Digital transformation is a phrase which is becoming more popular amongst people in the information technologies space. Will digital transformation programs run by organisations help them achieve competitive advantage in the industry? The answer is yes, if we run these programs with business objectives as the main goal and not get distracted with the various technology  spins that goes around it.  The following questions would be, why invest now? Should cash be conserved? Companies will lose out in terms of revenue and operation excellence when things return to a form of normalcy after the pandemic. Some companies need to step up in the digital ladder in an attempt to survive this crisis.  We need to still choose projects that have the potential to deliver more revenue and reduce costs while retaining the competitive advantage. Digital Innovation is the key to come out of this pandemic successful and also retain competitive advantage.

Digital strategy and transformation must be a top priority of the senior leadership teams in  organisations. How do we revive business using digital technology? How can we deliver operational excellence by enhancing the customer journey? What do our customers want? How do we bring customers back without compromising their safety? How can employees deliver excellent customer service?

Using BCG’s(Boston Consulting Group) five digital imperatives, We need a call for action:

Prototype your strategy:

Leading companies test and refine, or prototype, products and strategies in close cooperation with customers using Agile Methodologies.   This provides the advantage of learning by doing, rapidly and frequently delivering working products inspired by real consumer needs, developing innovative delivery methods and value propositions, and adapting to changing requirements has delivered competitiveadvantage to companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple. Thishas helped sustain these organisations through the most difficult phase of their growth.

Disrupt your business (before others do):

Examples such as Uber in the taxi business, Apple in the watch andmobile phone industry,  have disrupted the market  and gained significant market share from their competitors. There is more opportunity to disrupt the market than ever before.

Create value from data:

BCG research shows that “leaders in the use of big data generate 12 percent higher revenues than companies that don’t experiment with big data. They are three times more likely than weak innovators to mine big data for new-project ideas and to actively target innovation toward digital design, mobile products and capabilities, speed of adopting new technologies, and big-data analytics”. By understanding your internal and external data, Digital transformation offers companies the chance to create sustainable competitive advantage by generating more revenue, delivering operational excellence and enhancing customer journeys.

Digitise your core business:

As the pandemic has restricted movement of the customers, suppliers, distributors alike, Digitisation of the core business is no longer an option for many companies. End-to-End digitization starting from product creation, distribution, delivery of the products and services to the customers, post customer service requires to be digitized. This isn’t just about rolling out new IT projects. This is about delivering agility, leanness and lowering costs to drive value for your customers. Companies must think of the entire eco-system and  how digital efforts can produce a step change in revenue and operational excellence.

Position your business in the broader ecosystem: Look beyond your organisation. How do we collaborate with external ecosystem?  Look for partnerships to add capabilities that do not exist today. Initially, Amazon used third party logistics companies for order fulfillment. They learnt and created their own logistics to create next-day delivery and continue to dominate the market. They have taken it one step further to same day delivery. They have enhanced the customer journey and therefore delivered operational excellence.

Run digital transformation programs to survive and to gain competitive advantage otherwise face extinction.

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