I recently wrote an article titled “Digital Transformation Means Change.” Perhaps this is a simplistic distillation of the obvious, but for many of you, how you define what this change means to your individual organization and your commitment to aligning the processes and resources required will dictate your level of success. As you will read in our upcoming Spring issue, we define digital transformation as the application of digital technology to fundamentally change how you do business. The pivotal question is: What business are you in?

According to a Gartner study last year “Digital Marketers Will Monetize Disruptive Forces,” 89% of respondents believed that this would be the year where competitive advantage would rest on the customer experience. Furthermore, Kaspar Roos, founder of Aspire Customer Communications Services and former InfoTrends analyst, asserts, “Digital transformation aims to place the customer front and center and to rethink how to best serve and interact with the customer by digitizing and realigning business processes. Customer experience is an essential component of this that cannot be seen in isolation from the broader digital transformation program.”

The truth is transformation efforts need to be deployed in support of a real purpose. As business models become increasingly customer-centric, the pursuit of superior customer experience is cutting across the organization in unprecedented ways. However, our ability to respond to these changes and existing operational structures doesn’t always translate to this new world order. In that same Gartner study, “less than half of the respondents saw their capabilities in customer experience as superior to their peers.” Additionally, nearly one in five enterprises report they cannot honor a customer’s channel preferences due to information technology (IT)/data issues, according to InfoTrends’ report “Customer Engagement Technologies State of the Market 2015.”

Not surprisingly, for those companies who want to emerge from the pack, it will require dedication to your people, processes and the culture of change, not just the new tools for transformation. Holly Muscolino, vice president of document solutions at IDC, underscores this very point by saying, “Above all, be sure to look beyond simply converting paper-based processes to digital equivalents. Replacing technology without changing processes or being able to do new things is not transformational.”

The reality is this: The majority of us are laggards when we begin to move past the act of just digitizing and push through to transforming our business models, the way we do business and how we engage our customers. Moving the needle in our strategic journey is filled with complexity, competing priorities, redundancy and rework and disjointed processes. When we say that fundamental changes are sweeping across the industry, this is not merely lip service. Good or bad, we are all on the same journey. This is one of the main precepts of our conference, the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum. When people ask me what makes the Forum different than other education venues, I’m always proud to reply, “peer sharing.” Why is this so important or different than the rest? I believe the heart of peer sharing asks us to not only learn from our peers but challenges us to contribute in a meaningful way to advance the conversation. I hope you will begin to advance the conversation this May 10-12 in Chicago.

For more information on attending the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum, visit documentstrategyforum.com.

Until next time,

Allison Lloyd serves as the editor of DOCUMENT Strategy Media. She delivers thought leadership on strategic and plan-based solutions for managing the entire document, communication and information process. Follow her on Twitter @AllisonYLloyd.

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