You are on page 1of 15

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Digital transformation is among the greatest catalysts for the evolution of business.
It is a movement that spans beyond the scope of new technologies and systems, while
also representing the modernization of business philosophy, purpose, competitiveness,
and models that shift with evolving audiences. As customers and employees change,
they do so at accelerated velocities that often outpace an organizations ability to
adapt. This exposes critical business functions and processes (marketing, sales,
services and innovation) to inevitable disruption inside and outside the company.
Over the years, Altimeter has consistently focused on an important slice of digital
transformation specific to the digital customer experience (DCX). We define digital
transformation through this lens as:

The realignment of, or new investment in technology, business


models, and processes to more effectively compete in an everchanging digital economy.
In this regard, digital transformation represents the quest to understand how
disruptive technology affects the DCX. As such, our research focuses on how
companies are learning to combine technology and operational excellence to
build tomorrows businesstoday.
The direction each business takes in pursuing change is complex, and there is no
one way to excel. Nor is there one tell-all anecdote, framework or app to map the
journey of your next steps toward programmatic transformation. Rather, companies
that succeed do so by incrementally staging specific strategies that span multiple
departments, technologies, and channels. Throughout our years of digital
transformation research, weve observed a series of important patterns that
companies follow in their work to digitally transform. We learned that strategists
take an opposite approach to business as usual as they seek new and alternative
insights and methodologies to blaze new trails.
2

The O.P.P.O.S.I.T.E Approach Guides Companies Through Digital Transformation


In this report, we introduce Altimeters O.P.P.O.S.I.T.E. framework, an acronym that represents a compilation of eight best practices
guiding todays successful organizations through their digital transformation efforts (see Page 4).
We visualized the OPPOSITE approach as a series of concentric circles. This infographic walks you through each layer, from
the ground up, to introduce why each step is important and how it lays the foundation for your next step. By focusing your
work around the digital customer experience, the complexities of digital transformation become identifiable, approachable,
and attainable.
Its important to note that in our research, we learned that by studying the digital customer, insights lead to new programs and
models that not only improve the DCX but also the journey and experience for all customers.

ORIENTATION:

ESTABLISH A NEW PERSPECTIVE


TO DRIVE MEANINGFUL CHANGE

Success begins with a renaissance in perspective,


vision, and leadership in order to see customers
differently. To change, strategists must first shift
how they view and appreciate customers and their
distinct behaviors, expectations, preferences, values,
and other contextual factors.
Change can be scary, and its often a political issue.
In the absence of information, its easy for executives
to underestimate or completely overlook the gradual
and inevitable trends reshaping markets.
Success begins with a vision for digital transformation
and dedicated leadership to guide companies and
change agents (those pushing for or driving change)
in new, unpaved directions. Leadership can come
from the top or from anywhere in the organization.
Together, leadership, executives, and other change
agents must take action even in the absence of a
complete customer picture. Start by getting a clear
view of existing and emerging trends compared to
your current roadmap in order to create a relevant
and compelling customer experience.
5

PEOPLE:

UNDERSTAND DIGITAL CUSTOMER


VALUES, EXPECTATIONS,
AND BEHAVIORS
Behaviors, trends, expectations, and values reveal new
opportunities to earn relevance in every moment of
truth throughout the customer journey. By walking the
path of digital customers, strategists uncover ways to
eliminate existing friction while introducing innovation
in the customer journey.

Studying and
engaging your digital
customers will improve
not only the DCX, but also
the overall journey and
experience for
all audiences.

Begin by mapping the customer journey and also


identifying missing touchpoints. Then, design a DCX/CX
strategy that capitalizes on the existing journey but also
innovates based on research, data and technology/
behavioral trends. Interviews, research and data, journey
mapping, and observation allow strategists to better
understand and empathize with digital customers to
uncover and guide meaningful investments in a new
customer experience.
This work must consider customers initial intentions,
desired outcomes, and eventual behaviors at each
touchpoint on all devices. More importantly,
touchpoints should seamlessly combine to deliver a
holistic, and desired, experience throughout every
step in the customer lifecycle.
6

PROCESSES:

ASSESS OPERATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND UPDATE NEW TECHNOLOGIES,


PROCESSES, AND POLICIES TO SUPPORT TRANSFORMATION

In this stage, new business models, organizational charts, and supporting processes, systems, and policies are written to
streamline digital transformation.
Change agents perform an audit of processes and policies to identify roadblocks. Models, processes, and policies are then
either amended or rewritten to support new direction and scale. In our research, we found that change agents drive
transformation to the point of scale, at which point governance work is required to standardize and manage new processes.
This work is eventually managed by a cross-functional workgroup supported by executive sponsors. Over time, the groups
collaboration and planning leads to the development of interim infrastructures to support pilots and the modification of
existing teams and departments.
New models are created to scale and continually enhance the journey and the digital customer experience. This agility
formalizes as each of the next steps unfold.

