Your Digital Transformation Journey (Of A Thousand Miles) Begins With These Five Steps

Every business is developing or executing a digital transformation plan today. As a term, it is almost as nebulous as it is ubiquitous because what it covers is so broad: It’s how businesses approach making fundamental changes to both backend infrastructure and customer-facing experiences to increase their competitiveness. The components of a digital transformation vary from implementing microservices to launching a personalized mobile app to even creating a new brand. But while the benefits are clear to companies further along in the journey, the process for getting there is less so.

According to Forrester, ” 60% of executives believe that they are behind in their digital transformation efforts.” The secret? Building more direct relationships with the customer. Yes, that’s easier said than done. But if you want to compete with the Amazons of the world, you need to deliver seamless personalized experiences to meet your customers’ rising expectations. Here are five steps that I have seen successful enterprises embrace to get started:

1. Get Personal

You can’t establish a direct relationship with a customer if you don’t know who they are. With an increasingly global economy and more business going digital, many organizations are missing this crucial first step. The No. 1 challenge facing executives ( of them, in fact) in digital transformation is understanding the behavior or impact of a customer.

MGM Grand Resorts International (full disclosure: MGM, Advent and Pitney Bowes are all Okta customers) was challenged with managing a complex technical environment that included personal devices, kiosks, corporate machines and home-grown and purchased applications — all housed in a large on-premises infrastructure. Its team found ways to utilize technology to improve its infrastructure and customer experience, shifting both its internal IT as well as customer-facing MLife rewards portal to cloud-based systems. As a result, MGM securely consolidated its services and offered a unified view into all its experiences, making each visit to its site easier and more enjoyable for the customer.

2. Don’t Be The Next Equifax — Take Security Seriously

With great data comes great responsibility, so keep your customers protected. As you’re delivering new, amazing digital experiences like location-based push notifications for mobile sales, an integrated chat tool for customer support or a streamlined onboarding flow for new customers, you’re inevitably handling more sensitive data and putting your brand at higher risk. With more at stake, 69% of senior executives are re-evaluating how they should approach cybersecurity because of digital transformation. The disconcerting number of data breaches happening today (over 3,500 data records are lost or stolen every minute) further indicates that it’s too risky not to think about security.

When software development company Advent built its cloud-based social application for investment management professionals, Advent Direct, a security-first approach, was critical to encouraging adoption. Knowing that its customers handle sensitive financial information, Advent integrated sophisticated security tactics into the platform, such as multi-factor authentication and tailored password policies based on each individual firm’s requirements. With their data protected, Advent’s 4,500 customers could enjoy the application’s unique digital experience at ease.


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