Is digital transformation dead? Overhyped? Still just a buzzword?
Not by a long shot.
Forrester says organizations will continue with their transformation initiatives well into 2022. But while 2021 focused on short-term goals, 2022 will see digital transformation leaders focus on long-term challenges and leverage a customer-obsessed approach to technology. Future-fit companies – ones that are adaptive, creative, and resilient – are known to outperform their peers.
Based on my own experience in the enterprise IT domain, I can assert that digital transformation is here for the long haul. It will require enterprises to draw up tightly woven strategies and provide a handsome payoff for those that start planning early.
Digital transformation teams key to success in 2022
The best way to start? Enable your customer journey while keeping the customer experience (CX) central. This approach implicitly makes the following roles integral:
1. Chief Digital Officer/Digital office
Comprising a chief digital officer (CDO) and/or multiple stakeholders functioning under the CDO, this function overarches the enterprise-wide digitalization across lines of business. It ensures each thread of customer engagement is connected and tied to the respective organizational delivery team/system/process.
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This role also implements the agile and unified digital transformation platform that streamlines content-centric processes and communication. Any missing parts will disrupt the CX.
2. Line-of-business operations champion
This role understands business function intrinsically and is responsible for the ultimate delivery of output to the end customer.
3. IT service delivery
A great customer experience starts with a proportionately great employee experience. Operations teams depend on systems and applications every day, so it is essential to ensure that these are seamlessly connected so your employees do not need to flip through multiple applications to perform the same task.
While the digital office aims to orchestrate content-centric processes and communication, it is IT that connects these with your organization’s underlying business applications.
[ Learn how CIOs are speeding toward goals while preventing employee burnout in this report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services: Maintaining Momentum on Digital Transformation ]
4. Front-end customer engagement team
Customer-facing functions are not limited to humans and physical offices; they also encompass channels such as portal, mobile, email, fax, paper mail, and others. Regardless of the channel, however, input from the customer usually requires human action. The mechanism could be via a sophisticated, seamlessly connected system or application or a traditional email or other workflows. The effectiveness of upstream and downstream operations depends largely on the intelligence in ingestion. AI/ML-powered cognitive services can play a crucial role here.
5. Contact center
The contact center could very well be the catalyst in your organization for CX. While this group of people and systems/processes (including IVR, chatbots, and many upcoming technology-assisted virtual agents) may not perform the middle-of-the-process activities required for last-mile delivery, the role generally serves as the face of your organization to your end customer. The contact center is an integral and critical participant in low-code digitalization platforms.
6. Compliance and audit
While this team is often perceived as creating friction in objectives laid out by the digital office and marketing, they ensure that your enterprise is not only safe but also in line with the statutory watchdogs. In short, this team protects your organization from regulatory and statutory penalties and restrictions.
It is in the purview of the digital office to strike that fine balance between marketing and compliance and not let CX suffer.
Digital transformation is as much about people as it is about the right technology. Therefore, it is paramount to focus on building and developing key teams to tip the DX success scale in your favor.
[Get answers to key digital transformation questions and lessons from top CIOs: Download our digital transformation cheat sheet.]