Digitizing products and services

Defining products and services around integrated digital capabilities or delivery of digital content.

GLOBAL CHALLENGE

Digitizing products and services

The challenge

Creating an end-to-end customer experience is increasingly key. Products and services are defined based on integrated digital capabilities or delivery of digital content. The challenge is to digitize effectively, in ways that keep customers both intrigued and satisfied, combining old wisdom with new skills.

Why is this challenge worth embracing?

Customers want a quick and seamless digital experience, and they want it now. Delivering an integrated customer experience not only responds to current customer expectations, but also creates opportunities for iterative improvement and innovation in future.

What needs to happen to get from here to there?

Cross-functional units need to be created that bring together all teams – including IT developers – involved in the end-to-end customer experience, with a mandate to challenge the status quo. Data models should be adjusted and rebuilt to enable better decision-making, performance tracking, and customer insights. The central design point for these changes should be a solid understanding of the customer’s needs and goals. From there, digitization can be accelerated by redesigning the entire business process: cutting the number of process steps, developing automated decision-making, and dealing with regulatory and fraud issues. Operating models, staff skills, organizational structures, and roles should be updated accordingly.

What could delay success?

Digitization needs to be based on a common framework and a unified set of goals and priorities. Digitization programs need strong board-level support to align all the stakeholders, while all other decisions should be delegated to the project team in order to move quickly and get results quickly.

Although business decision-making rather than IT development is often the main cause of delays, complex IT challenges such as legacy-systems integration are hard to move along quickly. Creating an end-to-end customer experience involves supporting process digitization teams by integrating every function involved. This may create a need for new skill sets and roles, such as data scientists or user-experience designers. The end customer should be heavily involved too, not least to challenge conventional wisdom. Ideally, a center of excellence should be created with skilled staff that can be called upon to digitize processes quickly. It is also important that the team has the skills needed to build the required technology components in a modular way so that they can be reused across processes, maximizing economies of scale.

What will success look like?

The customer experience will be improved, accompanied by an increase in customer loyalty. You will have reduced costs and turnaround times of the end-to-end process and delivery. Once manual processes are digitized, you will be able to automatically collect data that can be mined to gain a better understanding of process performance, customer needs, cost drivers, and causes of risk. The end result will be that you have improved your bottom line and delighted your customers.

Key questions

How do we move beyond simply automating an existing process? What kind of new leadership will be required to navigate the transition with minimal delays? To incorporate digitization into the company structures, do I need to roll out a new unit to handle the new digital process, and then add employees while increasing the volumes handled by the new unit? How can we facilitate a transition to the digital process without expending extensive energy on changing old habits and behaviors?

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