Help the laggards make their digital transition
Help the laggards make their digital transition, to avoid greater inequalities and insecurity in every market and economy. The people that advice companies in their transformation have a great responsiblity. Growth shifts away and digital agencies, web developers, IT companies must add real value and not ‘trouble’ the unaware business owners.
Help the laggards make their digital transition
Make it through the digital transformation. It is tough to address, but we should all help business owners and their companies make this critical transition. It will be more critical than the invention of writing. It will affect economic progress in the next 20 years.
Digital agencies, IT prime drivers, chambers, associations, web developers and any type of consultant have the critical responsibility to add value, not target business owners’ pocket! This is the only way, to avoid further greater inequalities and economic decline.
The predictions for digital transformation
I recently came across the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation 2018 Predictions. By the end of 2019, spending on digital transformation will reach $1.7 trillion worldwide, up 42% from 2017, according to the report. That’s good, it shows that the issue at hand will be somehow tackled.
However, 59% of companies remain at an early stage, or what IDC calls a “digital impasse.” Now, think, the companies that you work with or serve you, how much have changed their service ways integrating digital access and solutions?
Leaders and laggards
Here’s the issue; while many companies invest time and resources to become digitally capable, there is a widening gap between leaders and laggards, with significant implications for those that cannot make their transition to a digital-native organization. In Europe, the 55% of the total market are small-medium sized companies. You see the criticality?
GDP leaders will pave the way
They will not all make it, but the below tweet shows which countries are ready to lead, growing more, meaning that they have more resources and being able to deploy digital transformation infrastructure, education, and customer/citizen solutions:
GDP growth, 2017.
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) November 14, 2017
From 2013 we don’t see much evolution
The digital economy is moving faster in countries that help their citizens reach their full potential. Why is this important? Because the country level creates the context, stimuli, and environment that can benefit the economy (learning, cooperation, new ways, best cases, clusters of creating patents to re-use). You can read from HBR an older article which shows limited progress, proven by the below image from Fletcher School, at Tuft University:
- Stand Out countries have shown high levels of digital development in the past and continue to remain on an upward trajectory.
- Stall Out countries have achieved a high level of evolution in the past but are losing momentum and risk falling behind.
- Break Out countries have the potential to develop strong digital economies. Though their overall score is still low, they are moving upward and are poised to become Stand Out countries in the future.
- Watch Out countries with opportunities and challenges, with low scores on both current level and upward motion. Some may be able to overcome limitations with clever innovations, while others seem to be stuck.
Stimuli to discuss and share
How do you take on digital and energy transformation? Climate change is forcing the energy industry to make dramatic changes. ENGIE, an international purveyor of power, natural gas, and energy services, is leading the transition to a more sustainable, de-carbonized world.
CEO Isabelle Kocher has called climate change “a fundamental and general invitation to every one of us… to invent something completely different.” She believes energy and digital are “inextricably linked,” and because of that connection, ENGIE is developing renewable energy solutions and taking advantage of IoT to help customers streamline and optimize energy consumption. Not only can the latest technology help you boost revenue and revolutionize your products, but it may be able to help you build a better, more sustainable world.
A very practical example is the company Living Proof. The company is in the hair-care market. It went from managing its business with individual excel spreadsheets to digitizing everything including finance, human resources, supply chain, and production coordination. Not only did this move make it easier to run the business, but it also maximized the level of growth the company achieved.
Living Proof has increased its product portfolio by 230% and increased revenue by 330%. With that kind of growth and cost efficiency, you would think the company would have to augment its workforce significantly. However, because its processes are so simple and insightful, Living Proof hired 30 additional people.
How can you better understand your Customers? Transforming an established enterprise into a fast-moving, agile organization isn’t always easy. But Experian, the largest consumer credit reporting agency in the world, is successfully doing just that. Today, it helps business customers prevent fraud, offer on-the-spot credit to consumers and make data-driven marketing decisions.
“Experian, to a large extent, really is a technology company. Gone are the days where our responsibility was to keep the lights on and keep financial systems operating,” CIO Barry Libenson recently shared. Experian has successfully navigated its transformation by morphing into a strategic partner to the businesses.
