In an earlier blog Hashtag #Digital Transformation I spoke about the need to be clear about what digital transformation means and the need for leadership. Despite my sceptical perspective, I do think that many of the changes that we implement under the Digital Transformation banner are of value. Two approaches that can help are:

Inside out thinking

Putting the customer first, by, for example, letting them see your stock levels; this used to be a competitive secret, now it’s a competitive advantage!

Moving systems to the cloud: allowing access, sharing and visibility; reducing silos and internal secrets. Often accompanied by a reduction in admin and time searching for information can help with both customer service and employee satisfaction.

Joined up systems

Ensuring that data is only entered only once and then shared across multiple systems. This is a key advantage for an organisation with multiple touchpoints and has a significant impact on customer experience. In few places is this truer than in the UK National Health Service (NHS); repeated data entry is endemic. It’s no surprise that the UK NHS is the largest purchaser of Fax machines in the world.

Analogue Transformation

Using these two concepts as management tools can deliver lots of benefits, some transformational. But the real transformation is the opposite of digital. What organisation still need is Analogue Transformation. Changes in the way people work to ensure they can make the most of the Web, Cloud and AI. In larger industries, it’s the people that are both holding things back and the enablers to digital transformation.

In our work, we’re lucky enough to see some organisations, liked Cubic Transportation Systems, and Gamma taking a lead. But the focus is on the way people interact with technology and not just on ‘digital‘. For example, moving to digital ticketing using smartphones for access to public transport is great, for most travellers. But some people don’t have smartphones, or need assistance, so inclusion needs to be considered from the start in any digital transformation programme.