Lead Digital Transformation with Data-Driven Insights

When it comes to successful digital transformation, there are several prevailing truths that span all industries:

  1. Initiatives that are customer-centric and based on technology-enabled innovation are the ones that will be successful in generating growth, profit and sustenance.

  2. CEOs who can clearly communicate their customer value-based vision in real working terms, and who closely monitor its progress, are the ones who will transform their organization in a well-orchestrated manner.

  3. Leaders who personally and proactively evangelize change will find it far easier to gain buy-in from the various stakeholders of the company.

    And above these silver truths is a golden one:

  4. Organizations that leverage data to drive digital transformation tend to prosper at the highest level.

And speaking of data…

In the Trasers(Trianz Research) Ab-Initio survey of leaders in R&D/Product development, we asked questions pertaining to product and service portfolios and competition. Consider the following insights about companies across all industries:

  • Laggards: 54%—a majority—still think digital transformation is about new websites and portals.
  • Work in Process: 39% are integrating or reinventing their current value chains.
  • Leaders: Only 7% define a highly digitalized future independent from their past.

From this, we infer that one-third of all companies, regardless of their industry, will perish in the coming decade. Despite this rather grim outlook, we observe many CEOs not embracing the digital revolution wave taking place within their industry with the appropriate level of urgency.

The Elements That Go into Transforming a Company

What are progressive CEOs and top management doing to advance digitalization efforts and transform their companies? From our studies, research, and empirical experience, here are the fundamental elements we’ve noted:

  • A critical and foundational task of a CEO is raising the Digital IQ and awareness of top management to align them semantically on real priorities. Leaders must be up to speed with the changes that are taking place within their industry.
  • Leadership must possess a thorough understanding of their customers: changing demographics, new behavior patterns, expectations and interactions. CEOs who incorporate these customer dynamics in the design of new products, services and value propositions will gain relevance and a competitive edge.
  • Digitalization was once limited to mobile and social platforms as well as other various marketing technologies. It has since expanded to include multimedia, cloud, IOT, automation and AI. All these technologies are being used in some form or another to redefine customer value propositions.
  • Once customer value has been redefined in products and services, digital technologies can be leveraged to deliver low-touch, high-velocity and connected experiences that deliver customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
  • Finally, digital transformation does not just affect business models, products and processes; it fundamentally changes leadership style, organizational structure, decision-making, talent and company culture.

Companies and leaders that master these fundamental elements will lead the way in transforming their organizations to become more relevant, competitive and prosperous in the digital age.

Using Data-Driven Insights to Transform Your Company

Assumptions, personal experiences, individual perspectives and risk profiles often distinguish the behavior of leaders. Herein lies the greatest challenge for CEOs: a misalignment among the leadership caused by personal human factors. Because of the variance in their respective points of view, each leader sets different priorities for themselves, their teams and so operates in a silo. CEOs must first develop a harmonious view of transformation starting at the top management level, with a clear vision of the affect such initiatives will have on the company-wide level.

That’s why the golden principle of the digital age is that data trumps assumptions, trumps hunches, trumps personal bias—this is certain. Use of data collected within and by the company, or from independent research, will hedge against these biases and personal agendas thanks to their objectivity and inherent commitment to company-level priorities.

CEOs and Boards utilize Trasers(Trianz Research) digital transformation research to raise industry-specific awareness and align leadership as well as their teams. CEOs who rely on benchmarking better understand their competitive digital maturity on both business and IT levels. Finally, they ask very specific questions tied to their customers, markets, operations and technologies. A combination of these data points helps CEOs manifest a coherent, customer-driven vision and strategy and to prioritize their execution optimally.

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