Digital Transformation Guide
What is Digital Transformation?
At CSG, we believe digital transformation starts with business model transformation. The business problem you’re trying to solve for, whether it’s modernizing operations or offsetting revenue loss with digital services, will dictate what technology and organizational structure you need to put in place for a successful digital transformation.
Technological innovation is only one part of digital transformation. Digital transformation also requires executive leadership and sponsorship, and buy-in from a company’s employees. But most importantly, true digital transformation requires companies to reinvent their business models. How a company chooses to go to market with a product and who they choose to sell it to will determine the technology, people and processes they need in place to make change happen.
Why Are Companies Undertaking a Digital Transformation?
There’s no easy answer to this—every company has a unique reason for undergoing a digital transformation. However, some common themes are:
- Modernizing legacy operations—Companies that have emerged as digital players over the past decade or so, like Netflix and Spotify, aren’t burdened with a legacy IT stack and are able to respond faster to market changes. In response, some incumbents might want to digitize and streamline operations to not only to increase internal agility, but also to lower costs. Improving legacy operations can mean moving systems to the cloud or having a managed services team run systems for a company to help reduce opex. Over 40 percent of large companies say the biggest obstacle for offering digital innovation is their operational backbone.
- Changing customer expectations—Voice and text are still popular customer service channels, but they’re far from the only ones. Many consumers have come to rely on digital customer service channels like web chat and digital messaging platforms. With more consumers homebound, having a variety of customer communication channels is critical to reach everyone on their terms.
- Digital services opportunity—The digital services market (think internet TV, gaming and the Internet of Things (IoT)), represents $142 billion in additional operating profit for operators alone by 2025. As revenue from traditional offerings like voice and data decline, companies are looking for new ways to make money and monetize their existing content offerings. Many communications service providers who have a content line of business (e.g., AT&T and HBO Max) are launching direct-to-consumer streaming services to go head-to-head with Netflix.
The key takeaway here is that there is no single path toward successful digital transformation. Each business will need to analyze their unique business model and then determine what front-facing experiences and back-end systems will be required.
Digital Transformation Trends
The concept of a digital transformation is not new. Every forward-looking business has had discussions about implementing a transformation strategy at some level. COVID-19 has forced many companies to accelerate their plans. Communication and connectivity solutions that were years away from being implemented were suddenly at the top of the to-do list. Now is an ideal time for companies to take a step back and review how they responded to massive change during the pandemic and if they are built to handle disruptions in the future.
There have been some clear trends so far in 2020. They include increased budgets for IT and infrastructure, a movement toward cloud software and services, a rise in a dual business model approach, greater acceptance of digital solutions and a renewed focus on 5G preparedness. There has long been a consensus that companies need to embrace a digital transformation strategy to survive and thrive. COVID-19 has put those plans on the fast track. By adopting the right digital transformation strategy, companies can be the driving force behind trends instead of being affected by them.
Learn more about digital transformation trends.
WHAT DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGES ARE COMPANIES FACING TODAY?
Six out of 10 business leaders say the COVID-19 pandemic spurred their organizations to speed up digital transformation projects, like retooling networks to support work from home or automating more customer communications. The rushed rollouts, however, may have introduced new pain points in their organization. Here are three new long-term digital transformation challenges we see emerging:
- Companies have less time to demonstrate value of new technology—If there’s one factor business leaders point to that’s driving their tech investments in the wake of COVID, it’s cash. Reprioritizing for quick ROI, companies are now tackling their digitization projects in a different order than originally planned.
- COVID “quick fixes” might create headaches later—Companies lacked the time to thoroughly vet and test new solutions they needed to keep their businesses running during COVID. Many of those new pieces will have a place in the company’s long-term tech stack. Some won’t.
- Survival-mode thinking must be abandoned—Business leaders need to ask themselves, “How do we abandon the short-term, ‘survival-mode’ thinking that’s guided our decisions through the pandemic, and return to long-term planning to evolve the business?”
Learn more about digital transformation challenges companies are facing in 2020.
Stay tuned for more content in the coming weeks.