If you can hazard a quick guess on why there is a lot of new / cool tech stuff that’s mushrooming, two things come to mind. First, a problem (could be hard or simple) that needed to be solved and hence the need to invent something. And the second one could be an existing process that was done in an inefficient / chaotic manner, which needed to be streamlined and simplified.
So when everyone was talking about how cool and big the digital is, what digital transformation projects are all about, even more cooler acronyms like SMAC were being thrown at it (this is a tad too old now anyways!), some serious tech like big data streaming, lambda architecture, machine learning, sensor data from IoT was being associated with it, I must agree that it was a bit overwhelming. And then, there are customer conversations – For some people digital is about going cloud (SaaSification!), for someone it is Omnichannel (and now Optichannel!), for someone else it is application migration / modernization. With all of this running in your mind, it can get even more confusing.
Maybe the answer to this question also lies in “keeping it simple”. Anything that gets work done more efficiently leveraging newer technology, anything that helps in reducing customer pain (wait times, back-and-forth interactions), anything that lets a business roll-out features faster – is a step towards going digital. So, if we get back to the basics again and start answering some questions…
THE WHY? Experience of the customer (and yes it can be internal employee also) should be seamless, work that needs to be done should be painless and efficient.
THE HOW? Make all the right integrations within and outside the enterprise happen seamlessly, collect data at all touch points and use that as a true asset. Let the data tell you the story of what else and how else something can be fixed. Derive better insights as you go along this journey of collecting data and bake that into your business.
THE WHAT? This is now a much simpler answer because this is what we know the best – the tech stuff. Whether you want to use NoSQL, Big data, ESB, Cloud deployments, SPA, field force mobile applications and what specifics within each of these toolsets to use is an easier call to take.
And if there’s still some confusion, find the best SI or get sucked into whichever product has got a great sales guy ?
Oh I am sure this is a way too simplistic answer but again if we really look hard at the whys and what’s of THIS problem, THIS tool, THIS methodology, things are bound to be clear (if not simple). Some learned person once did tell me that the longer you spend time on understanding the problem, the solution will be much clearer and apt too!
So, ultimately, if you as a business realize that you are in the business of delighting the customer(s), digital will just become a tool (or a set of tools).