A survey in CIO magazine on IT leaders’ thinking in the current crisis revealed that a plurality (37%) chose digital transformation as their first priority to help the business persevere through the current disruption. Moreover, a full 61% of respondents agreed with the statement that the effects of the pandemic are actually accelerating digital transformation efforts.
We certainly see this in some of our customers. The movement of staff to working from home, the need for clients to interact remotely, restrictions on travel and meetings – all these are increasing the value of digital channels while also providing concrete motivation to get over hurdles previously seen as insurmountable.
What’s interesting, though, is the extent to which digital transformation driven by COVID-19 is decision-centric – how much it relies on digital decisions not just digital data, digital channels and digital processes.
COVID-19 means digitizing decisions about customer interactions so you can build and sustain profitable interactions with your customers. Decisions about how to personalize and target the content you display, the emails you send and the offers you make are essential. Companies are finding that they have neglected these digital decisions, investing in digital channels only to deliver cookie-cutter digital content when they could be engaging customers directly and precisely. Digital “micro” decisions need to be made for each customer, each time.
COVID-19 means that manual approvals, manual discount calculations, manual eligibility checks and manual pricing are all problematic. Many companies have found that their highly automated digital processes just route work to a person for critical decisions. With more remote workers, more workers having to flex their schedules to cope with home schooling and customers increasingly doing likewise, trying to coordinate human decision-makers for these transactional decisions is not getting it done. These decisions need to be digitized.
Finally COVID-19 means that the way people and resources are assigned needs to change. When everyone was in the office together, informal ways to assign work and manage resources worked OK. Now they’re a recipe for delay and confusion. Decisions about assignments and allocation need to move beyond first-in,first-out queues and informal group discussions to precise, data-driven and digitized decisions.
Digital transformation is happening faster thanks to COVID-19 but the real opportunity is for companies to digitize their customer and transaction decisions.
Check out other posts on this blog on COVID-19 or on our company blog. To learn more about decision modeling and how it can help deliver agility and efficiency, download our white paper Agility and Efficiency with Decision Modeling.