Despite the accelerated adoption of digital in recent years, some organisations are still trying to unlock true value from their transformation efforts to date – however as budgets compress and global economic uncertainty grows, many analysts are suggesting growth in the IT & Digital spend is essential for maintaining competitive advantage and staying operationally efficient.
True digital transformation can only be seen when every function of an organisation comes together, providing the essential cohesion to innovate effectively and generate true transformation value.
Whatever position a company is in, one thing that is clear is that the current generation of marketing and digital leaders is delivering cutting edge digital transformation programmes means continuing to break down organisational siloes wherever possible. This theme has been emphasised since everyone emerged from the pandemic.
James McGough, Founder of Europe’s biggest technology EXPO – DTX, believes crucial to this is the need for professionals to learn more about their own organisations: ‘‘We have a lot of key discoveries in this area – 71% of our recent C level visitors have told us they no longer wanted to work in what I call ‘departmental isolation’ and were actively seeking to work with others across their organisation to help realise the digital industry’s massive potential.”
While leading companies can access a new world of possibilities by shifting to digital collaboration in all areas of their company, with technology stacks continuing to change rapidly, many marketing leaders are finding more obstacles to navigate than successes.
Alex Vail, Chief Marketing Officer, R2 Factory at Rolls Royce feels more collaboration between all teams in order to share ideas, technology and data in new safe and secure ways is the answer to delivering real change: “Digital Transformation is hard. Businesses everywhere have been impacted by huge, external change agents over the last couple of years. The shift we are seeing is that organisations have begun to recognise they cannot meet system-wide challenges without system-wide collaboration. In 2023 and beyond, we will hear a lot more about businesses working together, sharing industrial data and ideating with partners no one would have imagined, towards solutions which actually make systemic impacts.”
A key part of this journey will be ensuring the IT/Technology functions of a company work with the marketing team to try new things – something Magnus Falk, CIO Adviser at Zoom, believes requires as step change in experimentation with new technologies in order to drive organisational efficiencies and create competitive advantage: “We more teams experimenting with virtual experiences to add value e.g. in a retail environment. So a prestige watch company might offer a potential client the opportunity to meet the renowned Swiss-based designer – he can hop on a video call right now and have a chat with you – creating a competitive advantage.”
Kasper Nielsen, Head of Customer Care, EMEA, Lifescan, a specialist manufacturer of medical devices to manage diabetes sees digital transformation and intelligent use of new technology as key to managing the effect of global uncertainty and the ‘cost of living’ crisis: “We are going to see a completely different environment next year when all businesses will feel the squeeze from inflation, increased raw material and shipping costs. With more companies under pressure, the technology we use needs to be spot on as does our cross-departmental strategy. As a business we will need to get the balance right between human interaction and AI to ensure we don’t lose our human touch and yet still deliver the level of customer service that commands brand loyalty.”
Julien Rio, Associate Vice President of Marketing at RingCentral believe companies need greater leveraging of customer data and insights is also key to growing during an uncertain time, and fully expects game-changing developments in the marketing space in 2023 to continue: “As competition increases between businesses amid an economic slump, the C-suite is (finally!) waking up to the value that marketing adds to raising brand awareness and increasing sales conversion. Advanced analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) will soon provide customer insights that can predict churn, customer needs and preferences, allowing marketing activities to be adjusted according to the data. It’s an exciting time for marketing, and technology will be key to shaping and transforming the sector next year.”
It is clear that ‘Breaking Down Silos’ in organisations is key to really take digital transformation to the next level for all companies. Marketing and digital professionals must focus on creating as many opportunities as possible to learn what is happening across their company’s entire technology stack in order to find new ways to collaborate with others as they prepare for a new era of digital transformation.
CMOs can no longer just focus on their traditional areas either – they need to have a real understanding of technology. To maximise the opportunities created by digital transformation means they must understand in detail the day-to-day challenges facing teams such as Cloud infrastructure, security, DevOps and data & insight in order to ensure that no team involved in Digital Transformation works in isolation.