The digital transformation continues to impact the way we do business. It doesn’t matter where a company is on the transformation spectrum, providing a good customer experience remains a top priority. After all, it is the customer calling for these technological changes. While we try to keep up with ever-changing consumer expectations, it can be an exceptionally daunting task wading through all the different technologies to find what best meets our customers’ needs. Open communication and collaboration at every level is absolutely essential for success, and this begets another kind of transformation: The departure from traditional business practices, where marching orders were dictated from the top down.
Today’s digital transformation isn’t just infiltrating the customer experience and business models, it is also single-handedly changing previously defined positions such as CMO and CFO so all stakeholders now have a hand in creating digital intelligence. These and other roles have undergone a facelift in response to the necessity of cooperation on all levels. When everyone in the organization recognizes that their responsibilities extend to all aspects of business—from marketing to customer service—the company is one step closer to becoming a digitally smart corporation.
The intelligence platform of a successful business consists of four elements, which are Data Management, Embedded Analytics, AI and Machine Learning, and Real-Time Decision Making. These individual elements come together to create a clear and concise customer journey strategy, taking the guesswork out of marketing. Strong digital management is the cornerstone of any intelligent platform. Big data must inform decision-making and ensure companies are thoughtfully and purposefully implementing digital solutions. No longer a trend, but now an integral ingredient in the recipe for success, big data allows companies to target and personalize marketing as to more efficiently engage the consumer. Data lakes and the manpower to manage them are the foundation of any smart business.
It’s not enough to simply gather data either; companies must use it intelligently to increase customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Embedded analytics is the goal of collecting data. Companies want to turn data into something they can use, particularly to predict customer behavior. Embedding analytics into the tools consumers use on a daily basis is a great way to receive immediate, accurate feedback.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are the third element of the intelligence platform, and they make the difference between good data and the best data. The simple fact is that there is just too much information and not enough time for the human brain to sort it and select what will be most beneficial. Machine Learning and AI make decisions like the human brain, but at robotic speed, turning data into something useful instead of hapless mounds of untouched information.
Speaking of time, the companies at a true advantage are the ones making decisions in real-time. Tools like AI and predictive analytics help sort and analyze that data, and hyperintelligence software use automation and advanced analytics to make on-the-spot decisions. Of course, these decisions are only helpful when tied to clear company objectives, objectives that are identified by Machine Learning and AI, bringing the whole platform full-circle.
When digital is used well, it helps save and make money; however, when it’s used just for the sake of incorporating new technologies, digital will not improve upon or build a successful business. Research shows 80 percent of data collected by companies is never even used, despite consumer demands for change! This speaks to the recent demise of so many startups and legacy businesses; an inability or refusal to change with the times can spell disaster. All facets of business must evolve in order to meet today’s customer’s needs. For instance, it’s rare that the customer journey ends with a purchase; now, that’s just the beginning. Using smart technologies, we can map the entire journey, paying close attention to consumer behavior to learn what they like, what they wish would change, and how loyal they will remain—or not—to a particular brand. Today’s negative review on Amazon or Facebook isn’t comparable to yesterday’s complaint phoned in on a private line by the customer. Companies have always had a responsibility to meet consumer demands, but today, failure to do so has dire consequences.
Four of the most intelligent industries, retail, entertainment, financial, and telecommunications, have embraced the digital transformation in very different ways.
- Retail: With the help of big data and automation, the retail industry is expected to grow to $28 trillion in the next two years. Personalization is the name of the game, from marketing to customer service.
- Entertainment: No business is better at providing the omnichannel user experience than the entertainment industry. Web content and social media have seeped into our daily lives the way radio and television did in previous decades.
- Financial: Mobile has transformed the financial industry, reporting that almost 60 percent of Americans access their financial accounts from their smart phones. Banks and other financial institutions recognized the change in their customers and gave them what they wanted: Mobile pay options and finance apps.
- Telecommunications: This industry seems to have been in a constant state of change for the last 20 years. From mobile to smart phones to IoT, telecommunications are getting better at giving the customers what they want, which is options and simplicity.
Other businesses should take a page out of the aforementioned industries’ books. These companies are making the most of the digital transformation, benefitting both their sales and customers.
For more check out this Futurum Research paper done in partnership with SAS Software looking at the impact of Digital Intelligence on Digital Transformation.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.