image of people on a bridge at sunset

When it comes to digital transformation, it's still early days and many businesses are still struggling to execute digital transformation projects. 

Although digital transformation is increasingly viewed as a business imperative, most businesses have made relatively slight progress on their journeys.

How will they ultimately engage customers at an ever-growing number of digital touchpoints in the customer experience journey? How will they benefit and improve the bottom line from effective digital strategies?

It's hard to say.

But what seems clear is the fact that social and mobile technologies present immense opportunities to engage with consumers one-on-one. It’s about more than the tools and technology to adopt: What matters more is how organizations use tools and technologies to evolve and stay competitive.

The two goals need to complement each other.

Whether those goals are inward-facing, changing the enterprise from within, or customer-facing, changing the relationship an organization maintains with its consumers, digital transformation cannot be one-size-fits-all.

The Question

How are you capitalizing on digital transformation?

The Answers

Monika Fahlbusch, Chief Employee Experience Officer, BMC

Monika Fahlbusch headshot

As chief employee experience officer at BMC Software, Fahlbusch drives employee experience and helps build the digital workplace for BMC and its customers. Before joining BMC, she was senior vice president of global employee success at Salesforce, and also held executive positions at Old Navy and PeopleSoft. Tweet to Monika Fahlbusch.

Digital transformation affects many departments within an organization, and an essential department that’s increasingly affected is HR. Hiring is hugely impacted by the digital era — there is a new opportunity for organizations to attract top talent by demonstrating new levels of autonomy, creativity, flexibility and productivity as enabled by digital technologies.

While digital technologies will power most business discussions across all departments, it is the responsibility of the HR team to attract and retain top talent through the innovative use of technology. This will help facilitate the best possible on-boarding experience for new arrivals that clearly demonstrates a company’s values and brand to new team members on day one. Simple examples include a welcome message on a new employee’s laptop, automated persona-based orientation and training, or the ease of getting emails on the user’s own mobile phone.

Additionally, as the digital workplace becomes increasingly collaborative, remote and real-time, organizations may also look to enable self-service. Like the apps we use in our personal lives, self-service apps are intuitive and allow the user to explore answers and attempt troubleshooting on their own.

Organizations must also provide a rich and personal customer service back-up to support when self-service doesn’t get the user all the way there. In the digital future, each interaction with technology should enable new and inspiring ways for HR to reinforce the company’s brand and experience.

Robert Schmidt, California's Data Center Chief

Robert headshot

Schmidt is chief of the Office of Technology Services at the California Department of Technology. He oversees the delivery of data center services which include cost-effective computing, networking, email and training solutions to government entities throughout the State of California. He was previously Agency Chief Information Officer at the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Tweet to Rob Schmidt.

Just as businesses are seeing their customers drive demand for digital transformation, government agencies are also seeing demand for digital applications and services deriving from constituent users. Digital services allow governments and constituents to engage with each other in new ways.

For example, the California Department of Food and Agriculture developed the Report a Pest app to allow citizens to report invasive and unwelcome species at any time. The app exceeded expectations, with thousands of geo-location tagged photos of plant pests pouring in from across the state, country and globe for the team to inspect and triage. It enabled us to create a comprehensive database of pest reports, and we were better able to inform Californians about whether these bugs were harmful or not.

When turning a quick win digital transformation dream into reality, 90 percent of success is execution. It is not enough to have a good idea or an implementation plan. You need to act on it quickly to be successful. The best advice I have received is that if you are not uncomfortable with the speed of execution you are not driving the team hard enough.

Darvey Lavender, Director, Buchanan Technologies

Darvey Lavender headshot

Lavender, a software developer and manager, is director of business information systems at Buchanan Technologies, an IT consulting and outsourcing services firm. He previously held positions at Microsoft, BMC Software and CompuAdd Information Services. Connect with Darvey Lavender on LinkedIn.

To capitalize on digital transformation, the notion of “digital natives” has to be abandoned. If a technology is straightforward, simple and makes work more efficient, one would imagine that it is easy enough for anyone to use, not only for individuals who grew up surrounded by fast-changing technology.

Whether individuals grew up with certain technologies or not should be irrelevant when transitioning to new tools.

To debunk this myth, we must continue to not only build technologies that are easy for everyone to understand and use, but also find new ways to pay attention to what customers want and need in the tools they use.