We are in the era where your digital capabilities, in addition to being excellent at your core product or service, are going to make or break your business. The customer journey towards buying your product or service often first starts digitally. It is important that you provide an utterly smooth experience to customers along their journey towards your products/services, as well as after purchasing your products/services. To note, we should further define what we mean by customer to expand the definition past those that are paying fees. Today’s customers include your employees.
Employees expect the same smooth experience as they interact with every part of your organization’s software applications. Organizations that find themselves using outdated software, along with disconnected systems that keep data in silos and prevent business analysis, degrade your organization’s ability to not only compete in the marketplace, but also compete for talent. It doesn’t matter how big and established your business is, today’s capabilities and affordability of technologies are enabling even start-ups to threaten you in a short span of time. Any business that hasn’t recognized the importance of digital innovation is at the danger of losing their marketshare.
Once you understand the importance of digital Innovation and decided to take action, it is important to have clear goals for your digital innovation. You need to decide what your goals are to achieve the expected results. There are three kinds of opportunities with digital transformation or digital innovation:
- Business Operation Efficiency
- Transform Your Operations
- Evolve Your Business Model or Redevelop Your Business Model
To start down the path of digital innovation, here are a few tips to ensure success:
- Create a cross functional team of people with passion for driving change. No matter which area of the business they come from, common traits they will have are keen ability observe current practices, identify shortcomings in the current practices, have ideas to either to transform current practices or establish totally new ones
- Get buy in from each of the functionals areas to get either part of their time or full time to participate in innovation activities
- Embrace agile and DevOp methodologies to quickly see ideas in action. Be quick to prototype and iterate as necessary and to not hesitate to toss out an idea if that doesn’t seem like viable one
- Experiment with UX/UI paradigms and emerging technologies and frameworks such as Angular, React, Function as a service concepts, scalable databases NoSQL and NewSQL databases such as CosmosDB, Google Spanner, and CockroachDB
- Look beyond your current or available packaged solutions and COTS applications as they may not be the solution for this kind of innovation. You want to have a team capable of quickly developing and iterating custom applications as necessary. If you don’t have those development skills, find a worthy and reliable development partner like Expeed Software who can get you off the ground and into rhythm quickly.
To be sure, the promised benefits of digital innovation are huge, but it does take a solid strategic plan, a detailed plan of execution and an organizational culture that supports change.
Rao Chejarla is a visionary technology leader who helps businesses achieve their Digital Business and Digital Transformation ambition through innovative technology solutions. He is the founder and CEO of Expeed Software and has over 25 years of leadership and hands-on experience in providing solutions to energy/utilities, healthcare, retail, banking, insurance, and manufacturing sectors.