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When Does Digital Transformation Not Equal Customer Experience?

My associated image gives the answer to my question in the title but that’s OK. I ask the question less to seek an answer and more to highlight that while customer experience (CX)  is important, it’s not always the most important thing. As a matter of fact, the more I industries I understand, the more I see that some industries need not focus on CX when they think of Digital Transformation.

Let me state a premise that every company needs to digitally transform. The digital realm offers opportunities for efficiency, experience, and new capabilities that don’t exist anywhere else. That said, Digital Transformation will differ for every company. In many cases, one key element that influences what Digital Transformation is to you will be your industry.  In general, I would say that the further you are from the customer, the less you would focus on CX as your primary driver. Let me give you a few examples.

  • Oil and Natural Gas Drillers
  • Oil Refiners
  • Pharmaceutical and many life sciences companies

I name three but the list can definitely grow larger.  So what’s a company to do when they want to digitally transform but CX isn’t the way to go and Marketing may not be an all important function in the business?

There’s still no way to go but up. However, digital should focus on tangible outcomes related to things like efficiency, output, employee happiness, etc.  Here’s a quick list of common digital technologies and how they may influence Digital Transformation for someone in the Oil and Gas industry for example:

  1. Virtual Reality: Automate the design and creation of new wells
  2. AI: Train the AI to sift through data to find and understand where and how to drill
  3. Asset Management: Cut down on the cost and waste associated with setting up a new operation
  4. Search: Make it easier to gain access to information buried in the organization
  5. Visualization and Reporting: Gain new and better insights. Make it easier to act on the insights
  6. Predictive Analytics: Understand the counter-intuitive insights.  A decrease in output may not mean what you think it means for example.
  7. Integration: Pass data back and forth with ease. Enable new partners and new technologies
  8. Mobile: Increase the efficiency of your employees and partners

That said, I will end with one final note. Regardless of what you do with Digital Transformation, don’t forget that your culture will have to change with it. Cutting down silos or even change itself brings fear into many parts of your organization. You have to think through the Organizational Change Management elements and find the ways to induce cultural change and to grease the skids as you change (think communication and training).

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