A Simple Digital Philosophy
Everyone wants to “go digital”, but what does it mean? Well of course for each of the functions in an enterprise it means something different. But the average CEO knows they must have it but are not always sure what it is and what difference it makes. For most IT service providers this is the Millennium Bug all over again; frighten the leadership on what might happen (in this case what will happen if you are not “out there”) and once the horses are frightened, flog a load of techno bunk – high end consultancy, design and a mass of digitally platformy stuff – and there we go – a digital business. Really? No, it’s all a bit of a gimmick and a licence to print money.
So what is digital really? Well if it helps I believe in, and have delivered, a very simple digital philosophy that defines digital as:
- customer-centric experience anywhere, any device, anywhere (all the way back to the system of record)
- digitally enabling your staff to serve the customer and each other
- deep, real time customer analytics
That’s it. You have a choice to be fooled by the lemming-like rush to the digital cliff encouraged by suppliers who will pick your pocket leaving you deeply underwhelmed, or you will choose to digitally augment your business in an incremental and sustained way against the three themes above. Incremental digitalisation helps:
- the business to cope with a new way of delivering service
- you realise benefit as you go along, each previous case proving the next
- the IT team to experiment and work with suppliers that provide individual platforms
- turn heritage engines (never call them legacy) through connectors into modern systems of record
So who can do all this? You, the IT team can with small/medium businesses who know their area of expertise and with you acting as the SI stitching it all together. If you are not sure then ask people like me and others who have done it, no big deal, digital by design front to back bit by bit.
Unless of course you want the Big Bang, a huge moment of glory and a distinct whiff of BS!
[Phil Pavitt, Global CIO, Specsavers]