The concept of digital transformation has been with us for several years. It has already become a key strategic goal for many organizations seeking to meet the challenges and opportunities of the Business 4.0 era.

Yet despite its prominence and the priority it has been given, in many cases it has simply failed to live up to expectations. So, what’s going wrong, and what can be done to maximize the likelihood of a successful digital transformation project?

Big data and augmented data have made it possible for large enterprises to gain thorough insights into patterns of customer behaviour. The deeper your awareness of customers’ behaviour, the better equipped you will be to develop customer experiences that exceed their expectations. This is a key theme Tata Consultancy Services is exploring at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld.

For example, Belgium’s leading communications provider, Proximus, is embracing Business 4.0 as it creates a highly competitive organization that fuels growth and delivers superior customer experience. Intuitive user experiences are at the heart of this transformation, combined with seamless application management. Developing and delivering these enhanced experiences is made possible through intelligent data analytics.

Scottish Water is another leading organization that has embarked on a digital transformation journey. The company is automating operations and re-engineering customer services through intelligent data analytics and digital applications. This has helped Scottish Water introduce a greater degree of standardization, rationalization and automation across its business.

In both cases, there is one key point in common – the singular importance of the customer experience.

Follow the customer’s lead

There are examples of organizations whose attempts at digital transformation fell flat; inefficient executions that led to poor results. Often this has been caused by little more than trying to run before you can walk.

An early enthusiasm for digital tools and techniques can lead to overly optimistic levels of what can be achieved and what kind of results will be delivered. This enthusiasm needs to be tempered by clear goals and business needs.

As with any significant change or investment, it is fundamental that you have an understanding of how these changes might affect your customers. This is where a detailed use of data analytics comes in. After all, it’s one thing to get ahead of your competitors, but it isn’t always a good idea to get too far ahead of your customers.

Each and every change you make to your organization as you migrate toward Business 4.0 needs to be done with some very clear aims in mind. Will the intended changes allow you to deliver exponential value to your customers? Will they enable your organization to go agile in the face of challenges, changes and opportunities? Will they put you in the driving seat when you need to transform the potential value of the talent within your organization into enhanced capabilities?

Clearly, you need to be able to give as many positive responses to questions like those as possible before embarking on major transformative undertakings. But you also need a commitment to the ongoing use of data analytics and evidence-backed decision-making throughout the project.

If you are dedicated to only using digital technologies where they will deliver an identifiable value to the business, chiefly by providing the best possible digital customer experiences, you are less likely to fall into the trap of failed implementations. You can also embark on a course of constant improvement.

If you are constantly scrutinizing the effect on customer behaviour of the changes you make, you can continue to fine-tune things as you go. For example, if your AI-powered chatbot is not delivering the conversion rates or satisfaction rates you expected, you need to be able to find out why as soon as possible. Then you need to implement the necessary changes to make it a better fit for your customers.

Excite them and enthuse them. Engage them and delight them. Create spaces for them to find their way to your bold new vision in a manner that feels like a natural extension of the relationship they already have with you. Ultimately, it is the customer who will dictate the pace of change they are willing to accept – you’ll see it through the adoption rates and usage data of your new tools and platforms.

As an Oracle Cloud Elite Partner, and a premier sponsor of Oracle OpenWorld (October 22–25, 2018, San Francisco) TCS will be on hand to explain how we’ve helped some of the world’s leading organizations to up their game and deliver enhanced customer experience as part of a results-based digital transformation strategy. We’ll also show you how you could do the same. In addition, executives from Proximus, Scottish Water, GE Healthcare, Knowles, MultiChoice and McDermott International will be present to tell their own customer experience and data-led transformation success stories.

We’re also the proud sponsor of Oracle’s CloudFest.18 concert, featuring three award-winning popular music acts – Beck, Portugal. The Man and Bleachers.