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In the front seat to 2020 - understanding what's driving digital transformation

Tony Colon Profile picture for user tcolon August 1, 2018
It's only 18 months until 2020 - time to get on the front foot to meet your digital transformation goals, says Salesforce's Tony Colon.

Tony Colon Salesforce
Tony Colon

The year 2020 fits perfectly in the title of any company report or “vision.” You’ll see business after business outline a plan taking them to 2020.

But while measuring progress against an arbitrary — if catchy — date in the future might seem like surface gloss, there’s actually a lot to be gained from measuring digital transformation against key dates. It’s only 18 months to 2020, for example, which could be helpful for any transformation that leaders are looking to for medium-term changes.

With that in mind, here are a few key points to think about as your business evolves to ensure you’re headed into 2020 set up for success.

Keep up with evolving customer expectations

According to Salesforce research, 80% of customers say that experience is just as important as the products and services it provides. So as expectations change, how can you identify your customers’ evolving needs and exceed them?

The technology to support you getting closer to your customers is now here. Over the next 18 months, make sure you put the tools and platforms in place that will help you build those meaningful and long-lasting relationships.

Analytics tools can help you turn customer data into insights that will drive revenue. This kind of technology allows businesses to create 360-degree views of their customers and enables greater collaboration between internal teams. Analyzing purchase data against interactions with customer service teams, for example, could uncover valuable insights.

Improve productivity

Nine out of 10 workers spend 15 hours per week on administrative tasks that fall outside of their core job function. This needs to be eliminated if you are to service the customer of 2020 and beyond.

Is your business currently using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation to complement human skills? It might seem a scary concept, but rather than taking jobs, AI will free up your teams to spend more time on tasks that will drive revenue. Implementing it is realistic and achievable, and a business can certainly build a foundation for AI in time for 2020.

Productivity is one of the biggest challenges modern economies face, so to allow their teams to focus on improving customer relationships, leaders need to look at how they can start now to implement AI and automation.

Fostering entrepreneurism

Post-2020, the most successful businesses will have teams and individuals that can think in an entrepreneurial way and take their careers into their own hands. Digital transformation gives your employees the opportunity to continually upskill, so make sure you’re set up to help them do this over the next 18 months.

Since AI means they can spend less time on admin tasks, your workers could instead focus on gaining a new skill – like coding — that they could then use to implement a customer segmentation program, for example. By allowing your teams to dictate their own learning paths, they will be far more likely and enthusiastic about looking at new ways to enhance the customer experience.

The next 18 months before 2020 will no doubt fly by, so it’s important to get this preparation started as soon as possible. Of course, you’ll have short-term goals that you’ll want to achieve before then, but it’s important to be thinking further ahead. By doing so, you’ll be one step ahead of the game and heading into 2020 well equipped.

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