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Digital transformation is entering an era of unprecedented change for businesses. Did you know that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last 2 years?  This creates numerous challenges and opportunities for all types of organizations today.

New rules of engagement

“Digital transformation at its core is a way to focus the organization and leverage a lot of the newer ways they can engage with their customers, employees and suppliers,” says Jay Dettling, managing director, Accenture Interactive, and North America digital commerce lead.

“Look at how fast consumer behavior is changing and how great customer experiences are jumping industry boundaries,” he adds. “Companies need to ask themselves how long customers will accept experiences that are just ‘good enough’.”

Companies are focusing their digital channel efforts on making customer interactions more engaging. The report found 63 percent are planning to enhance their online experience and 46 percent are looking to add or improve their mobile offerings. But only 39 percent are focused on improving their in-store experience.

“Customer experience is now clearly at the heart of digital transformation, and digital is at the center of that customer experience,” Anatoly Roytman, managing director, Accenture Interactive, and global digital commerce lead, said in a statement. “But many companies have considerable ground to cover on their path to becoming digital enterprises. They’re challenged with setting a digital vision and strategy, getting the right people in place and measuring digital success.”

Forrester Consulting and Accenture Interactive have four recommendations for leaders who are driving digital transformation:

  • Advocate digital transformation and the customer experience at an executive level. Digital transformation needs to be a company-wide initiative, which requires strong collaboration and evangelism from company leaders. The study found company culture and organization lag behind process and technology when it comes to digital readiness. For digital transformation to succeed, you need to make cultural change and educational aspects of transformation a highlight of your plan.
  • Execute change within the context of an end vision. You need a clear vision for the end-state to get everyone moving in the same direction and you need to communicate any changes to that vision during the process. Standardizing on a core set of technologies that the business can build around is a great way to accelerate change and keep the organization connected.
  • Be willing to take risks and learn from mistakes. You will need to take risks and develop agile processes in order to keep up. Digitally mature companies don’t require traditional approvals and a detailed business case for every change. If new functionality is in the spirit of digital transformation and the customer experience, give it a try, solicit feedback, and then iterate on it.
  • Find partners whose capabilities complement your own. Enlist third-party solution providers to help you navigate change and implement new strategies. It is often cheaper and faster than building those capabilities internally. Find partners that understand your broader strategies and have specific strengths in the functions and areas that your company lacks.