Where are you on your digital transformation journey?

When it comes to going digital, enterprises take this to mean anything from complete transformation of their business to connecting digital services to create new sales opportunities.

“Simply digitizing material will not transform your business,” said Rasmus Skjoldan, Magnolia’s Head of Product and Customer Experience Management, in the first of a new podcast series called DX Talk. “What customers understand by transformation depends on their digital maturity and pressure from competition.”

A consistent pattern is that almost everyone thinks they are lagging behind. “Everyone feels pressured by the race,” said Skjoldan. “There’s a tremendous amount of fear that we’re not transforming enough. The pressure is immense and everyone is striving to get better, especially the advanced ones who realize the full scope of the possibilities.”

While what will truly transform a business goes deep into organization and processes, the current state is a mixed bag. “In reality, most enterprises take a more practical approach than tackling the full scope of re-organizing,” revealed Skjoldan. “They start by implementing a tool, attach new processes or business models to this tool, get colleagues to adopt, and use the tool as a trojan horse to carry digital transformation into the organization.”

Customer-centricity is a big challenge, forcing enterprises to focus on the customers’ journey and serve them well, regardless of internal business entities. He explained: “Enterprises have to re-organize to accommodate that. Technology can’t really help there and many organizations struggle to do this. Therefore they resort to introducing technology rather than changing the organization.”

Turning to common failures, Skjoldan advised enterprises to take digital transformation seriously enough and to free products from siloed technology that leads to sub-optimal customer experience. “Stop thinking you can postpone digital transformation and rely on your current business model for a few years. Work with a sense of urgency.”

Managing content becomes essential on the road to digital transformation. “It’s dangerous if you don’t update assets across multiple touchpoints,” noted Skjoldan. “You wouldn’t be able to keep messages consistent and deliver on the omnichannel promise. Behind that lies good content management practices and tooling. That’s a central part of the mix on delivering the promise of digital transformation.”

Monolithic or best-of-breed approach - the reality is much more mixed, said Skjoldan. “Digitally advanced companies tend to go for best-of-breed as the fastest track to digital transformation. They compose a suite of software that they weave together. But you can get far with both approaches, and we’ve seen some take a best-of-breed approach combined with suites.”

Skjoldan observes many organizations trying to become digital through their business culture. “They hire people from the digital elite, hope to tap into that spark and spread it across the organization. If it’s not in your DNA from the beginning, it’s hard to embrace a new culture. Startups who have digital in their DNA have a easier way forward, but there are examples of organizations who have crossed that bridge - installing digital leadership is a key factor - who have made digital part of their business strategy, integrated technology into their business and not just as an add-on. For example, where they were pushing traditional marketing messages into digital channels a few years ago, digital-savvy units are now able to use data-driven analytics and experiments to drive change.”