Every business has a different approach to digital transformation and digital readiness. Some believe they are immune to the immense challenges of the digital economy, while others have taken only small steps. Some have jumped wholeheartedly into digital transformation, due to a genuine need. Sadly, many businesses have fallen as they, like the proverbial frog in boiling water, have noticed the water boiling only when it was too late.

PENSO has led the digital transformation of a number of organisations, and in doing so, identified some clear patterns. In part two of our series on Digital Readiness, we highlight the final four of our eight key elements that make up a consumer-centric, “digital ready” organisation.It is the alchemy of these elements that makes for an organisation that can ride the digital wave, rather than being overcome by it.

If you missed part one, you can view it here

PENSO's Digital Readiness Ready Reckoner


Software and technology platforms – the stack
In choosing an appropriate technology stack, some organisations opt for a conservative approach with a single vendor that optimises ease over effectiveness. Others choose a “best-in-class” digital experience stack from a variety of vendors that seek to drive consistent, scalable and profitable marketing outcomes, with more effort up front. And, some organisations choose a mix of both. Whichever the direction, the selection must be in support of all elements above, rather than “technology-first”.

Who’s doing it well?
A wide variety of best-in-class software vendors such as Tealium, Optimizely, Fullstory, and Contentful are collaborating to develop a “digital experience stack”. These “category killer apps” are leaders in specific areas such as customer data, personalisation, user tracking, and data enrichment. Together, they can provide a significantly better customer experience than larger legacy platforms.

Digital Experience Stack


Internal resources and team
The key to effective digital outcomes is ensuring a clear digital strategy (that is a subset of a broader corporate strategy, not tangential to) to attract rare digital talent. A key factor is how internal talent and resources are aligned to deliver business growth. Identification of talent gaps, hiring practices, talent sourcing, and utilisation of internal experts are all key parts of the puzzle.

Who’s doing it well?
Vervoe is an Artificial-Intelligence driven skill testing tool for hiring better staff. Talent is skill tested with real-life experiences they may face in their job. Vervoe enables the hirer to automatically assess hundreds, if not thousands of people rapidly, getting an unbiased assessment of their skills, attitude and approach. The AI helps the hirer shortlist a top list of talent. PENSO uses Vervoe to assess and hire all of our A-Grade talent.


Ways of working, governance and structure
Review how the organisation identifies, plans, gathers information, analyses, creates, executes, governs and measures.
Ask what are the reasons (if any) to collect data on consumers? How quickly does data move through the organisation? How quickly does the organisation respond? How well does the organisation change its offer as a result? What is the mix of reliability vs. innovation? What editorial, legal and other governance measures are in place? What is the single metric that matters for each department, or for the organisation as a whole? Are processes optimised to deliver the metric that matters?

Who’s doing it well?
ANZ has recently moved to an agile way of working, with a data-centric and customer-centric approach. The traditional “new product development then goes to marketing and sales” method has changed to a “customer tribe” approach that looks at the customer in a holistic way, and then packages up new products to fit their lifestyle and needs — and sells on a personalised basis.


Use of external experts
How to best use subject matter experts in the most efficient and focused way. Are they permanent? Are they transitional? Are they brains—advisers, or braun—providing manpower and scale? Or both? Keeping in mind the difficulty of finding top-quality digital talent, external partners can often provide a highly-skilled, immediate source of clear expertise.

Who’s doing it well?
Last financial year, PENSO used 247 partners around the world to rapidly scale activities and provide specialised expertise across a range of skill sets covering: Strategy, Research, Personalised Advertising and Content, Digital Channels and Marketing Technology.

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