Digital transformation is an inevitable disruption that most of the traditional businesses are looking at. It is defined as the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. While some early movers have started to take advantage of the cloud, big data and mobile combination to drive greater business efficiency and more market share, others are still analyzing the best way to get into the new world of handling data for success. For example, most of the traditional grocery stores have started with a mobile experience as well for their customers, who does not want to be in the shop physically and select their weekly supplies. Instead the stores now leverage the customer shopping patterns with their loyalty cards or receipts to analyze the buying pattern of regular customers and provide them with personalized shopping experience, be it an online or physical purchase.

 

One of the key reasons for the necessity for digital solutions which are easy to use and of high value is the influx of millennial into the workforce. A generation which grew up with technology and great user experience expects nothing less from their enterprise software. Solutions which are not intuitive, responsive and social does not have a place in their list of most used software. So it becomes pertinent for companies to get into the user experience space. Also a great user interface makes the transactions easier, decision making simple and cuts down the operational costs all driving the success of the company forward.

As companies move from Big to ‘Smart’ data analysis, the tools and applications also have to ramp up to harness the power of analytics of the data. For the CEOs and CIOs unless the data is easily consumable, with relevant information highlighted with appropriate drill downs enabled, all the analysis could be of no business value. For the end users of the product it is important that the solution provided is highly personalized and provide them with the relevant information at their fingertips.

What are the tools and infrastructure a company would need to succeed in this transformation?

As the digital transformation story is tightly coupled with the cloud transformation journey, it is necessary to first define a cloud development model for your team or company. It should include all the considerations of which is the development environment to be used, how the deployment infrastructure in the cloud will look like and the frequency of deployment (eg: git). The whole gamut of cloud adoption is called under the umbrella of cloud engineering. For teams it will be a big change from the traditional development infrastructure and way of working as the feature development and deployment will move to a much shorter cycle depending on the business needs.

Your applications will be capturing the usage patterns, the failed transactions and average time spent on the screens to loop back the feedbacks instantly and for which bug or feature enhancements could be rolled out in short span.

In essence,

  • Empathy for the customer is the key for design thinking to succeed. Run design thinking workshops/ learning sessions to change the thought process of design engineers and developers in the organization
  • Have a design strategy and make sure it is communicated at all levels in the company. The human centric development approach or design thinking is a proven method to make this happen, eg:SAPUI5.
  • Create two or three flagship products at a central level and do enough marketing around it internally in the organization so that employees know and feel how a great product looks like
  • Move the internal applications like leave request applications or other employee self-service applications to the new design and UI technologies to make the impression on the workforce what kind of applications are considered as the new normal in the company
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