Does the thought of digitally transforming make it too tough to start?

13th December 2022

Richard HigginBotham

by Richard Higginbotham

Digital transformation continues to be presented as a priority for businesses worldwide. And each year the volume of published content on the subject grows. But if the pressure to digitally transform is such a priority, why isn’t everyone making more progress?

The pressures on organisations to digitally transform is not going to diminish. The word ‘transformation’ implies massive change. In the business context, it suggests wholesale change to processes, structures and capabilities. Then there are new ways of working, which call for skilled development resource, staff upheaval, new systems and large investment. So, the results better be worth it!

Google trends: ‘digital transformation’ and ‘cloud technology’ over past 5 years in UK

The pressures on organisations to digitally transform is not going to diminish. The word ‘transformation’ implies massive change. In the business context, it suggests wholesale change to processes, structures and capabilities. Then there are new ways of working, which call for skilled development resource, staff upheaval, new systems and large investment. So, the results better be worth it!

Risk vs. return

The pressures for business to change are enormous and, to an extent, irresistible.

Yet research suggests the risks are significant. Research from McKinsey in 2019 highlights that roughly 70% of transformations fail. And more recent research from Boston Consulting Group reaches the same conclusion.

“70% of digital transformations fall short of their objectives, often with profound consequences.”

Big efforts, big investment, lots of pain – yet with significant risk. Why start?

The drive for efficiency

Digitising processes increases productivity – delivering efficiency and creating capacity.

Yet rising costs — the knock-on effect of the energy and cost of living crisis — are squeezing margins.  With three-quarters of UK businesses struck by labour shortages, there’s intense pressure to get more done with less (and, in many cases, for less).

Operational resilience

If the last decade has taught us anything, it’s that organisations must be able to adapt and respond to disruption, in a timely and effective manner. By automating processes — and adopting a more flexible and decentralised IT architecture — they can vastly improve agility and improve recovery time.

Customer experience and changing behaviours

Technology and consumer preferences for digital experiences were already changing before the COVID-19 crisis. The lockdown experience accelerated this shift massively. Now, the coming of age of Gen-Zs is added to the equation. As customer care migrates online, organisations must adapt systems and ways of working to accommodate the move.

On top of this, customers view their experience holistically. They expect a consistent, personalised and quality experience regardless of touchpoint. This blurring of lines between digital and live interactions calls for more data integration — and breaking down of functional and application silos.

Competitor activity

Organisations that harness digital technologies faster than their competitors, have a significant advantage over laggards in their sector. BCG research shows earnings growth in ‘digital leaders’ as 1.8 times higher than those falling behind.

And that means they’re losing out on the benefits of productivity improvements, better customer experience and business model innovation, during an economic downturn.

Success when the going gets tough

If being able to digitally transform is not an option, but the risks are high, how do you flip the odds in your favour? And how do you embark on the journey with confidence?

You need to think differently. Transformation is large-scale and organisation-wide – but digital can be applied at a smaller scale to deliver quick results. To identify where to start, think ‘digitisation’ — where you can apply technology to improve a process, that was done manually before.

It’s about turning ‘Macro’ transformation into a series of ‘Micro’ transformations.

Small changes. Big results.

There are many advantages in this approach. Small changes make it possible to reduce cost and accelerate pace. How? By using technologies that can work with existing systems, and avoiding the need for wholesale technology change.

Smaller change, managed in ‘line of business,’ makes it easier to involve staff in the process.  When you engage frontline staff, you build knowledge of the ‘art of the possible,’ identifying further opportunities for automation and improvement.

Intelligent Automation and focusing on digitising processes make the journey a great deal less overwhelming. And that success creates momentum — as you work iteratively to reduce risk. Then, as confidence, skills and knowledge grow, it becomes easier to see the way forward.

AI-powered low-code platformsrobotic process automation and omnichannel contact centre solutions make it possible to start small, deploy quickly and scale fast. These technologies bridge the gap between siloed legacy systems, providing significant opportunities for digitisation. Technologies like our own Liberty Platform empower customers to start, iterate and scale their digitisation efforts – making significant progress on their transformation journey.

Related articles

Going beyond AI or RPA with a holistic automation strategy

Many organisations, having adopted advanced technologies like RPA, low-code and AI, can fall into the trap of using these technologies in isolation, failing to adequately connect them and use them interactively. This obstructs the key benefits of intelligent automation…

Top secrets to competitive and effective customer care into 2023

Customer care is at an inflection point: demands are higher and resources are limited. According to a McKinsey survey, organisations’ existing capacities are being challenged by higher call volumes and more complex and challenging enquiries. Employers are also struggling to retain customer care agents, who are being poached by competitors or feeling dissatisfied in their work.

Top 5 benefits of low-code development in financial services

Amid the rise of challenger banks, traditional financial services institutions have never been under more pressure to deliver the innovative and personalised service conferred by digital transformation. Many institutions struggle with how to achieve results. Low-code development offers an accessible conduit to digital transformation, with a host of other benefits.

The cost of poor CX and how to turn it around

CX is more important than ever, with 32% of customers around the world reporting they would stop doing business with a brand after just one bad experience. That number increases to just under 50% after several negative experiences. This has made CX the fastest growing priority area for customer care leaders — yet many struggle with how to best meet consumers’ growing demands, with reduced budgets.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up with regular news from Netcall – you’ll hear about cut-through process automation and communications solutions to help you achieve your business goals faster.

Sorry, we couldn’t load the form. Please try refreshing your browser.

Thank you for subscribing!

Small changes. Big results.

See how the Liberty Platform empowers our customers to start, iterate and scale their digitisation efforts –
making significant progress on their transformation journeys.