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Digital Transformation: It’s a journey, not a destination

Digital-Transformation-Logo-FinalYou have probably heard this statement before—“it’s a journey, not a destination,” and chalked it up to a simple cliché. But the drive toward digital transformation mirrors this statement.

Digital transformation does not occur in a day or a month and it is not only front-end but includes all of the back-end solutions and integration strategies that are far reaching inside your company. It is a journey that impacts every area of the organization from vision and strategy to architecture, technology, operations, and culture.

We sat down with Michael Porter, Managing Principal with Perficient who explains how, in 2016, it is more important than ever to be able to effectively engage customers at every touch point in the customer experience life-cycle and over time, build the capabilities to support your customers in the best way possible. Read the rest of this post »

What Separates Digital Transformation Leaders from Laggards?

shutterstock_204774604_350We all know it’s a time of rapid change for businesses – the number of articles on digital transformation and rationale for change are in the news constantly.

B2B and B2C companies are realizing that embarking on strategic, transformational change, where all focus is around the customer, is not an option. It is a necessity to be a successful company. Yet, the digital transformation initiative is creating wider gaps between leaders and the laggards and there are some predictions that this gap is widening.

Companies that are focused on modernizing the systems that create, deliver and sustain the customer experience extend far into the enterprise. And, successful companies are more agile and have a solid vision, strategy architecture, technology, and culture to transform their organizations. However, just as many companies are successful, there are some companies that struggle with the magnitude of change that they face.

On Thursday, Feb 11 at 1:00 CT, special guest Nigel Fenwick a vice president and principal analyst covering digital business strategy with Forrester Research, Inc. and our own digital transformation strategist, Michel Porter will discuss common barriers to digital transformation and provide insight for how to overcome them. Read the rest of this post »

Posted in News

Where to Start With Digital Transformation

shutterstock_204059086_300Not all of our Digital Transformation content resides on this blog. Marin Richeson has a DT blog post over in our Life Sciences blog on where to start with Digital Transformation. It has a life sciences flavor, of course, but you can easily translate to any industry.

Journey mapping connects the dots from your customer’s initial interaction with your brand, through their entire experience with your brand via multiple channels (e.g., website, mobile app, phone call, direct mail coupon), to their choices related to your brand and the reasons why. 

In life sciences, customer groups include clinical subjects, investigators, site personnel, customers/patients, physicians, employees, research partners, regulatory agencies, and more. Because customer journey maps are not one-size-fits-all, each customer group (and, possibly, sub-groups within each group) requires its own journey mapping effort.

Top 5 Digital Transformation Best Practices: 4. Organize

Work_with_Our_Team_landing_page_shutterstock_350Don’t forget the other parts of this series:

  1. Gain Insight
  2. Vision and Goals
  3. Culture

In some ways, this topic is related to culture and highlights that so much of digital transformation does not deal directly with technology.  Our reality is that a change means dealing with people.  People organize in a variety of ways.  Those organizations have very specific explicit (bonus….) and implicit (culture) inducements to action.  Just starting down path and announcing, “Today we start our digital transformation. We are going to create the best possible customer experience.”  will do nothing if your organization remains the same.

There are a variety of things you should be doing in order to organize correctly.  Here are several thoughts:

  1. Engage leadership to understand the need and buy off on moving forward.  You cannot organize without leadership’s buyin.
  2. Review your organization and define what you need to change.  This could be organization, incentives, etc.
  3. Start small and create centers of excellence that focus on making progress quickly.  This refers to both business and IT but I’d push the idea within IT first.  You want these people focused on change and not maintaining they myriad of existing systems.

Read the rest of this post »

#NRF16: Uncover What Customers Value, Deliver Reliable Experience

shutterstock_337108367_350Focus on what your customer wants, for they are all that truly matters. But let’s come back to that.

Spending time at the National Retail Federation’s 2016 annual convention meant exposure to a staggering collection of gadgetry, hardware, technology, and an impressive gathering of some of the retail industry’s greatest thought leaders. Whether the goal of the NRF attendees was to come away with new ways to improve operational efficiency, leverage technology to connect to their customers, or gain insight from their peers, everyone can agree that the primary mission is to enhance buyer’s experience with their store and brand. That never changes.

