Where is Your Business within the Digital Transformation?



According to George Westerman from the MIT Sloan School of Management, “Digital technologies — from social media to mobile computing to big data to the Internet of everything — are transforming businesses in every industry.”

If you haven’t read Westerman’s book, Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation or reviewed his article, Leading Digital Transformation, I’d recommend having a look.  He has some very provocative ideas about what makes some companies ‘Digital Masters,’ while the majority of businesses lag behind.

After reading Westerman’s work and experiencing first-hand the mobile side of digital transformation, I wanted to see how companies had progressed in the past 12 months. With that in mind. I recently attended the NG Customer Experience Summit in Austin, Texas.  The event focused on three key themes of digital transformation – Customer Engagement, Data & Analytics, and Marketing Strategy.  VPs and directors from companies such as American Express, UPS, Greyhound Lines, Luxottica, Johnson & Johnson, Toys R Us, NBC Universal, and Yahoo attended the event alongside many other global brands. In total 52 companies were there to focus on how to move forward with their digital transformation.

Last year when I looked at digital transformation relative to mobile – and in particular mobile messaging, things looked much different.  At the forefront were some of the companies that we’d expect to see – those with a reputation for delivering the highest levels of customer experience along with a propensity for new technology adoption. Some examples include Amazon, Disney, Apple, and Starbucks who are very much the pioneers of delivering great new mobile experiences.  A year ago many of the conversations centered on things like:

  • What do you mean mobile engagement?
  • What is the value of mobile?  What’s the ROI?
  • Our mobile strategy is to launch a mobile app
  • How will mobile messaging improve customer engagement and my business?

Today we see a much different mobile environment. At the NG Customer Experience Summit, nearly every company was acutely aware of the importance of mobile. Their ‘mobile maturity’ level had dramatically increased over the course of a year. Previously, companies defined mobile engagement as mobile apps, mobile messaging and mobile web. Now we hear questions around best practices or success stories for businesses similar to theirs.  Companies were eager to talk about how messaging could act as a companion to their mobile app and even how it might help drive more app downloads and stickier customer engagements.  In just 12 months, the conversations have changed from what and why to how and when. The top two questions at the event were around mobile messaging compliance (rules and regulations) and on data integration challenges with existing business systems.

As we enter 2015, I am predicting an even faster enterprise adoption of mobile technologies and mobile messaging as many of the pioneers have demonstrated the path to success. If your company is interested in learning how mobile engagement can transform your business, please contact us today.