OBJECTIVES:

DEFINE THE PURPOSE OF


DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION,
ALIGNING STAKEHOLDERS AND
SHAREHOLDERS AROUND THE
NEW ROADMAP

Define the goal for digital transformation and why


the digital customer experience is instrumental in
delivering value to stakeholders and shareholders.
Align objectives with key short- and long-term
milestones at all levels relevant to the DCX. Initiatives
at every step of the journey must map back to
over-arching goals, and every group responsible for
transformation should be accountable. Determining
how progress will be measured is critical in this phase.
Articulate what success ultimately looks like and the
steps to get there. Document transformation in intervals
ranging from six months to five years ahead. Doing so
helps stakeholders grasp what theyre working toward
and how theyll translate the accomplishment of
important objectives into additional resources and
budgetary support.
This work eventually becomes a formal strategy process
in the following steps.
8

STRUCTURE:

FORM A DIGITAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE


TEAM WITH RESPONSIBILITIES
CLEARLY DEFINED

With a digital transformation workgroup in place via step three, work


expands in step five to include other teams responsible for the DCX.
Though customer experience is the sum of all engagements, youll
find that touchpoints are viewed disparately and are rarely managed
collaboratively. The formation of a DCX team unites key stakeholders
in multiple groups and roles around a universal understanding of the
digital customer.
The digital transformation workgroup and DCX team serve different
purposes, though they regularly collaborate. The digital transformation
workgroup manages transformation at the executive level, while a
DCX team is formed to manage the efforts in customer experience
throughout relevant departments. One of the biggest challenges in
digital transformation is ownership, and having these two groups
working in concert helps alleviate those pains.
Successful organizations assign specific roles within each group to
efficiently drive change and avoid confusion. These are often based
on the RA(S)CI process model:
RESPONSIBLE

ACCOUNTABLE

SUPPORTED

INFORMED

CONSULTED
9

INSIGHTS AND INTENT:

GATHER DATA AND APPLY INSIGHTS TOWARD


STRATEGY TO GUIDE DIGITAL EVOLUTION
Gathering data helps businesses develop a digitally native strategy that invests in and optimizes touchpoints and engagement for
connected, mobile customers. Companies must continually adapt to technology and consumer trends, behaviors, expectations,
and values to perpetually iterate on, and optimize the customer experience. Insights must inform ongoing digital transformation
in every group while simultaneously introducing new areas of necessary expertise.
Data and research are important throughout the entire process of digital transformation and DCX work in order to reshape the
evolving customer journey. However, its of limited use until someone translates it into actionable insights. Transactional data is
of little value without understanding context, device, behavior and intent. Additional questions include: Why did this transaction
occur? What were the customers motivations? Which device was used? And what is the cascading series of events that will result
from it?
These behavioral insights will inform strategies that grow engagement and build relationships throughout the customer journey.
The group that houses data and analysts must be empowered to deliver insights to stakeholders and decision makers. This also
plays out in RA(S)CI charts.

10

TECHNOLOGY:

RE-EVALUATE FRONT AND


BACK-END SYSTEMS FOR SEAMLESS
OMNICHANNEL EXPERIENCE
Working in concert with IT is a must, as the OPPOSITE
approach requires strategists to think about technologys role
in the customer journey. But, technology is not an end-all
solution. It is an enabler for a larger digital transformation
purpose and vision as it facilitates intuitive, frictionless,
cross-channel and personalized customer engagement.
Note that IT departments are also moving through their
own technology roadmaps to modernize infrastructure. It is
important to consider legacy investments, plans and how
they can and cannot play a role in transformation.They must
be updated so that roadmaps align with digital transformation
and DCX initiatives.
Consider legacy investments and their role in digital
transformation, but be wary of outdated or misaligned legacy
technology that impedes progress. This includes internal
collaboration and external engagement tools. At the same
time, strategists must fight shiny object syndrome, which
means gravitating toward the newest systems and platforms
simply because of their novelty. Rather, select technology
solutions that solve problems and create opportunities based
on every step in the OPPOSITE framework.
11

EXECUTION:

IMPLEMENT, LEARN, AND ADAPT


TO STEER ONGOING DIGITAL
TRANSFORMATION AND
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE WORK
Detailed execution is as important as the vision that guides
it. The digital transformation roadmap relies on key leaders
and practitioners to drive and learn from pilots, programs,
and larger initiatives. All implementation feeds best practices
and contributes to the OPPOSITE feedback loop.

