How can businesses adapt to a digital DNA? | Daily News

How can businesses adapt to a digital DNA?

Digital has permeated everywhere – government agencies, large multinationals, small entrepreneurial ventures, consumers, students, farmers. What enables us to reach a larger audience, interact with that audience in ways we couldn’t earlier, understand our stakeholders better, access information and insights that help us lead our lives better and produce better results at work, improve customer service, fuel innovation? It’s the digital revolution. The possibilities are immense and the low barrier to entry has made it easy for anybody to 'go digital'.

There are new examples of corporations and governments 'going digital' every now and then. What differentiates a true digital enterprise is that it takes a strategic and not a piecemeal approach to digitalization. It cannot be about implementing digital technologies as an extension of an existing process without transforming the process end-to-end.

For instance, a company may have adopted cloud technologies to break down siloes in the supply chain and provide its executives better visibility into inventory and track shipments.

But without integrating data analytics of actual buying patterns into forecasting, the company will not be able to predict demand accurately.

A company may have an active Twitterhandle to take customer queries or complaints. But has it empowered its customer service teams to take quick decisions and avert potential crises?

Without the right strategy and the right culture, adoption of digital technologies will stay half-baked, and hence either be of limited value or a complete waste of effort.

A robust digital transformation strategy

An organization’s move towards digitalization must be rooted in a Digital Transformation (DX) strategy that allows it to re-imagine its business and be better prepared for change.

A pro-active DX strategy rather than reactive change helps businesses acquire digital maturity – choosing the right technologies for its unique needs, changing its business models to today’s market needs and building a talent pool with the right skills.

A firm DX strategy to guide the digitization efforts, one that is driven by the top management and a culture that accepts change is the hallmark of a digital leader. With better visibility of market trends and the ability adapt to changes faster, these companies are better prepared for market disruptions.

Even the most successful businesses are at a risk of losing their relevance in the absence of a DX program. In 2016, 29 companies fell off the Fortune 500 list due to market volatilities.

A DX program can be a security blanket around a company as it battles uncertainties.

The new technology enablers

Artificial intelligence and robotics are the latest technologies being adopted by digital enterprises. The success of a digital enterprise also relies on optimal adoption and utilization of these technologies. These technologies allow businesses to significantly speed up service delivery, improve efficiency, reduce costs and enhance customer service.

There are a lot of misconceptions around these technologies that we can address only by demonstrating the benefits they provide corporations, customers and nations. Take the example of a bank’s credit approval process. By deploying robotics to process loan or credit card applications, the bank can not only hasten the process but also make it error-free and hence risk-free. The end result is higher customer satisfaction, better control over the bank’s revenue and lower incidence of bad debts in the economy.

We use artificial intelligence and robotics to automate processes that are repetitive, error-prone and rule-based. The outcome of these low-skill jobs improve dramatically when they are done by machines. However, since these technologies are impacting jobs, we need to create conversations around them and help clear misunderstandings.

Upskilling and training is imperative

Digital transformation will be effective only if you have the right talent to complement these latest technologies. ‘Learnability’ is a critical success driver in an enterprise today. They can achieve it only by creating a culture of learning in which employees are encouraged and rewarded for acquiring new skills.

Organizations recognize industry domain knowledge and data analytics as critical areas for talent development. The business process management (BPM) industry is headed vertical-specific, which means companies prefer BPM partners who offer industry-specific services rather than services that are common to all.

With the demand for data analytics increasing multifold, the need of the hour is specialized MBA programs that would address the burgeoning demand.

Each industry must identify skills that are going to be in demand and step up their skilling programs to match it.

Formulating a strong DX strategy that allows a company to transform its business, implement the right technologies and build the right talent is a herculean task. Rather than going solo, companies must join hands with a strategic partner for better results. 


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