Herein lies the challenge that I will present to you. In the past six months, how often have you read or heard of retailers driving one or more of the following key initiatives?

  • Apps to enable mobile commerce
  • Marketing and remarketing initiatives to push relevant offers to targets via mobile and online
  • Virtual dressing rooms or similar in-store product technology
  • Reaching Millennials through branding and technology enablement
  • Buying online with in-store pickup
  • Providing self-service kiosks or check outs

Read the rest of this post »

Integration Strategy in a Digital World

shutterstock_247334917_350In the report CIO Call to Action: Shake Up Your Integration Strategy to Enable Digital Transformation Gartner says, “Most CIOs have yet to recognize that their traditional, established integration strategy cannot cope with digitization’s fast technology innovation and accelerated pace of business.”

IT integration competency centers  (ICC) and the software they use grew out of the complex requirements of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). But with the movement to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and then Application Program Interfaces (APIs), integration requirements have shifted to lightweight architecture and a self-service delivery model.

Many companies have not adjusted their integration strategy and are struggling to keep up with current integration requirements such as APIs for mobility and SaaS integration.

In the report referenced above Gartner recommends:

  • Make the re-envisioning of your integration strategy a top priority…
  • Encourage and enable DIY integration …
  • Design-for-interoperability approach by pushing an API-first style…
  • Build up, incrementally, a hybrid integration platform (HIP) … for integration specialists, LOB developers and business users in a self-service fashion.
  • Select integration providers for your HIP pragmatically … incumbent integration providers may not be ready …

Read the rest of this post »

Posted in News

Establishing Best Practices for API Architecture and Standards

shutterstock_264200807_350A strong approach to API development is one that is driven by business value and objectives and governed by reference architecture and standards. It is common for companies to develop sets of APIs for point projects only to find that after years of project-based development, they have hundreds of APIs built with little commonality and a great deal of redundancy.

Great success has come from building API strategy and standards based on SOA concepts and approaches. For example, having some governance around the creation of API standards and checkpoints within the development process to look for strategic value, potential reuse and to ensure standards-based development.

The following is an API Assessment to better align your API strategy with your business goals to determine the proper level of investment in API standards and processes:
Read the rest of this post »

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Marketing Measurement Mandate – NRF 2016

AT&T SummerBreak Channel - Marketing Measurement MandateDigital marketing is one of the fastest growing disciplines within the overall “marketing” ecosystem. One of the main reasons is due to the quantifiable nature of the insight provided in real-time. While one may receive a large amount of data related to their business, the reviewer of data or even senior leadership may not be using the appropriate key-performance-indicators (KPI’s) to measure each specific marketing tactics impact.

Many companies are oftentimes blinded by the overall mission of their business, which may be to simply “sell more product.” This could be a hindering approach to developing successful marketing campaigns. In order to understand whether or not a campaign is effective, we should be identifying the most relevant metrics aimed at providing this insight for each and every strategy/tactic. Read the rest of this post »

Digital Transformation Means Rethinking Your Approach

I recently read some research from Forrester’s Nigel Fenwick on Digital Transformation. I think one of the graphics he used portrays the digital prey vs digital predator tipping point quite nicely.   I think we all get annoyed when someone wants to sell you their product rather than create a solution to your need or problem.

ForresterNewWay

Digital Transformation Priorities in 2016

It’s that time of year when we look at what happened in 2015 and look forward to 2016. The Enterprisers site has a nicdigitalprioritiese article about CIO digital priorities for next year.

Not surprisingly, it’s heavy on the technology. Also not surprisingly, back-end tech is well represented.  I won’t highlight everything; you should read the whole article.

  1. Rapid app mobile development
  2. Platformization of IT
  3. Focus on mobile back end integration
  4. Convergence of CRM and Marketing Automation
  5. Increase in hybrid integrations