Even the
smallest pilots
have the potential
to trigger big impacts,
moving companies along
the path of digital
transformation
maturity.

As digital transformation requires heavy investments of time


and resources, execution must be broken into tangible steps
with associated metrics and key performance indicators to
communicate progress and reinforce or validate work. Use
the OPPOSITE framework and RA(S)CI definitions as
your guide.
Even the smallest pilots have the potential to trigger big
impacts, moving companies along the path of digital
transformation maturity. Execution begets learning, and
learning fosters best practices. This new knowledge should
live in a central repository and become part of a recurring
cross-functional assembly where insights are shared and
questions are asked and answered. With each step, new
roles, departments, processes, and metrics are implemented.
12

The OPPOSITE framework visualizes your


work building toward digital transformation
and shaping the DCX. Its also part of a larger
movement in the modernization and, in some
cases complete innovation in business
dynamics and models.
How you manage these dynamics during the
next few years will define the future of your
business and also the arc of your career. Think
a decade ahead, to when people will ask two
questions: Did you see this technology-based
sea change coming? Were you able to capture
the commercial opportunity?
Consider how youll answer. Through this
work, your organization becomes not only
technologically savvy, but also people-centric.
As such, the company becomes agile and sets
the stage for even greater innovation.

An OPPOSITE
approach is the beginning
of innovation.

New understanding of technology, data, and


people is reflected in the operational capability
to continually anticipate, rather than merely
react to customers. Human-centered approach
informs your digital transformation strategy in
ways not otherwise possible. And, it is this
digital transformation that will carry profound
implications for your market, your employees,
your customer relationships, and your partners.
Basically, everything and everyone related
to your business.
13
13

METHODOLOGY
Over the past three years, Altimeter conducted a series of qualitative interviews with executives that informed this research,
among other reports. We interviewed digital strategists and executives at organizations undergoing digital transformation efforts
about their journey in adapting to the new digital customer experience.
This report includes input from 32 industry stakeholders from large organizations in the following industries: Academia,
Automotive, CPG, Energy, Financial Services, Food and Beverage, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical, Hospitality, Nonprofit,
Real Estate, Restaurant, Retail, Technology, and Telecommunications.

14

ABOUT

BRIAN SOLIS
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. Solis studies the effects of disruptive
technology on business and society. More so, he humanizes these impacts to help people see people
differently and understand what to do about it. He is an award-winning author and avid keynote
speaker who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital
transformation and innovation.
Brian has authored several best-selling books including Whats the Future of Business (WTF), The End
of Business as Usual and Engage!. His latest book X, explores the intersection of where business
meets design to create engaging and meaningful experiences.
JAIMY SZYMANSKI
Jaimy Szymanski is an industry analyst, focusing on how organizations adapt their digital strategies
and core business models to serve the new connected customer. She has authored multiple research
reports and artifacts on the topics of digital transformation, the autonomous world, consumer mobile,
customer experience, and the Internet of Things. Jaimy provides independent research and advisory
services to companies in varied industries that are affected by emerging technologies.
ABOUT ALTIMETER
Altimeter, a Prophet company, is a research and strategy consulting firm that helps companies understand
and take advantage of digital disruption. In 2015, Prophet acquired Altimeter Group to bring forward-thinking
digital research and strategy consulting together under one umbrella, and to help clients unlock the power
of digital transformation. Altimeter, founded in 2008 by best-selling author Charlene Li, focuses on research
in digital transformation, social business and governance, customer experience, big data, and content strategy.
Strategy Consulting. Altimeter creates strategies and plans to help companies act on business and
technology trends, including ethical and strategic data use and communications. Our team of analysts
and consultants work with global organizations on needs assessments, strategy roadmaps, and pragmatic
recommendations to address a range of strategic challenges and opportunities.
Education and Workshops. Engage an Altimeter speaker to help make the business case to executives
or arm practitioners with new knowledge and skills.
Advisory. Retain Altimeter for ongoing research-based advisory: conduct an ad-hoc session to address
an immediate challenge; or gain deeper access to research and strategy counsel.
To learn more about Altimeters offerings, contact sales@altimetergroup.com.
Altimeter, A Prophet Company
1 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA
94104
Tel: 415 699 7612

15