Keys to unlocking digital potential

How to go digital, by Richard Bligh, Chief Operating Officer, Gamma.

Enterprise digitalisation is about changing or tweaking a business model to ensure that the opportunities of selling via the Internet are fully leveraged, and the more traditional go to market strategies aren’t taken over by new entrants with digital-only strategies. In an increasingly competitive market where competition is hot, telecoms providers must find new ways to increase growth and profitability, and digitisation can help address this.

A recent study (McKinsey - 2015 Telecom IT Diagnostic) found a strong correlation between profit margin and five select areas of IT: Robust customer analytics, digitisation of order management, self-service customer relationship management, a simplified IT application landscape and automation of IT infrastructure management. The study found that telecom providers with digital capabilities in these five areas boast a profit margin of 43 per cent, while those with less digitisation have a profit margin of 21 per cent, on average.

Measurable goals are key to successful digital transformation. If a digital go to market strategy is not implemented correctly, with solid metrics in place for measuring success, it’s easy to lose sight of your goals along the way. A key goal of moving towards a digital strategy is making businesses easier to buy from and ensuring fulfilment of services is streamlined, from the point of order to billing to self-care customer service and support tools.

‘Going digital’ is different for every organisation and presents unique challenges for each in terms of defining the strategy, acquiring the right skills and talent, setting the processes and delivering innovation. The foundation of any digitalisation strategy should be a full and proper understanding of the customer base and how they want to interact with your business. Digitally savvy customers expect more. They want to be self-sufficient, have access to information anywhere at any time, and be able to contact you 24/7 from home, work, or wherever they may be. And they expect compelling, seamless and integrated experiences across all communications channels. Consistency is key. That said, while more and more people are embracing digital, giving customers a choice is vital in not isolating those still in favour of more traditional methods.

Acquiring the right skills and processes to ‘go digital’ is an important building block, particularly for those that are not digital natives. To implement a successful digital strategy, companies should fully embrace the idea of a transformation that extends across all parts of the organisation. This means establishing rapid decision making and escalation processes to match the digital way of working and exploring the use of new standards for contract elements and terms and conditions.

With the impact digitalisation has on business efficiencies, some employees may unsurprisingly feel threatened by the change. It’s important that these concerns are addressed. Much like the need to understand your customers’ needs, listening to and taking on board staff concerns is key to getting their buy-in and not leaving them behind. It’s all good and well having a strategy defined, digital resource in place and processes agreed, but without the buy-in from existing staff, digital success is unlikely.

Business leaders should make sense of enterprise digitalisation by looking at the success of digital-only businesses around them and working out how they can adapt their own model to fit the needs and wants of their market.