6 Digital Transformation Trends for 2019

6 Digital Transformation Trends for 2019

Digital transformation is not a buzzword. I repeat. Digital
transformation is
not a buzzword.


The State of Digital Transformation
Digital transformation
is much more than “corporate speak”, and we should not discount
its
legitimacy
. Yes, “digital transformation” has been overused
and diluted by executives and consultants to represent all aspects
of digitalization in every facet of a business. But, when you study
it, without bias or agendas, an important trend in business
modernization is taking shape.

In Altimeter’s latest research, “The
State of Digital Transformation
,” we observed that the most
progressive organizations are prioritizing
customer experience
investments in short-and long-term digital
transformation roadmaps. And, not only do customers directly
benefit from these efforts, but companies are also accelerating the
modernization of cross-functional operations and business models to
better compete in quickly-evolving markets.

1. The Battle Between CIOs and CMOs Course-Corrected
Digital Transformation

The ongoing tug-of-war between CIOs and CMOs over digital
transformation has ended, and it is customers who ultimately
win.

For the better part of 10 years, digital transformation was,
unsurprisingly, about “digital” and how and where CIOs and IT
leaders were investing in next-generation technologies. Cloud,
mobile, social, apps, IoT, et al., represented significant updates
and upgrades to technological infrastructures aimed at scaling and
improving operations and performance. But CIOs weren’t the only
drivers. CMOs recognized the rapid adoption of the same
technologies among customers and how they were dramatically
reshaping behaviors, preferences and outcomes. 

This led to a historical tug-of-war between CIOs and CMOs, the
two early adopters and leaders of digital transformation, as to who
“owned” digital transformation. While CIOs focused on
infrastructure, CMOs set their sights on renovating customer
touchpoints and supporting back-end systems. According to our

research
, that purported war seems to finally be over.

Digital Transformation Ownership

2. The 2018-2019 State of Digital Transformation

This year we saw a noteworthy drop (-77%) in marketing’s
executive leadership of enterprise-wide digital transformation
efforts (5%). While it seems that CIOs may have won the contest,
the truth is that the competition is benefitting organizations and
customers alike. 

In the past, marketing was a logical starting place for digital
transformation efforts, as CMOs aimed to update how companies
engage customers and modernize customer touchpoints. Now that
mission is even more critical. New devices, apps and on-demand
services are driving new customer behaviors and expectations. At
the same time, mobile, big data, AI, machine learning and digital
influence represent enablers for innovation beyond marketing,
expanding the role of CMOs to now include customer engagement,

experience
,
loyalty
and lifetime value.

3. Digital Transformation Drives Business Performance and Growth in
the Name of CX

Upon further study, we learned that the rise in CIO
ownership does not at all mean that CMOs are losing stature in
digital transformation leadership or influence. 

In the past, marketing was a logical starting place for digital
transformation efforts, as CMOs aimed to update how companies
engage customers and modernize customer touchpoints. Now that
mission is even more critical. New devices, apps and on-demand
services are driving new customer behaviors and expectations. At
the same time, mobile, big data, AI, machine learning, digital
influence, et al represent enablers for innovation beyond
marketing, expanding the role of CMOs to now include customer
engagement, experience, loyalty and lifetime value.

As digital transformation matures, the purview targets complete
business modernization to drive growth and performance. Customer
experience, as a result, becomes the catalyst in uniting the
enterprise. For example, CIOs are looking beyond infrastructure,
becoming business partners to key functions across the
organization. CMOs, in partnership with IT, are honing their focus
on the digital transformation of the traditional marketing function
as a whole, modernizing it for CX, for sales force collaboration,
and for direct-drive revenue.

4. Digital Transformation Aims at Modernizing Touchpoints to
Enhance Customer Experiences

Over the years, the top drivers for advanced digital
transformation efforts have consistently revolved around two
things: 1) modernizing technologies across the enterprise and 2)
investing in modern customer experiences.

Now, competing for new market opportunities also becomes
paramount. More than half of the companies (51%) we
surveyed reported that they are investing in growth opportunities
in new markets, making it the leading driver for digital
transformation efforts.
Studying evolving customer
behaviors and preferences rank second at 46%. The third leading
driver is increased competitive pressure (41%). 

The reality is that customer touch points must be updated
continuously as fractured, dated, or unintuitive ones impair the
customer experience and introduce fissures into customer
relationships and loyalty over time. As such, CX-focused efforts
represent a significant cluster of short and long-term digital
transformation priorities to enable a more customer-centric and
real-time infrastructure.

5. Short-Term and Long-Term CX Priorities

Integrating all social, mobile, web, commerce, service
efforts and investments to deliver an integrated, frictionless, and
omnichannel customer experience:

  • 54% short-term
  • 57% long-term

Investing in more intuitive, integrated e-commerce and mobile
commerce platforms and processes in the long-and short-term
respectively:

  • 36% short-term
  • 37% long-term

Overhauling customer service to meet the expectations of
connected consumers:

  • 54% short-term
  • 57% long-term

Further research into our customer’s digital touchpoints and
customer journey:

  • 54% short-term
  • 57% long-term

Digital Transformation Priorities 6. With Meaningful
Digital Transformation, Customers Win

CX investments represent immediate areas of opportunity, but
also show that companies are focusing on keeping customer touch
points up-to-date and relevant in the long term. As customers
become more and more comfortable with mobile and emerging
technologies, CMOs are aiming to understand these connected
customers’ shifting expectations and preferences better through
real-time data and analytics. Additionally, CMOs are employing new
programs and services that consistently meet the needs of their
connected customers as times and trends evolve.

Customer experience will only continue to serve as a
primary catalyst for digital acceleration and maturity.
As
a result, elite CMOs are shifting the role of marketing to create a
business growth engine focused on CX, performance and innovation.
This may reduce the current need to participate in
organization-wide efforts. In due time, however, this valuable
front-line experience and expertise will place marketing back in a
leadership position as organizations increasingly place customers
at the center of their digital transformation initiatives.

Please download Altimeter’s
2018-2019 State of Digital Transformation
for a
complete look at the evolving enterprise.

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6 Digital Transformation Trends for 2019