Shifting from Digital New to Now
Digital Transformation

Shifting from Digital New to Now

Digital Transformation - Shifting from Digital New to Now
Shifting from Digital New to Now

While Proof of Concepts (POC) and experimentation may continue, its time to put a stake in the ground for the what and how of Digital Transformation. How are IT Leaders moving out of the sandbox and shifting from Digital New to Now?

 

Top 5 Learning Points

  1. Organization must be able to translate their digital efforts to the customers by providing a great digital experience.
  2. Customers look for value while using the web or mobile applications and organizations must be able to deliver that by adapting.
  3. Companies must be able to understand what customers expect from their digital channels and give them exactly the same.
  4. Transformation is key to success.
  5. Understanding the legacy and taking decisions thereby to suit them is an important strategic tool that must be applied.

 

Show Notes

  • Not all experiments lead to profit generation and that must considered during developing strategies.
  • Customer focused approach must ensure that it adds value to their use of the digital apps.
  • Legacy systems can be kept as they are and additional features can be bought which is important.
  • Some part of the technology might become obsolete and must be parted away without any hesitation.
  • Uncertainty is good and should not deter companies from trying new things.

 

Transcript Summary

Digital presence is a must in today’s online world. But how can businesses leverage using the virtual presence of customers and increase their profitability? How can organizations keep experimenting and how much failure is okay? Understanding the nuances of digitalization and how to implement it in the right context is what is discussed thoughtfully backed with knowledge and expertise.

 

Transcript:

Sanjog: Our topic for today is “Shifting from Digital New to Now.” Our guest for today is Marianne Marck, the Chief Information Officer, Ritchie Bros. Any organization, digital transformation is part of the agenda. veryone is talking about going through this transformation but there is experimentation going on, proof of concepts being done. There has to be a point where we say, that’s some good learning. We know what we should work on versus not, and then it should start becoming mainstream. Am I being too anxious or do you think it’s just right about the time when honeymoon should be over?

Marianne: I find many companies taking an experiment to being a part of everyday business. It can be a challenge especially because some of those experiments may not necessarily result in revenue generation or they may not be of value stream that you need to have as part of your business ongoing. It really depends on where everyone is and terms of their digital transformation journey but for some companies, like at Ritchie Bros, we’ve been digital for a long time. We started out with simulcast capability so that when you run auctions, they run live and they run online at the same time and we’ve been doing that since 2001. Half of all of our transactions happen online but we still have a lot of legacy in the backroom. The challenge there is that for our employees, we still have a lot of paper processes, so we’re missing out on some of the efficiency gains that are going digital would bring us. That’s just one example. In June, we acquired Iron Planet and everyone there as a true hallmark of a digital company works online.

All of the information they need to do a great job for customers is there, the data and information that they need. For many companies, they are in very different phases, most companies have adopted and had to be where their customers are but some really haven’t quite made it on their mobile journey. Or some really haven’t harnessed data to build great products yet, but we’re sort of in that middle phase and looking at where we really invest for the biggest bang for our customers in our company.

For many companies, they are in very different phases, most companies have adopted and had to be where their customers are but some really haven’t quite made it on their mobile journey. Or some really haven’t harnessed data to build great products yet.

Sanjog: You’re right that there could be two levels at which people could be going all the way, and if they have a very strong revenue case they can keep going and they may have already made significant progress. But then, we also have situations where it is shown as a transformation till the time it’s completely done will not create the final value that we all dream of. We still have to sell it because without the funding, it will never see the daylight. What has been seen by many organizations is they start a journey, they would try to go out and get a piece funded. When they move forward since the business stakeholders don’t see the value truly created, tangible value and to the level that they expected, this starts becoming disenchanted. They almost pull the plug or in some cases they actually pull the plug. How can we prevent that from happening because this is happening way too often?

