Digital and social transformation: from doing to being
According to Tim Lovitt, senior director of digital intelligence at PricewaterhouseCoopers, less than 10% of companies worldwide have successfully created an intelligent enterprise by capitalizing on new technology and service capabilities.
Speaking at the recent CeBIT conference in Sydney, Lovitt said more and more businesses, large and small, are recognizing the need to integrate their operations and are now turning to digital and social transformation to do so.
“Companies are eager to see what value they can generate from all of their activities – digital and social first – and then start to weave things together,” Lovitt said. “But the concept of intelligent enterprise is still emerging.”
Lovitt said the move to mobile devices is a key driver of transformation. He pointed out that more people have cellphones than access to fresh water, and that there are five times as many smartphones shipped as televisions globally.
“This change is significant, particularly in terms of value, because it dramatically changes our media consumption,” he said. “By 2020, mobile will become the core of any accompanying device in the ecosystem. We find this particularly exciting as we are seeing an emerging identity shift.
Create a coherent digital ecosystem
Lovitt said integrated devices are also becoming an imperative for companies that have traditionally maintained separate operational silos. Departments may be socially friendly, but they don’t really share information, he claimed.
“Partly because of the move to the cloud and services like Salesforce that can support our businesses, we’re finally building bridges between different teams, at least figuratively, and we can start to connect the different functions that sit in the IT, HR or marketing, and weave them together,” he said.
Information sharing is a key part of this interaction. At PwC, social data from call centers is tracked, as well as call transcripts from voice operators, and both are handled by a natural language process. The business development team, marketing manager, human resources manager or anyone else that this information is relevant to then gets a real-time view of what’s going on, Lovitt said.
“It comes from either marketing or customer service, so the people who typically manage the customer relationship are the most focused on what they want to get out of those touchpoints,” he said. “Market research isn’t something we do once a year or once a quarter, it’s something we do every day because this information is delivered consistently.”
Tracking social sentiment can be a powerful tool for the smart business, but it can also reveal when companies are misbehaving. Lovitt recalled a time when PwC ran a version of its social data tracking software for a bank in the United States, reviewing posts on Facebook and Twitter and rating them based on the sentiments of the posts. Green indicated positive sentiment, while red indicated negative sentiment.
“Suddenly the client saw that one of his products suddenly turned neon green, which was surprising because banks are always red on the scale,” he said. “When we looked into this, we discovered that there was a group of less scrupulous individuals who had created a fake banking website, rigged bank delivery, tampered with bank logos and the whole offer in line. They then had an astro-turfing effect on a series of social forums and blogs talking about the quality of the product and the speed with which loans were approved.
Because PwC could gauge sentiment in real time and was able to see positive trends against the bank, Lovitt said he tracked down those involved and alerted the police and FBI to halt the operation.
“It’s a weird result of listening to social media – but a real one,” he said.
The stages of the transformation of “doing” into digital “being”
Lovitt went on to detail five distinct stages of digital transformation. The first stage is where business doesn’t dabble much in social.
“With the second stage, there’s often a marketer in the organization pushing for digital, someone who maybe has millennial presets, while the third stage is operationalization,” did he declare. “Usually at this point companies realize the value of social media and start structuring and developing features to support these capabilities.”
The fourth step is about distributor excellence, consistent marketing and strong social practice. One of the results of effective onboarding is what Lovitt called “emergent automation,” which helps provide a better overall customer experience.
“Social media can now be used to communicate with staff, rather than customers,” he added.
Finally, the fifth step is Total Engagement, which is a 360-degree view of the customer engagement DNA.
“The companies we see going through the different stages of maturity are finding it quite challenging and we believe that digital transformation potentially means a whole new role within companies,” Lovitt continued. “Being an agent of transformation – I don’t even know what that means yet. But we’re seeing it just starting to emerge in Australia.”
Lovitt pointed to the federal government’s recent new digital transformation office, which has been given a mandate to break down silos, break down walls and barriers, and build bridges within businesses.
“They also have a responsibility to inform and enforce,” he said. “Data needs to be digital and needs to be shared, and needs to be integrated over a series of time frames.”
For Lovitt, digital and social transformation is the ultimate imperative for building an intelligent enterprise. But that would be hard to achieve without having an individual team with the mandate to build those bridges and plug it all in, he said.
“I don’t know if it’s for the role of CMO, CIO or CFO – or maybe it’s a chance for each of them to be involved,” he said. . “But I know the focus over the past five years has been for companies to question whether they actually need a chief digital officer or a chief social officer.”
Lovitt added that smart companies don’t see marketing as an expense but as an exercise in training and innovating to do something different.
“Ultimately, the digital-to-digital shift needs inspiration and transformation,” he concluded.
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