You should help your organization’s leaders understand how customers want to access information, and decide what type of products should be built based on that understanding.
20th Century Fox, Fox movies, leads an industry going through another dramatic evolution. The distribution of major theatrical releases can involve a team of hundreds of business partners and today entertainment companies rely on digital technologies for not only this distribution but content creation as well.
Fox’s Media Cloud has been critical to its digital transformation. In an industry that continually reinvents itself, Fox is using cloud technologies such as Box, Salesforce, and Okta to collaborate with partners to create and distribute award-winning movies at no-time and reach its global network. You should be able to rapidly stand up infrastructure that enables collaboration across different business units and partners.
Now, that’s a great learning for all newly created websites integrating video, audio, and new forms of content.
(source: company’s site)
The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing
Which companies are behind?
If we exclude big multinational and chains with international presence (they have a network to deploy same cloud-IT and digital solutions in every store they have), the categories that face the greatest challenge are:
- Export companies to integrate digital (web-app) and location reach solutions; get an ERP solution on board; integrate sales-logistics-delivery automation and prediction analytics
- Insurance companies to both serve the info-sales functions and the customer service through web-app-call; receipts-payments-alerts; introduce bots and messenger service to facilitate speed and customer payments
- Small retailers to use app sales and loyalty systems; analyze their customer on social media channels; use own media to promote and reach communities’ engagement
- Any importer to connect their business volume-clientele-orders-service with automation; include IT solutions to minimize cost and speed organization efficiencies
- Any new (startup) creator to use web / social / app / and native cooperations to create communities and lead to sales
- Telecoms to automate all purchase and service in one 360o system; introduce comparison service selection; connect voice-sms-video-TV on-the-go in every device (with security); use messenger and apps to serve
- Energy sector to create digital customer system from A to Z integrating IoT and Big Data for better customer service, retention, technical issues
- Municipalities to create full citizen access for all their services; accept civil society remarks on technical and infrastructure issues; enroll and serve citizens; create IoT-ready and smart-grid networks in the city to facilitate better standards of living and entrepreneurship.
Let aside the coming of VR, more video and audio content integrated into the customer experience realms…
How can we support business owners do their transition?
From a mere SEO-expert up to a full-ICT company we are burdened with great responsibility not to ‘fool’ and ‘trouble’ the business owners. We should help them, building a long-term relationship, with a low-entry service offering and giving HUGE value to them.
- Audit their operations in an advisory mode
- Sketch the new changes in their operations, customer, experience, delivery
- Advise them on multiple options of benefit-cost-time as a real project manager
- Write content with them, do changes on their screens so they learn, give them scripts on every customer touchpoint
- Deploy and implement (hands-on) whatever they need
Borrow my Brain
This is why I’ve lowered my cost expectations to the customers I work with, and increased their value-add. I’ve made my mission to help them do it, with the Borrow my Brain sessions, step-by-step, with a worldview that doesn’t aim for a website or a google-related discussion. It’s not the time to get a profit, but to lead the entire economy to a prosperous future.
We should all strive for a decent income, but make it our priority to boost the remains of a post-recession economy; otherwise, there’s going to be a fault and a decline for all of us. Our growth is through their growth.
What does the future hold?
- The next billion consumers to come online will be making their digital decisions on a mobile device
- Mobile and VR will further disrupt the foundations of the current e-commerce industry
- Even if Europe slows, a European company can grow by targeting the fast-growing markets in the emerging world
- Giants of the digital world, such as Alibaba, with their newfound resources and brand, will look for markets elsewhere
- The Amazons and Googles of the innovation world will seek growth in new markets and new product areas
- Innovation leaders will bring huge change solutions in lower-and-lower entry costs
- The digital illiteracy will put companies out of growth or out of their industry
Businesses will have to innovate by customizing their approaches to this multi-speed planet, and in working around institutional and infrastructural constraints.
It’s obvious that the digital transition (or transformation) is a journey, but we’re all traveling at different speeds. We should fix that!
This post is also available in: Greek