Unsurprisingly, the more time, energy, and of course budget, that the organisation has invested in their IT provision, the more difficult it is to take risks in the pursuit of digital transformation.
Whether from a fear of disruption or uncertainty around outcomes, there is a common trend for businesses cultures to favour the perceived safety of the status quo. Even when the potential gains from investment in Customer Experience are clear, many struggle to actually trade the comfort of the tech stack they know for an opportunity which requires new or improved systems and tools.
Catalysts for change
Thankfully for those struggling with this dilemma, there are two significant external factors at play. Security and the pandemic.
With attacks increasing in frequency and sophistication, security has been a rising concern in recent years. The heightened vulnerability of aging IT components means that time is ticking on just how long legacy systems can be left unturned.
Most of us don’t need to be reminded that the outbreak of COVID-19 was the digital accelerant no one called for. While a number of these pandemic-induced digital initiatives were operationally driven (e.g remote working) rather than customer-centric, the resultant innovation proved that significant change is not only achievable, but worth the effort.
And so, there are increasingly more businesses where IT leaders are champions of change working to prioritise upgrades and re-platforming. While admirable, this driving force for improvement does not transformation make. In this sense, an ambitious and proactive IT team may be no more helpful to the pursuit of customer-centric digital transformation than one that is a devoted protector of outdated solutions.
"Driving force for improvement does not transformation make".
Transformation is intentional
Dave Wascha, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Zoopla, highlights that "change has to be in service of something". An IT team can only be leveraged to support or drive successful digital transformation if their vision is aligned with that of the business. First and foremost, customer centricity must move from being marketing’s problem to everyone's concern. From this baseline, IT can work collaboratively with other teams to ensure that they provide the right systems and services for success.
"Customer centricity must move from being marketing’s problem to everyone's concern".
David Wascha, Image courtesy of www.mindtheproduct.com
In order to achieve a truly customer-centric view, something which the whole business can share, a certain level of data mastery is a pre-requisite. Here, the tech which collects, collates and presents data is of course critically important.
Start where you are
Unfortunately, data availability presents a challenge for many businesses. Unfortunately again, data availability presents a challenge for many businesses who have been actively working to improve their data landscape. As your business, customers and the world at large continue to evolve, data maturity is an ever-moving set of goalposts.
The glimmer of hope is this. Wherever you are on the spectrum you have the ability to start. Start where you are. Whether that is with outdated legacy systems of newer tech stacks you can let the ‘known unknowns' dictate how you prioritise further investment of the resource and budget.
"The glimmer of hope is this. Wherever you are on the spectrum you have the ability to start".
In an increasingly complex world, where opportunities for change are abundant, the first and most important decision for businesses is the choice to align their internal teams. Without a shared vision, the power of IT capabilities can’t be relied upon for meaningful change. With a shared vision, the skills, expertise and innovation of your tech team will create value for your customers.
At Freestyle, we partner with organisations to help them evolve their business and customer experiences for the future, by building venturing capability and creating new products and services.
If you're ready to have a chat about how we can help you innovate, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org