To realize we now live in a digital world doesn’t take much. And as companies are looking to digitally transform—in what seems to be overnight— many struggle on where to start or understand which digital initiatives will drive revenue and ultimately increase their bottom line.
According to our survey of over 400 business leaders, the results were clear: The more digitally mature your organization is, the higher your revenue growth and profit margins will be—regardless of industry. While digitally mature organizations are better at just about everything (that’s why they’re digitally mature), they had to begin somewhere. Only by understanding (and accepting) where you are on your digital journey, can you prioritize where you want to go. Based on our research, there are certain activities that will propel your organization faster than others. Start small, and consider these initiatives that can move the needle regardless of where you land on the digital maturity spectrum.
For the Digitally Immature
Get your organization ready for a digital vision
Start with the end in mind and have a clear understanding of where you’re trying to go. Digital touches all parts of your organization, align on what digital means and what you want to see out of it. Your organization must be ready for the change from the people side and adjust processes accordingly before you bring in the technology.
Getting the right infrastructure in place to be able to collect and use data
You can’t use data to drive insights, improve customer experience, and grow the business if you can’t capture that data in the first place. Business leaders across industries recognize this can be a long journey.
And although getting your technology and infrastructure where you want it to be can take years, you can experience incremental lift by working differently. There are techniques to use to allow you to move more quickly by breaking goals down into bite-sized milestones: Advances in data management analytical tools is quickly reducing the time to value for getting the data your people need to become insights driven. Additionally, agile analytical techniques can help you rapidly and incrementally evolve the richness of the data you use to drive your business
Improve existing products and services
Data can offer insight into what customers want in given products and services: from product usage to customer feedback via formal feedback. This information is highly valuable, and firms should use digital capabilities to consistently evolve products and services and expand value for customers.
For the Moderately Mature
Organizing around the customer
The rapid pace of change requires companies to heighten their business agility. As a result, organizational silos are being broken down, and teams are becoming more cross-functional and centered around customer journeys. Firms like Aetna, USAA, Barclaycard, ING, and Lloyds Bank are using a customer journey lens to provide context and direction for cross-functional teams. By organizing around the customer, from marketing to customer support, to omnichannel environments, businesses are able to quickly adapt to meet shifting customer needs.
Increase customer engagement
Data can be leveraged to improve and customize messaging for different customer segments, allowing firms to move beyond a traditional direct-marketing approach and engage with customers in an ongoing, mutually beneficial dialogue. “The depth and breadth of consumer data and the cleanliness of that data has been key to our understanding of what they buy, when they buy it, and what product they’ll buy next,” says the head of big data & analytics at a manufacturing firm. For example, our technologists at West Monroe became so ingrained with a client’s business model and data that they presented executives an opportunity leveraging machine learning that translated to an immediate $25 million revenue lift.
For for the Digitally Mature
Ensuring the organization values data
Data is useless if there isn’t a company culture that underscores its significance and knows how to use it to improve customer experience. A senior director at a major retailer says, “There is certainly a huge need to understand how to make decisions based on data versus mere intuition. That links back to the culture— a culture that focuses on data to drive decisions and insights.” The company should be able to trust and use the data to make better business decisions. Ensure that the data remains clean and accurate by having governance and processes in place. Take time to understand the variation of data needed from different sources, educate leaders and employees on how to read dashboards, and manipulate data and charts to glean the most useful information to make business decisions backed by data.
Predicting customer needs and desires
Use data to predict new customer needs and desires to ensure your organization’s place at the forefront of your industry. Using artificial intelligence (AI), such as machine learning, organizations can proactively present sales opportunities during interactions with customers. For example, a bank integrated its CRM with an analytics tool to actively present offers based on product usage, history, and credit information. Using trend analysis and propensity models, at-risk customers can be identified and proactively targeted as well as customers that are underutilized and should be targeted for cross-selling or up-sell.
It’s time to act
It’s never been more important for organizations to understand the link between digital maturity and growth in revenue and profit margins. As the digital landscape continues to change daily and provide a level of uncertainty, organizations should think about how they can move the needle on things that will drive immediate impact. It’s our hope that our research can serve as a guidepost for your organization— wherever you are on your digital journey.
Unsure of your organization’s digital maturity? Find out how digitally mature your organization is by taking our interactive quiz!
If you’d like more information about our research, you can find additional insights here. We dive into the specifics on how each industry scored and where they are investing the most on digital initiatives. If you would like to continue the digital conversation, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear your perspective on everything digital.