Digital transformation is not your silver bullet.

Updated: Oct 23


The digital transformation concept isn’t new and many C-level executives and consulting firms list it as a top priority for the next several years. However, the digital transformation journey has been slow and misunderstood. According to research by McKinsey, 70% of digital transformations fail to reach their stated goals.


Many companies invest in digital transformation as they have an urgent need to better understand how technology is changing customer expectations and what they can do about it. However positioning the problem in this order places the priority on technology over people.


The key question we need to answer is actually what are the customer’s needs and expectations.


But there is confusion over what role digital transformation plays in this. Digital transformation isn’t the driver but merely one of the vehicles to deliver part of the experience. Digital transformation is the process of streamlining businesses tech architecture, systems and operations to reinvent customer and business process.

There are two vital things neglected in digital transformation: people and emotional connections.


By jumping to digital transformation as a solution we are missing the vital piece of the puzzle. We want to have a better understand of our customer’s needs and expectations. Human insight is the most important piece of the puzzle. Customer research and human insight must be leveraged to make informed decisions on what to build and when to build it. What’s most important is working to always understand the changing needs of the customer.


Keeping up with constantly changing customer expectations is a challenge facing every company today. The good news is there a variety of ways you can begin today to become customer obsessed:


1.    Internal culture change – bring each of your departments together and place customer experience at the top of the agenda. You will be surprised the wealth of ideas and knowledge your team members have regarding improvements. 


2.    Scale customer research at speed - a top priority for any business is the ability to scale customer research at rapid speed. Traditional customer research is too slow and expensive to keep up with the needs of modern product development.


3.    Conduct rapid journey mapping - to gain a better understanding of your customers and prospects. Journey mapping is a helpful tool to do so, but not the big arduous process that some might propose. Initially you need to move quickly.


4.    User testing - enables every business to deliver the best customer experience powered by human insight.


5.    Act - The famous WWII general George Patton once said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week”.

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