When it comes to modernizing the digital elements of your business, it’s essential to consider the customer first.
In Centric Consulting’s recent white paper, “Thrive Through Disruption With Modern Software Delivery,” Joseph Ours describes how companies can build next-generation technologies into their capabilities. In it, he focuses on four main areas:
The white paper suggests if you don’t sufficiently focus on or invest in any of the areas mentioned above, your company is likely to lose its competitive edge in this fast-paced economy. Many cases are right in front of us. While Target reinvented itself to compete against Amazon, other similar brick-and-mortar stores — such as Toys R Us, Borders and Circuit City — perished.
Do you believe their downfalls were due to low-quality products, higher-priced items or poor customer service? While each of these issues might have contributed to their closures, we’ve found that the two most significant issues that wiped them out are:
- They lacked a customer focus in their defined business strategy for better, faster and cheaper delivery.
- They didn’t invest in digital products to support today’s customer-centric world.
Companies must address these points to compete. We’ll take a look at why we suggest companies should revisit their business and technology strategies, and why they need to consider Modern Software Delivery techniques as they plan for next year.
A Customer-Focused Strategy
To understand how to design business strategy in today’s world, look to Amazon as an example. Amazon has a simple philosophy: Any new idea invented or any enhancement proposes must fulfill all 14 of its Leadership Principles.
The first principle is “Customer Obsession.” Because of Amazon’s intense focus on delivering the highest customer value, customers now blindly trust Amazon as the preferred e-commerce platform. How often do you buy products from once hugely popular eBay? You get the point.
Similarly, Target refocused its strategy by becoming digitally savvy and customer-centric. To compete with Amazon, it developed a dedicated online-pickup area, making it easy for customers to shop via different mediums. In addition, Target introduced new private label brands and remodeled its existing stores. These actions resulted in Target’s remarkable turnaround in 2017, leading to today, where its experiencing its best stock year yet.
In both of these examples, the companies changed their business models to focus on the customer. Amazon and Target dedicate themselves to providing customers with what they want at the pace and time they want it. However, this change is only possible if you invest in building business processes and technology capabilities that enable your company to bring new and improved products to markets faster.
Adopting Modern Software Delivery for a Customer Focus
Toys R Us, Borders and Circuit City created strategies based on traditional business models that forced them to play catch-up as their competitors adopted new technologies. Disruption is bound to happen in today’s fast-changing world. If you don’t notice and respond to it, your company will lose its position of relevance soon.
Having watched these “Too Big to Fail” companies go bankrupt, many organizations now see the importance of modernizing their platforms. In fact, 78 percent of business leaders agree they need digital transformations for their companies to survive.
Modernization, however, goes beyond digital. It includes moving toward Cloud platforms that shift the burden of maintenance and support onto Cloud providers. Plus, Agile and DevOps are fast-growing areas becoming increasingly more relevant due to the pressures of cyber risks, business availability and agility.
For example, the Dutch banking group, ING, learned how to implement good Agile practices from Spotify, the much younger music company. Spotify is a poster child for Agile implementations, lauded for its model based on Squads, Tribes, Chapters and Guilds.
Following a similar model using Squads, Tribes and Chapters, ING became the first leading bank to undertake a full-scale digital transformation. By embracing Agile, the organization also accelerated DevOps and cloud adoption to streamline and reinvent themselves.
Customers these days get impatient if they don’t receive the service they expect and will quickly find other offerings. According to one report, 67 percent of consumers consider switching brands due to a poor experience. However, 75 percent of customers understand that modernization will improve their experience. Plus, brand loyalty increases with more modernization, according to Oracle.
Your Modern Software Delivery and CX Checklist
So, what does this mean for you and your business? Here is a list of questions to consider while developing strategies for next year:
- Are you confident you can scale, maintain, make available and mobilize your current state of technology architecture enough to support increasing business demands?
- Are your business and technology strategies aligned?
- Are you playing an active role in dealing with the digital disruptions or are you just a mute visionary?
- Where does the customer fit in your companies’ strategic priorities?
To learn more about all aspects of business transformation — along with suggestions on how to solve some strategic problems — keep up with our “Rethinking Business Transformation” series.