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Is your business focused on digital transformation?

 

Whatever your industry, it is a fair assumption that technological change is having a major impact on the way you interact with customers. This is true the world over, whether an organisation operates in the public or private sector, and whether its own business is particularly concerned with technology or not.

 

A new study by Accenture and Forrester Consulting – “Digital Transformation in the Age of the Customer” aimed to investigate some of the issues and experiences that organisations are seeing as they look to make best use of the digital economy – including topics such as the necessary realignment of skills, the investment in new technology, and the changing focus created by more digital interactions with consumers.

 

The survey, which looked at 396 organisations from large companies around the world, found that 58 per cent of businesses now looked to the digital sphere to support profitable selling, while 56 per cent make some effort to assess how digital channels affect the overall customer experience. It also showed that 63 per cent of respondents intended to improve their “online customer experience” in the next year, though a much lower percentage – just 26 per cent – actually said they were ready to act on digital strategies.

 

The role of CEOs

 

With such a growing focus on digital transformation initiatives, it is perhaps not surprising that CEOs are taking an increased interest and direct role in the process. Another 2016 survey, by Gartner, Inc., found that 54 per cent of CEOs were targeting growth in 2016 as their top priority, while a substantial 84 per cent of those surveyed saying they expected digital change to bring higher profit margins. Half of the CEOs surveyed also said they expected to see substantial digital transformation in their industries.

 

This positive view of the effects of digital transformation possibly explains why the survey also found that a greater number of CEOs are now playing a more direct role in digital change – often taking the lead themselves in a clear show of the importance it holds for their business.

 

This means that leaders will, increasingly, need to consider the new skills and knowledge they will need to effectively create and execute a digital strategy – they must be abreast of digital trends, understand how technologies can be best applied in their market, and understand the importance of alternate technological developments.
 
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