The Digital Transformation Opportunities Ahead

By Mike Sutcliff

The proliferation of digital technologies allows scope for innovation in the way organisations deliver customer experience. Here Mike Sutcliff explores the first steps organisations can take to begin their digital transformation journey.


Mobility, big data, the internet of things, social media, and cloud technologies are changing day-to-day experiences for everyone, from executives to entry-level employees; from casual shoppers to business customers; from university students to even children in nursery school; from patients to doctors. These technologies – which are now commonly referred to as digital technologies – have created an entirely new set of opportunities and challenges for businesses and public sector organisations. Such opportunities and challenges relate to both the customer and the enterprise.


Digital Consumers, Channels and Markets

Thanks to the proliferation of personal computers, smart phones, tablets and other technologies, consumers expect a well-designed, consistent and easy-to-navigate customer experience across all mobile devices – no matter if they are buying something in the store, online, or on-the-go. In other words, they expect at the very least a multi-channel experience, but at the best a seamless omni-channel one.

Consider, for example, how digital technologies have already influenced consumers’ shopping behaviour: more than 70 percent of shoppers now expect to be able to check in-store merchandise via a website, and half expect to be able to buy merchandise online and pick it up in the store, according to a study by Accenture and hybris. More recent research in this area also indicates that these preferences don’t just impact consumer companies: they drive how business-to-business (B2B) purchasers expect to buy from their business suppliers, which could result in a profound shift in the traditional B2B purchasing process that starts with researching products in print catalogues and continues with speaking to a sales representative.

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