Marianne: Well, I think this is one of the biggest challenges that every CIO or CTO faces. Because in many cases, the foundational technology is not in place. They have legacy systems, they have some newer applications but they may struggle a great deal to be able to expose all the value those applications bring in the form of services that can be exposed to customers through mobile applications or web applications. The challenge is, how do you address bringing to life? Let’s say, it’s an inventory management system or another application that actually would have a lot of value if your customers could directly access it. Those foundational projects I think are probably the most challenging. The foundational work has to be done on an ongoing basis. It actually requires an ongoing investment so the first thing that the CIO has to do is actually create a good plan for work that foundational transformation but also has to deliver customer-facing value along the way.

Some projects can take two or three years but you must deliver something of value, something tangible for customers in less than one year. Most companies now have agile processes and they’re able to deliver ongoing enhancements, every two weeks or every week but that’s because the company has invested in that value stream. They have dedicated technology people and dedicated product people and it’s a living breathing thing now. For example, your online web presence or your mobile application, they do require ongoing investment but for those of back of house transformations that really open up the world for your customers. Those really take some very deep planning and deep commitment. But I would also say that you can’t go that commitment alone.

The CIO should always have a partner in the business. Your business transformation, in order for it to actually happen and hit your work really well with your customers, your product operations and marketing people have to be part of that effort from the very beginning. You have to be able to get to pilot, do some demonstration, and then break down that big project into chunks so that you are delivering a visible value in less than a year because otherwise those projects don’t last. I’ve seen multi-year projects fail, pretty consistently because people lose their patience along with business leaders dealing with the risk of the money over time. Because in many cases, the foundational technology is not in place. They have legacy systems, they have some newer applications but they may struggle a great deal to be able to expose all the value that those applications bring in the form of services that can be exposed to customers through mobile applications or web applications.

The CIO should always have a partner in the business. Your business transformation in order for it to actually happen and hit your work really well with your customers, your product operations and marketing people have to be part of that effort from the very beginning.

Sanjog: This problem of long-planned projects or things which are very monolithic. I’m hoping that more and more leaders are becoming intelligent about how much they chop out the projects so that they’re manageable chunks which you can get done. Coming to the digital side, it seems, there is a sense of fear or uncertainty about, are we ready yet to embrace digital to the fullest? Because of this there is a lot more experimentation going on, then I would have imagined in a given context, in a given organization before they’ll say, “Let’s roll it out.” There’s way too much analysis paralysis because they feel it’s too new, we are not equipped for it, our people have no background in it and so we got to test it a little more, test it a little more. Why is that? Do you think we really are not ready r all this effort?

Marianne: We’re not in that place. Primarily, because we made some very big bets and you could say we acquired some of our digital transformations by acquiring a company that was a pure online player for the last 18 years and so we have our plate full with a great roadmap for transformation. We can’t lose sight of our customers along the way and that is something that everyone must think about. With a proof of concept or why we might get stuck in analysis paralysis would be because we have an uncertainty about the value and we have uncertainty about how to pull it off.

This is why companies absolutely have to fund their digital channels on an ongoing basis and make that investment in the technology skills and products skills and customer experience skill sets. Without that investment and that ongoing care and feeding of what should be a true value stream for the company, they’re not going to make it.

They have it set themselves up in some cases that they feel like, we’re lost in analysis paralysis. They haven’t maybe set themselves up to really be live and to test live with their customers to be able to do a small little release here and there and to see if that resonating. Is it leading to more conversions? Is it delighting our customers and making our site sticky for them and making them want to come back? Is the experience frictionless? Is it so easy for them or are they getting hung up and stuck along the way? I think companies have to actually to make that shift, it has to be not just a one-time thing or a marketing blast or something like that. It actually has to be a going concern that is funded on a regular basis and whose value is measured on a regular basis.

With a proof of concept or why we might get stuck in analysis paralysis would be because we have an uncertainty about... Read Full Transcript v  

Contributors

Marianne Marck, Chief Information Officer, Ritchie Bros.

Marianne Marck joined Ritchie Bros. as Chief Information Officer in April of 2016. Prior to joining Ritchie Bros, Ms. Marck was Senior Vice President, Retail and Digital Technology at Starbucks Coffee Company. Ms. Marck has over 15 years of... More   View all posts
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