Digital Transformation for Enterprise

Discover the unique barriers and opportunities enterprise leaders face during a digital transformation, and what it takes to succeed.

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    Digital transformation for enterprise organizations requires a completely different approach than what you might use to transform the average SMB.

    It’s not just a matter of resources, talent, or whether you’ve got enough cash flow that you can tap into whenever you need to upgrade, upskill, or do a 180-degree pivot at the last minute.

    While enterprise orgs have many advantages over their small biz counterparts, their size and overall complexity creates a whole new set of challenges most SMBs don’t have to think about.

    In this article, you’ll learn about the unique barriers and opportunities enterprise leaders face throughout their digital transformation journeys, as well as what it takes to succeed in this challenging landscape.

    Enterprises Need to Get Better at Taking Action

    If companies want to stay relevant, competitive, and profitable, they need to level up their agility in a big way.

    Most enterprise leaders understand that becoming more agile is a matter of survival. However, putting concepts into action remains a major challenge for large organizations. Compared to SMBs, enterprises struggle to make quick, intelligent decisions and immediately put them to work.

    Size, of course, is an issue. As is complexity.

    For example, enterprise orgs typically rely on standard policies and processes to protect themselves against risks and provide a consistent customer experience. But – those critical protections also represent some of the biggest roadblocks on the road to transformation.

    Enterprise contracts are another barrier. It’s hard to justify new DX investments when you’re still on the hook for paying legacy vendors for the next several months – even years.

    Then, there’s the challenge of overcoming large-scale inertia.

    Look, we get it, change is hard. But enterprises need to start acting more like “disruptors.” Otherwise, more nimble competitors can swoop in and capture the market share they’ve long taken for granted.

    You’re also dealing with multiple stakeholders (often with competing priorities) and moving parts that must come together in order to produce the desired outcome.

    The Enterprise Needs to Embrace its Humanity to Transform

    Perhaps the most compelling benefits DX promises is that technology can fundamentally transform the human experience.

    The “faceless corporation” is a cliche for a reason. While enterprises are better equipped to leverage data and technology to achieve specific transformation goals, SMBs tend to have an edge when it comes to “authentic” customer relationships.

    A lot of this has to do with the fact that smaller companies work with fewer customers – and can nurture 1:1 relationships more easily. But – they also tend to have more flexibility in how they interact with customers and respond to individual problems or requests.

    A few areas enterprises can work on to tap into their humanity:

    1. Transparency. One EY study found that transparent communication from management is directly proportional to employee satisfaction – and happy employees tend to be more productive and provide better service to customers.
    2. Autonomy. We get that enterprises rely on policies and standardized processes for quality and consistency. But at a certain point, these controls stifle employees’ ability to respond to customer needs – with a solution that makes sense in the context of their situation. We’ve all experienced customer service interactions where reps “need to talk to their manager” to fix an issue that doesn’t fit into the black and white rules defined in the employee handbook. But – because their company doesn’t provide the framework for making context-based decisions – let alone the permission to make those calls, the customer walks away frustrated, with the impression that the company doesn’t care.
    3. Technology. Finally, there’s technology. You can foster customer loyalty through effective personalization. In a recent blog post, Microsoft explains how combining behavioral, transactional, and demographic data allows you to build 360-degree views of your customers, which can then be used to create targeted, personalized journeys. Or – you might embrace Microsoft’s AI-powered contact center to provide always-on support and access to self-service resources.

    Technology also improves the human experience by making it easier for employees to find critical documents and data, as well as automate and streamline processes. Transformation projects should focus on removing friction from daily work – whether that’s saving people time, providing more opportunities for skills development, allowing them to focus on high-value work, or enabling better collaboration with clients and colleagues.

    When employees spend less time on manual tasks, make fewer errors, they can dedicate more working hours to activities that generate real value. Companies can engage and educate audiences on their preferred platforms, in their preferred format, and have meaningful conversations built on a shared history of past interactions and behaviors.

    In turn, customers enjoy higher quality products, better services, and hyper-relevant solutions.

    Our point is, focusing on employee needs is a win for everyone. It’s not only the employees themselves who benefit, but also the customers and any other stakeholders with skin in the game (even the ones with a laser focus on the bottom line).

    For example, Danish consumer goods company, GN chose D365 Project Operations for its ability to unify all projects, processes, people, and information in a single digital workspace.
    The platform gave GN’s internal teams more control over R&D projects, greater transparency across their entire portfolio, and the ability to quickly complete tasks and get a pulse on project performance.

    Project Analyst Ridhin Sharma estimates that Project Ops saves him up to 10 hours per week. GN has seen fewer project delays due to poor visibility and the R&D team and improvements in data quality, productivity, and efficiency means the business can complete more projects in less time.

    Big Spending Doesn’t Guarantee Wins

    According to Accenture, leading enterprises tend to invest in innovative tech earlier than their peers and they reinvest in IT improvements more often.

    When the pandemic hit, leaders that scaled up tech investments were better prepared to absorb the impact and refocus their efforts on driving growth under new conditions.

    Meanwhile, laggards reported that COVID-era DX investments were more about keeping lights on and doors open. In other words, DX was a reactionary act of survival.

    Digital transformation is more about strategy than money spent or specific tech. Laggards can easily outspend leader peers playing catch-up – but often have little to show for it.

    While DX does require a significant amount of actual money, the big wins come from using those resources strategically – digging into the data to make the right moves as early in the game as possible.

    This isn’t new information. However, many organizations fail to understand that relying on out-of-the-box features, templates, and generic segmentation won’t cut it.

    Pre-made templates are meant to serve as a starting point for new users.

    For example, Power Virtual Agents comes with baked-in analytics you can use to analyze and improve bot performance across several different dimensions — usage rates, satisfaction scores, session information, and so on. You might use the Customer Satisfaction page to track changes in CSAT scores over time. You can also dig into the Customer Satisfaction Drivers Chart to learn why you’re getting those scores, and more importantly, how to get your numbers up.

    Those default settings are there so that you can collect the data you need to start tweaking and tailoring your strategy around real consumer needs.

    Sticking with the Virtual Agents example, it’s only when you’re able to build and refine models based on the inputs you receive that you’ll start to see meaningful results.

    Ultimately, digital transformation is about using data to transform experiences – at the individual level and really deepen relationships with customers.

    Final Thoughts

    Enterprise digital transformation has changed. Where it once was about making sweeping changes once every five, ten years (think – large-scale software implementations, structural reorgs, or replacing systems and processes), modern DX is just like any other business function – a process that operates on a continuous cycle of incremental improvements.

    For many enterprise leaders, those changes mean transforming the culture and mindset of everyone in the organization – then from there, setting goals, investing in new tech, and redefining core processes and business models.

    Velosio’s Microsoft experts know the entire ecosystem inside and out — D365, the Power Platform, Office 365, Azure — and are prepared to help large enterprises achieve their most critical short and long-term goals.

    Contact us today to learn more about the processes, services, and solutions we use to help enterprise clients evolve their digital strategy and lock down future wins.