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Building an engine that drives digital transformation

This is the consensus of the MIT Technology Review Insights survey conducted by 210 members of the technology board in March 2021. These respondents reported that they need the ability to rapidly develop and optimize new digital channels and services — and that they are still lacking. in real time.

At the heart of these waves of digital transformation are two basic drivers: the ability to better serve and understand customers, and the need for employees to increase their ability to work more effectively toward those goals.

Two-thirds of respondents stated that the most critical goal was to provide a more effective customer experience. Specific analytics and approaches were used to improve products and services (60%). Increasing team collaboration and communication and increasing the security of digital assets and intellectual property reached one-third, with about 55% each.

All digital goals are related to improving customer, employee engagement, and activation. Richard Jefts, vice president and CEO of HCL Digital Solutions, noted that increased team collaboration and communication has increased over the past year.

“With Covid-19, management teams needed to ensure that businesses could stay afar, which means new levels of support for collaborative skills and low employee use of code to bridge business gaps in business processes,” says Jefts.

Miao Songe, head of information at Brussels-based Mars Petcare, said digitalization is constantly redefining her company’s pet food and veterinary services business. “Our online business has seen double-digit growth, and as a result, the volume of customer data allows us to better predict demand,” says Songe.

Digital tools allow us to use more and better market data quickly and easily. Song noted that AI-enabled imaging tools are being used by Mars vendors to scan vendor shelves and create a vision to better manage inventory.

As Mars’s confidence in AI and analytics grows throughout the organization, it teaches many employees how to use low-code tools to strengthen their internal capabilities. Low code is a software development approach that requires little or no coding to build applications and processes, allowing users with no formal knowledge of coding or software development to create applications.

“Everyone in our company needs to become a data analyst, not just members of the IT team,” says Sung, referring to Mars ’efforts to increase digital literacy to improve visibility in the company’s supply chain, improve pricing strategies and develop new ones. products and services.

Song warned that promoting the use of low-code development tools through hackathons and other activities has been an important part of Mars ’efforts:“ We need to break the idea that computers can only access and use our data resources, ”he added.

Customer experience is (still) king

Survey respondents noted that they have already seen significant performance since they made digital transformation efforts in customer experience processes. Over the next year, the customer experience remains a priority.

Respondents in particular want to improve digital channels, followed by analytics and customization, and support automated AI or customer engagement tools. Other digital capabilities are being built to adapt to changing expectations and demands of customers and partners, streamlining customer experience processes by providing multi-experience capabilities.

Alan Pritchard, Director of ICT Services at Austin Health, a group of public hospitals located in Melbourne, Australia, explained that his company’s digital transformation process had accelerated before the impact of covid-19 began.

“A model for service review in 2019 means that home-based monitoring and home-based care are key to providing future service. So even before the pandemic, our health strategy was focused on improving digital channels and increasing the capacity to help outpatients.” Says Pritchard, and warned that to run Austin Health’s expansion strategy, a common customer relationship management (CRM) platform needed to be built.

“While some future service models may be provided with telehealth initiatives or device integration, there is still a lot of work to be done on how people communicate electronically about their health status,” says Pritchard.

Pritchard says the organization’s common CRM platform needs to be adapted to a number of autonomous specialty departments, “and each wants its own application to communicate electronically with patients.”

Pritchard says managing complex application development processes is complex, even though “the department’s relationship with patient booking, preparation, and tracking appointments,” says Pritchard, “so we need a highly reusable platform. A range of custom-built applications.” “.

This, along with the need to divide it into several different control and customization departments, led Prichard’s team down a low-code path.

This is largely related to the experiences of our survey cohort: more than 75% of respondents indicated increased use of digital development platforms (including low code), and more than 80% increased their investment priorities in workflow management tools over the past year. .

Download full report.

This content was created by Insights, a custom content from the MIT Technology Review. It was not written in the editorial board of the MIT Technology Review.

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