The FAST Digital Path to Value Creation

Categories: Digital Strategy

by Thomas Clarke

1995, 2007, and 2009 were milestone years in the evolution of digital transformation. Amazon was founded in 1995, Apple released iTunes and the iPhone in 2007, and in 2009 Uber was founded. In each case digital capability launched an innovative new business model that rocked the foundations of long-established industries. Each milestone also reshaped the quality of experience customers expect — or demand — from any company. All of these events have changed the way customers and workers expect to interact both in their personal and work lives.

As we close in on the 25th anniversary of the founding of Amazon, digital transformation has become the hot topic in almost every industry. It’s a topic that is driving board room decisions that will impact the survival and growth of many companies.

Digital transformation presents so many opportunities to improve the customer experience, better enable your workforce, and optimize your operations. But digital transformation also presents a fundamental challenge: How do you tackle this huge, organization-wide transformation while simultaneously creating value as quickly as possible?

Leveraging Your Way to Success with Digital Transformation

The value creation process is comprised of two main levers: increasing revenue and reducing costs.  Each can be achieved through multiple drivers.

Increased Revenue can be derived from:

  • Knowing your customer better and anticipating what they might need or want before they even think of it
  • Insuring that shelves remain stocked with the items customers most want and need, constantly balancing the maintenance of an always-sufficient supply without ever overstocking
  • Devising and presenting offers to guests in hotels, on cruise ships, or in theme parks that they would enjoy but hadn’t previously planned upon — or even considered
  • Taking market share from your competitors because your service is extraordinary
  • Creating unique new business models that totally disrupt markets

Cost Reductions can be obtained by:

  • Optimizing operations by reducing the time and/or the number of workers required to complete a task
  • Achieving risk reduction by understanding the changing conditions within a portfolio
  • Working to better utilize assets

Pie in the Sky?

In any organization, the possibilities presented by digital transformation are plentiful. But as exciting as those possibilities may be, most executives are skeptical. They often have a ‘been there, done that’ mindset. They’ve seen most transformation programs fail to deliver upon the promise of the initial hype. They’ve seen multimillion-dollar investments drag on for years with no real impact on the bottom line — or, at least, no positive impact.  And, indeed, digital transformation will be no different if companies approach it the same way as past transformation efforts.

It is easy for organizations to play hot potato with the issue, tossing it over the fence for the CIO’s team in IT to figure out. But the reality is that digital transformation isn’t an IT program, it’s a business program. The companies realizing the most significant benefits from digital transformation are those that have adopted Agile Principles – creating cross-disciplinary teams and focusing on quick project segments, each segment offering its own impact while meshing smoothly into an overall long-term plan.

The Secret to Success Is Speed

The key word to success with digital transformation is FAST – executives want fast impact. And the reality is that every market segment is changing so quickly the term ‘change or die’ has real meaning. 

FAST is realized by creating an Agile blueprint that identifies where you need to go (in as much detail as your organizational DNA requires) in the form of a digital roadmap. This roadmap will form the basis of your journey. Creating this roadmap requires the availability and participation of all relevant stakeholders.

This process shouldn’t require a 6-month or 1-year study — that snail’s pace approach simply doesn’t feed the need for speed. Instead, the roadmapping process can be completed in just a few weeks to a quarter. Within this brief timeframe key opportunities should be identified, an architecture developed, and initiatives prioritized. Once the roadmap is complete and approved, you can roll right into rapid release of the initiatives identified in the roadmap.

In a recent case, an RCG team worked with a financial institution on a 6-week road map, with executives quickly reacting to the opportunities and initiatives. We rolled right into the first project from the roadmapping phrase, creating the organization’s first 360° view of their customers. The overarching goal was to radically transform the customer experience and better enable the workforce to upsell/cross-sell in a way that both customer and organization benefit.

Playing Catch-Up with Your Customers

Consumers and workers have more quickly embraced the digital world than most business organizations. Catching up quickly is a business imperative. Working with a partner like RCG Global Services can help you go from laggard to leader by devising your digital transformation strategy and bringing it to life

It’s a partnership that offers you a very FAST onramp to the digital path to value.

Why are RCG’s customers so consistently successful in their digital transformation journey? Download and read this white paper to learn our secrets for digital transformation success.

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