Digital Transformation: Five Critical Challenges For Early Adopters

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Could digital transformation be too much of a good thing? That’s what executives and managers across industry are asking. Much as industry pundits may genuflect to the concept of “disruption,” it’s a different story when it’s your company that’s being disrupted.

And make no mistake. The advent of the IoT and its partner-in-crime, big data, is here to disrupt and challenge you in all sorts of ways. Here are five you need to watch for:

One – Strategic Disconnect

Strategic planning has always been challenging, but now your future is compressed like never before. You’ve got big investments to make and new technologies to invest in. But if you miss, you may be raw meat for the new dotcom startup next door – you know, the one that’s already all-digital.

But your problem isn’t the startup. It’s your own people, and how to get them on the same page going forward. Who should own transformation planning? Who should worry about keeping current customers happy while you engage new markets? For that matter, how do you define success?

This is where real-time analytics come in. You’ve got to get your management team focused, for sure. But you need grounded information to show you the page you all need to be on. You want to capture new markets? Of course. But you also need to build the trust of your current customers. With real-time analytics you can do that.

Two – Investing In Employees

Once you’ve agreed on strategy, you need to look closely at your workforce. You’ll need to hire new talent, of course. Make your hires count. But also find out how well your existing people will adapt to the new reality of all-digital operations.

Your employees have experience that can help you keep on track in the face of rapid growth. But get to know their strengths and weaknesses, which among them are creative and unafraid of change, and which are natural skeptics. All have value as long as they’re placed effectively on the path to growth.

Maximize their effectiveness by giving them real-time analytics tools that foster creative teamwork by simplifying the app-building process, and graphics dashboards that let them drill down through the operations stack.

Three – To Rip Or Not To Rip

Your operations infrastructure may resemble a jungle of siloed processes and technologies, but “rip and replace” isn’t always the best solution. Telecoms know they’ll eventually move to a 5G architecture, but they need to do so gradually so they don’t risk losing the trust of their existing customers.

The best way? A cloud-based real-time analytics infrastructure that can link operations processes with customer behaviors. These analytics can trace the root cause of an outage from the customer down through hardware, operating system, processes and databases – all in an instant.

One fast-growing telecom is using Vitria’s analytics to build a service-oriented business model. The company created 40 use cases across multiple business services within a 36-month timeframe. The new model eliminated hand-offs between service stovepipes and now lets managers visualize customer service processing in real time.

Four – Intimidation By Data

Surprise! Now that your systems, processes and products are becoming more instrumented, you’ve got reams of new data to look at and worry about. It’s easy to get lost in confusion and – face it – meaningless noise.

A real-time analytics infrastructure can help you control the data by cutting through the noise and focusing on the important parts. Anomaly detection uses machine learning to detect nuanced issues that would normally be lost amidst the clatter.

Change management goes even further to identify specific user populations that might be impacted. One major telecom is using Vitria’s analytics to identify user populations that may be impacted by its infrastructure upgrade.

Five – Defining Success

How to calculate success? Your management team may agree on big-picture measures like growth in business, profits, markets and so on. But it gets harder when you start to drill down.

That’s why it’s important to agree on the little picture, too. That means diving into quantifiable KPIs that – thanks to real-time analytics – you can now more tightly connect to customer behaviors. For a telecom or enterprise network, these KPIs may include faster triage times or reduced anomaly detections. For manufacturers they might be yield or manufacturing cycle times.

But for all companies the KPIs should lead to positive customer relationships. These can be measured by tools such as net promoter scores.

Getting management agreement on such quantifiable measures is vital to getting a clear understanding on the health of customer loyalty. And just as important is using real-time analytics to show how the low-level KPIs link to continuing customer engagement during your business transformation.

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