Making Sense of Digital Transformation

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Digital transformation has become the buzzword du jour, bandied about in the business and technology media, and in boardrooms in nearly every company around the world. Yet for many business executives, it is still an intractable concept that is hard to translate into action and tangible results.

Here at JourneyApps, we have helped our customers to make sense of digital transformation by drawing on frameworks created by the likes of MIT Sloan and Forbes.

MIT Sloan conducted in-depth research with 157 executives at a wide range of companies (50 companies typically with more than $1 billion in sales) with the aim of answering this overarching question: Leading digital change requires managers to have a vision of how to transform their company for a digital world. So, where can you look? What digital activities represent good opportunities for your business?

The conclusion from MIT Sloan’s research was that there were clear patterns across all the executives interviewed: “Executives are digitally transforming three key areas of their enterprises: customer experience, operational processes and business models. And each of these three pillars has three different elements that are changing. These nine elements form a set of building blocks for digital transformation.”

Here is an overview of the 3 pillars and their constituent elements:

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Transforming Customer Experience

  1. Customer Understanding – Building analytics capability to understand customers in more detail.
  2. Top-Line Growth – Using technology to enhance in-person sales conversations.
  3. Customer Touch Points – Enhancing customer service with digital initiatives.

Transforming Operational Processes

  1. Process Digitization – Using automation to enable companies to refocus people on more strategic tasks.
  2. Worker Enablement – Virtualizing tools for workers so they can be more productive and liberated from physical spaces.
  3. Performance Management – Optimizing transactional systems to gain deeper insights into products, regions and customers, and allowing decisions to be made on real data and not on assumptions.

Transforming Business Models

  1. Digitally Modified Businesses – Transforming traditional products with digital offerings.
  2. New Digital Businesses – Introducing new digital products that complement traditional products. For example, a sports apparel manufacturer sells GPS and other digital devices to track and report on a customer’s workout.
  3. Digital Globalization - Transforming from multinational to global operations.

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Translating the MIT Sloan Framework Into Rapid Results with JourneyApps

Using this framework, companies can develop a tangible strategic plan for bringing the promise of digital transformation to fruition. JourneyApps works closely with our customers to use the framework to prioritize their digital initiatives, and in fact, the customer success stories of JourneyApps’ large industrial customers typically show a clear impact on each of the three pillars.

Impact One

The primary impact is typically Transforming Operational Processes — when customers deploy multiple apps, they typically see millions of dollars in annual ROI just from efficiency gains in process digitization and digital worker enablement. Performance Management — gaining better insight from richer, more timely data and analytics by virtue of digitizing processes — often leads to strategic benefits that go beyond simple efficiency gains. For example, customers are able to improve their product quality by getting better insights into product performance and failure patterns, thereby gaining a competitive advantage.

Impact Two

The second-most important impact of JourneyApps is on Transforming the Customer Experience: Many of our customers deploy apps to personnel that interact with customers, and some customers even deploy dedicated apps directly to customers. These apps often replace a legacy business process for customer interaction with the organization, and result in dramatic improvements in the ease of doing business. For example, customers can be enabled to submit product or service orders digitally through and app, and receive real-time push notifications of their order status.

Impact Three

Lastly, JourneyApps customers have even gone as far as Transforming Business Models using JourneyApps solutions. A common example is offering insights and analytics to customers as a value-added service based on data originating from JourneyApps-driven process digitization. Digital augmentation of existing products can also extend into deploying digital sensor and measurement technologies to complement existing physical products, as well as offering apps to customers that add value to existing products and services.

Schedule a call with us today to learn how JourneyApps can transform your business with unprecedented speed-to-results


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