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Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, and it seems that every day there’s a new solution or trend being touted as ‘the next big thing’. 6 months later, however, that ‘next big thing’ has often been forgotten, replaced with a new ‘next big thing’. And so the cycle continues.
‘Digital transformation’ sounds like one of those ‘next big things’ that never realises its hyped-up potential. For a while now, it’s been heralded as crucial for businesses that don’t want to be left behind.
But digital transformation isn’t just another buzzword or flash-in-the-pan trend. It’s here to stay, and here’s why.
Customers are already experiencing digital transformation
The main reason digital transformation is here to stay in the business world is because consumers are already experiencing it in their personal lives.
The mobile-first world we live in means that customers can access information, products and services in an instant. Thanks to technology, they have a wealth of information at their fingertips in real time, and any organisation that can’t keep up with that will be left behind. Indeed, research from Salesforce shows that 75% of customers expect a consistent experience when they engage with brands, regardless of the channel; 64% expect companies to respond without delay.
Digital transformation, therefore, isn’t just another trend being forced on businesses by Silicon Valley developers – it’s one that’s being demanded by consumers themselves.
Despite this, many businesses are still relying on cumbersome legacy systems that make accessing customer data quickly a challenge. And that’s not set to change any time soon. Research from Forrester has found that, on average, CIOs are only spending 28% of their budget on new projects and innovation,choosing to spend the majority of their money on keeping existing tech running.
Digital transformation has a direct impact on ROI
Because digital transformation is being driven by customers, not tech giants, it’s not fleeting: it’s something which can have a direct impact on ROI.
ThinkJar research found that 55% of customers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good service– guaranteed being the operative word. Similarly, business consultancy firm, Walker, suggests that by 2020, customers will expect companies to automatically personalise experiences and proactively address both their current and future needs.
It’s clear that if you can successfully implement seamless, consistent, real-time, personalised experiences, then your customers will respond with loyalty and – importantly – sales. Digital transformation, therefore, isn’t just another buzzword that promises but fails to deliver. Rather, it’s a strategy that favours the implementers and can destroy those that lag behind.
Digital transformation is here to stay
Unlike other business trends, digital transformation is here to stay – and for good reason. Businesses that embrace innovation and respond to customer demands and expectations will reap the benefits and continue to grow. Businesses that insist on maintaining legacy systems and adhering to traditional processes and structures, on the other hand, are likely to find their customer base abandoning ship.
Which will you choose?
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