October 27, 2021 Digital Transformation: Accelerating The Speed of Business Digital Transformation is not only impacting every business on the planet, but also the agencies and consultancies they partner with to provide guidance, design, and development. Jay Miller President Think about this for a minute… besides being our clients, what do AstraZeneca, Foss Swim Schools, and Mr. Jim‘s Pizza have in common? They are all digital product companies now… and they never expected to be. AstraZeneca is a global pharmaceutical company. Foss Swim Schools teaches children to swim in custom-built facilities. And Mr.Jim’s Pizza, well, he makes a delicious pizza. There’s nothing inherently digital about their businesses, yet each is working with us to radically transform how they engage with their customers. Digital Transformation is not only impacting every business on the planet, but also the agencies and consultancies they partner with to provide guidance, design, and development. Let’s take a step back and define Digital Transformation. The history of technical innovation is well understood. From the advent of the personal computer to the globally connected internet, and more recently, the ubiquity of mobile devices. Digital experiences have long played a role in our personal and professional lives. So, what’s different about this moment? Three converging factors: Integration, Adoption, and Intelligence. Digital technologies are no longer disparate touchpoints augmenting traditional ways of collaborating and communicating. They are well understood, widely adopted, and with the ascendency of data, now possess the intelligence to modify and adapt to ever-changing dynamics. Collectively, this presents the opportunity for businesses to finally transcend outdated workflows and unify conflicting cultures and processes. This has always been the potential and the moment has arrived. Finally. So, what does this mean? For our clients, it means understanding their customer’s digital experience and ensuring that every owned, influenced, or purchased touchpoint is seamless and interconnected. To accomplish this, it means thinking like a software Product Owner. While they don’t need to become Agile Scrum Masters, they do need to understand the concept of feature backlogs and team velocity. Thinking only in terms of abstract deadlines and costs suggests that there is a beginning and an end, while any product owner knows that software is never done. Budgets and timelines require constant care and tending. A good service provider will properly manage expectations, but they require a partner on the client side who understands basic software development dynamics. Our most successful clients have business leaders that have embraced technology and understand the core tenets. It’s no longer good enough to delegate such integral drivers of success. And if I can understand the basics, anyone can do the same. Digital Transformation is shining a light on the need for internal alignment between the business and technology. One relevant example is the gap between Marketing and IT. Due to perceived lack of credibility, most CMOs are not invited to participate in planning Digital Transformation strategies. This is exacerbated by the lack of a shared language and success metrics. As a non-engineer, I can relate. I find myself asking for acronym explanations on a weekly basis. However, all technology needs should be considered through the lens of the end-user. And the business typically has a much better understanding of their customers than tech. During the pandemic, companies that had a more collaborative approach between Marketing and IT were able to be more nimble regarding changes in their customer experience. They also need to step back and think holistically about their partner ecosystem. Some of our clients have a multi-partner strategy. They might employ a consultancy to provide strategic guidance. An agency to create and manage campaigns. A design shop to define the user experience. And lastly, a technology service provider to build and manage the software. However, managing this many partners is expensive, time-consuming, and inefficient. Instead, many of our clients are streamlining their relationships in an effort to work on interconnected parallel initiatives. One emerging trend we see is for a System Integrator. Not so much in the classic sense of System Integration, but more along the lines of someone responsible for multiple partners, internal practices, as well as multiple platforms. This can be an internal role on the client side, or an external role provided by an outside partner. For MentorMate, this seismic change represents a familiar challenge. As one of the first mobile development companies, we appreciate the value of making a pivot. We grew our front-end and back-end capabilities, but quickly realized that good software can’t overcome bad design. So we established a Human-Centered Design practice. As we’ve grown in size, so have our clients and their needs. Many of them now need guidance prior to design and development, so we’ve expanded our capabilities to include Technical and Business Architecture. Additionally, we have added a Cloud Center of Excellence, a Data & Analytics practice, and are now building a new Digital Experience Platform (DXP) team. By listening to our client’s needs, we see new opportunities to forge deeper and more lasting relationships. Digital Transformation is both a mandate and a mindset. For our clients, it’s no longer sustainable to maintain outdated workflows, inadequate architecture, and confusing interfaces. Customers will reward businesses that transform, and penalize those that don’t. Changing internal cultures and attitudes can be more difficult, but choosing the right partner can provide a welcome outside perspective. Digital Transformation is not only changing the way our clients do business, it’s also changing the way their partners support these efforts. This dynamic compels their partners to provide more innovative and collaborative solutions. As a result, the lines between consulting, designing, and developing are blurring as the speed of business accelerates. Tags CompanyStrategyDigital Transformation Share Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Fulfilling Users’ Needs Adopt a design thinking mindset and ship digital products that win. Download Share Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Sign up for our monthly newsletter. Sign up for our monthly newsletter.