Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ruminating on Digital Transformation Initiatives

A lot of organizations are embarking on multi-year, multi-million dollar value, digital transformation initiatives.
Many large organizations grew by M&A and this has resulted in multiple brands and disparate web properties with inconsistent user experience. Consolidation of the various web domains/properties and brands is the primary business driver behind digital initiatives. The philosophy of having "One Face to the Customer" is at play here.

For e.g. an insurance firm may have different LOBs across life, auto & property and retirement. In large organizations, each LOB operates as a separate entity and have their own IT teams. In such cases, creating a shared services team for digital initiatives makes sense.

Each LOB could have their own web presence and different corporate branding. Many a times, end customers do not realize that the different products/policies that they have bought belong to the same insurance firm. The customers are always routed to different websites and have separate logins for each site.

For the insurance firm's perspective, there is no 360-degree view of the customer. This severely limits their ability to service customers and aggressively cross-sell or up-sell to them.  To resolve this business challenge, organizations should embrace a paradigm shift in their thought process - from being product/policy centric to being customer centric. From an IT perspective, this could entail creating a Customer Hub (MDM) and having a consolidated customer self-service portal that would serve as a single window for servicing all of the customer policies or products.

Having a customer MDM solution would also enable organizations to run better analytics around demographic information and past customer behaviour. This in turn, would help in delivering a more personalized user experience and fine grained marketing.

Another important driver for digital transformations is the need to support multi-channel delivery. Today content delivery to end users on mobiles, tablets are considered as table-stakes. Defining and executing an effective mobile strategy is of paramount importance in any digital initiative.

Organizations are also actively looking at leveraging Social Media and Gamification techniques to engage better with customers. It's also important to choose a powerful Content Management tool that would enable faster go-to-market for digital content changes; controlled and owned by business, rather than IT.