In short digital is going to impact your business. I do not care if you are a diner, a bank, a doctor or a farmer.
There is right now more than one set of individuals building a business to steal your customers by showing them there is a NEW way to satisfy the need/want your business is currently satisfying.
Thinking of your customer, why do they buy your product or service is key to digital. You are not selling them a safe place to keep their money or to rid them of pain. You are lowering their anxiety in a convenient manner to their individual perception of both.
I get this wrong all the time. I asked a question the other day of a very smart group of people.
What would they want the person to lead them to bring to the table?
I had surmised beforehand the answers would be either specific technology skills on cloud, analytics, security or devops and/or deep experience on implementing technologies in their niche industry.
They wanted to have someone who can come in an manage upwards to provide a path they could work to and deliver so they could feel successful.
What does your customer today need/want from you? How can you find out?
What can you do/change to convince a brand new customer that you can satisfy their need/want that is NOT what you do today?
The books –
A quick read though too high level. Key points are to –
- focus on all the interactions with the customer/consumer
- sales of course
- customer service
- account receivable
- IT for EDI and compliance
- operations for special orders/customizations
I would add if you are more distribution focused to add a vendor focus to reduce cost and increase agility.
To do this change you need –
- A star trek bridge – aka a focused group – not just IT, like a startup business in the business
- Good basic analytics, but add to it the digital/non-digital connections so everyone sees them
- A Winston Churchill – well for any change you need Churchill – aka an evangelist.
- Being a bit wacky cannot hurt in my opinion.
A longer read and focused on being controversial (scare the begegus out of you) versus a guide.
Key points –
- The power of digital disruption is that it can disrupt any aspect of any product or service
- Processes that are deep within companies or physical things that govern partnerships, data collection, pricing and management of resources
- Even non-digital business will be disrupted
- Digital disruption answers the question – what if it did not take money to make money?
- digital disrupter default answer is yes – meaning yes, we can do that to whatever the questions is. I truly believe this with technology today
- How can we give customers something they really want?
- To be successful test how ready you are with energy, skills and policies
- Ask the question will my company’s relationship with our customers will be stronger in 5 years?
- Again start with the customer, accept failures and look at the total customer experience
The most guide like of the three, but uses OLD case studies of Blockbuster, Borders and so on. Gets to more modern cases later in the book and likes to quote Forrester and the like which to me has always been like using The Farmer’s Almanac for planning your vacation. If it is right great, but you don’t get to file a claim to recoup your vacation cost from Farmer’s if it rains all week.
Stated that most businesses surveyed state digital transformation will impact their industry in three years. Three bloody years. Makes you feel like you are already missing the bus. Relax – not yet.
Once again – start with the customer, move quickly, take risks and be prepared to fail.
The best definition I have read/heard so far – Digital is enabling people, devices and/or machines to connect and interact (transact business) with each other from any location and at any time.
Seven truths, eh.
- Customers are in charge
- Markets move quickly
- Data is a valuable asset
- Disruption can happen anywhere
- There are NO boundaries
- Ecosystems and platforms are key
- Technology is fundamental
Okay, 4 and 5, are the same as well as 6 and 7. So let’s say 5 truths.