• COVID-19 Prompting Digital Transformation
    COVID-19 Prompting Digital Transformation

    One thing to have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that governments, businesses and individuals are being forced to realise more of what窶冱 possible with digital. Particularly in areas such as remote working, providing digital service to customers, and business models involving home servicing and delivery. Zoom窶冱 daily active users jumped from 10 million to over 200 million in 3 months. Telehealth is now available to all Australians. Businesses have put major operational changes in place, such as Coles and Woolworths ramping up online shopping and home delivery, and other businesses moving quickly to automate processes and move key operational systems to the cloud, much of which will stay in place and deliver benefits post COVID-19.

    Of course, many businesses were investing heavily in digital prior to the pandemic, but many were lagging 窶 especially in the B2B sector. Having seen what other businesses are doing through digital, these businesses are asking the question 窶 what should the next steps in our digital journey be? Put another way, what is our digital strategy, and where should we focus our digital investment to maximise efficiency and ROI? This can be quite a complex question and possibly overwhelming for some executives, because 窶賄igital窶 can mean so many different things that can be hard to compare or prioritise without a clear framework. These might include:

    • User experience 窶 how easy it is for people to use your apps and websites
    • Digital marketing and remarketing 窶 targeting digital campaigns to attract more customers
    • Social media 窶 as a platform for brand building and customer engagement
    • Digital sales 窶 improving online conversion and considering 3rd party sites
    • Digital service 窶 enabling customers to resolve general enquiries and technical issues online
    • Cybersecurity 窶 protecting the business from digital attacks
    • Supply chain digitisation 窶 integrating ordering to fulfilment to improve visibility and efficiency
    • Decision analytics and big data 窶 to predict customer behaviour or improve operational performance
    • Sensor technology and real-time monitoring 窶 to enable real-time production optimisation and preventative maintenance
    • Mobile field services 窶 supporting operators with digital guidance, augmented reality or tools to support customer interactions
    • Automation 窶 process automation or physical automation such as autonomous drilling, blasting, loading and hauling in the mining sector

    Many organisations will already be working on some or all of the above, but in our experience, efforts are often fragmented across multiple (often competing) initiatives without a unified vision, strategy, plan or business case. When we work with our clients we recommend taking a structured and thoughtful approach to create a clear and compelling digital strategy, which is an overlay to the underlying core business strategy, and involves:

    1. Objective Setting. What new outcomes are we trying to achieve with our digital investment? What value creation levers (including revenues, costs, operational efficiency, capability and sustainability) are we trying to improve through digital initiatives?
    2. Stakeholder Needs. What are the underlying needs of our customers, suppliers, staff and other stakeholders, and how can digital better meet those needs?
    3. Benchmarking. What are other businesses doing 窶 not only local competitors, but also global businesses in our industry, and digital leaders in other relevant industries?
    4. Possibilities. What is the range of digital initiatives that we could undertake, based on stakeholder needs, benchmarking, digital trends and the ideas of experts and our own people?
    5. Selection & Prioritisation. What initiatives should we and should we not proceed with, based on their potential value creation, investment required and our ability to implement?
    6. Business Casing. How much is our digital strategy likely to cost, how much is it likely to increase profitability, and what are the likely investment returns?
    7. Scenario Planning. If we pursue our digital strategy, what will our competitors do? What about our suppliers and customers? What is likely to happen if we don窶冲 invest in digital?
    8. Implementation Planning. How do we stage our capex and effort to maximise returns in the short-term while building towards our long-term vision? How do we organise ourselves to ensure accountability and manage interdependencies?

    Perhaps now is a more pressing time than ever to review and redefine your organisation窶冱 digital strategy and digital transformation journey.

    If you would like to talk with us about your digital strategy or other challenges you are facing, please get in touch with us here.

    Mainsheet executives, in current and former roles, have provided digital strategy and advisory support at a range of organisations including Optus, PEXA, Rent.com.au, Services Australia, BDO Australia, Naturalena Brands, Taggle Systems, iTRA, Odecee and Australia Post.