrastructure allows easy scaling of infrastructure. Similarly, use of test & learn methods and agile delivery ensures that innovative products/services can be built and launched quickly, enabling quicker realisation of business benefits.
To summarise, an effective digital strategy enables a business to be more agile and adaptable to changes in customer demand and market conditions. An effective Digital Strategy combines technology with new ways of working, data driven decisions and enhanced collaboration with partners/customers while driving improvements on a continuous basis.
Experis has helped many clients through their digital transformation journey using its combination of IT consulting, professional resourcing, project services and Academy offerings. To find out more about how Experis can help, click here.