Following the exciting announcement of our new Digital Transformation programme, we’re diving deeper into DT and examining its impact on innovation within business.
DT is about using technology to create new approaches to making improvements to the everyday challenges in your business. The obvious word that springs to mind in this equation is ‘innovation’; innovation in how you approach things, how you create, and how you deliver.
In a recent blog we discussed the temptation to use DT as an excuse to innovate for innovation’s sake. With any revolution or new thinking around systems and processes the appeal is to jump in feet-first without properly assessing and understanding the effect, value and ROI for you and your business.
Meaningful growth from DT
It is important to understand how digital transformation and innovation – and embracing innovation principles – can bring about meaningful and sustainable growth in your business – if executed the right way.
Organisations that adopt DT benefit from a double-win. In one direction, DT adoption drives a culture of innovation – preparing the company to anticipate any disruption. Behind the scenes any increased innovation by automating manual tasks frees time for modernisation.
Coming the other way, innovation has many practical benefits for a business; improving productivity, reducing costs and increasing competitiveness which will hopefully lead to increased turnover and improved profitability.
While some digital transformation ideas may not be a necessity for your business right now, they can still be an opportunity to explore how to create more space between you and the competition.
DT has become a larger part of innovation models that enhance your brand offering, drive customer engagement, improve product performance, and even aligns your talent and your profit model through experience, offering and configuration.
For example, now you can go into certain brick and mortar fashion outlets or online and use an augmented reality to enter a virtual changing room to try on different outfits in a myriad of colours and styles.
The effect is to create feelings of great customer value and experience, high-levels of personalisation, improved brand recognition – with the ultimate aim that the customer will want to come back for more.
This neatly incorporates the three main branches of DT; operational priorities, consumer focused priorities and value addition priorities.
Processes and people
So how do you implement a culture of innovation in your organisation? It starts at the top – and the bottom – listening to all functions of the business, putting together a plan, breaking down your journey into manageable steps and getting the resources to make it stick.
Your people are critical to this process, according to qmarkets. ‘Your employee base is a treasure trove of innovation potential just waiting to be opened! By giving each member of your company a simple way to offer suggestions for new services, products, or process improvements, you can create a culture of innovation, sustain productive ideation and generate major ROI.’
Talent Culture goes one step further ‘Innovation as a corporate value means creating a culture where every employee feels he or she has some level of autonomy.’ It also makes the point that failure is ok. Fostering a culture of innovation is a lengthy process. Some things will stick, some won’t, but understanding that innovation is not an easy path to guaranteed success is a great start.
How will your innovation look in your new world of DT? This may involve using social media to meet customers in the channels they use the most or using data to understand your customers’ buying habits.
Digital transformation also helps take away the more ‘mundane’ level-one tasks that suck up your time and resources. At a simple level, AI-powered chatbots to answer basic customer enquiries is a good example. Which takes us back to that double-win. It reduces the time customers have to wait to speak to an agent, freeing up your customer service team to get on with other tasks.
With many owners struggling to know where to start and get a grip on the hard questions about how DT affects their business, our new programme will help you get the answers.
Develop world-class DT strategies and find out what it can mean for your business through The Icehouse’s new online programme on Digital Transformation. Open for enrolment now!
For information on how The Icehouse programmes, workshops and coaching and advisory services can help your business, click here.
For more business ownership and leadership advice, check out more of our blogs.
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