Digital transformation: A mindset and a journey, not just technology

My sister-in-law recently took on a new role managing a team of 16 contact center agents. The other day, she said she doesn’t understand why she can’t use her smart phone at work. She’s familiar with it. She loves it. It’s feature-rich. So why, she asks, can’t she use it for certain applications, like tracking agent performance, monitoring calls and other seemingly related activities? My initial response, of course, was that her company must not be using an Avaya solution 😉

Her situation got me thinking about the digital transformation so many companies are going through today, or are planning to embark on in the near future. Much of what we read about in the popular media and trade press revolves around how digitalization impacts the customer journey, customer engagement and, ultimately, the customer experience. But what about the employee journey, their engagement with other employees and customers, and their overall experience? To compound matters, employees are also, in most cases, part of an organization’s target customer market.

As customers—employees included—we increasingly demand that manufacturers, healthcare providers, retailers, restaurants, hotels, banks, pet shops, post offices and other “you name it” businesses engage us digitally anytime, anywhere and on any device. So here’s my question: Why are companies surprised when their employees have those same expectations?

I think the answer has to do with the mindset of a company when considering digital transformation and its willingness to change the culture of the organization internally. Sure, technology advancements are driving it. Mobility, social media, advanced analytics and cloud computing are at the heart of digital transformation. But it’s not the technology itself that is transformative—it’s how companies choose to use it. The most successful digital enterprises view transformation as a journey. They constantly evolve, finding new ways to improve and reshape their business to stay a step ahead of their competitors. Technology is merely the enabler.

This is why Avaya believes it is so important to have a digital transformation strategy—a living, breathing road map that considers all the ways technology can help a company transform its business model externally and internally. Since communications networks, applications and devices are often the thread that ties together those internal and external environments, we urge our clients to develop their own unique digital transformation strategy. We help them understand how open, modular and mobile communications technologies can help them dissolve silo walls and enhance collaboration within the enterprise, as well as build new bridges between the enterprise and its customers.

Will my sister-in-law’s company ever let her use her personal smartphone on the job? If they adopt a transformation mindset and develop a digital strategy, who knows? They certainly could!

What is your perspective on digital transformation? Does your company have its strategy in place? I’d love to hear from you.