Our webinar on “Three Essentials to Make Digital Experiences Real” with guest speaker from Forrester generated a lot of interest for the insights it can provide to companies looking to embark on digital transformation. In a blog last week I covered them briefly, but a deeper dive into the details seems worthwhile.
One of the hardest parts of the organizational change that comes with digital transformation is figuring out who owns what. With digital, lines are blurred. For retailers who go omnichannel, in-store sales and inventory can get confused by purchases from “buy online, pick up in store” shoppers.
In addition to figuring out and defining who owns what, collaboration becomes crucial. No matter how well you define roles moving forward, these blurred lines will bring together people who may not be used to each other, and who will need to work together regularly. Creating a culture of collaboration – especially when changing roles can lead to defensiveness – is just as important as the change itself. Companies need to bridge boundaries, set joint priorities, and do more from a strategic point of view to work together.
Along these lines, it’s essential to achieve buy-in on the organizational change from both top leadership as well as the rank and file. If management preaches it but the rank and file are not engaged in it, nothing ever happens. And if there is a groundswell of change and collaboration from the bottom without support for it at the top, things fall short.
Lastly, companies need to be more strategic about who they hire, with an eye for hybrid or crossover skills. Front-end developers who also have an eye for design. Digital project managers who also have a keen business sense and can see the big picture. And so on.
Rather than buying “technology in a box,” companies need to think about technological tools as part of a wider ecosystem with different essential pieces that need to be stitched together. This is important because few vendors can truly deliver everything, with digital transformation spanning marketing, service, commerce, data, content and more. Even if vendors have capabilities in multiple areas, they will likely be lacking when it comes to integration between their various portfolio components.
But when you start enlisting multiple vendors to work in various specialty areas, it also becomes vitally important to make smart decisions when choosing and integrating the pieces that make up the technology stack. In the webinar, Forrester Senior Analyst Anjali Yakkundi cited a survey they did of more than 100 digital customer service decision makers. When listing the most important factors when selecting a product or vendor, 76% of them put “Ease of integration with other software components” at the top of the list – more important than cost or using “best of breed” applications.
If companies need to start hiring “hybrid” talent whose skills cross over from technology to business or design, they also need to start thinking this way about their IT service providers. Today the best IT service providers are not just order-takers – they are also consultants who can help guide you toward solutions that bring true differentiation and business advantages.
Forrester’s Yakkundi calls them “digital orchestrators,” partners that can combine an agency’s innovation and design sense, a consultant’s ability to drive business change, and a service integrator’s integration and platform implementation capabilities.
To find these partners, she said you have to start asking new questions such as:
And of course, you would also want to talk about their experience with collaboration, a trait that Mindtree has written about in detail, and which came up repeatedly throughout the webinar.
Still haven’t watched the full webinar? Click here to view a recording.