Some takeaways from Siemens’ low-code CEO on modern digital transformation

If you’ve followed Siemens low-code releases, you’ll see that the topic of customer experience has come up frequently recently. We explore why hyper-personalization is so important, the difficulty of responding to ever-changing market demands, the changing role of mobile in the customer experience, and even the role security and composability play in the customer experience.

By Tim Srock, CEO of Mendix Corporation

If you’ve followed Siemens low-code releases, you’ll see that the topic of customer experience has come up frequently recently. We explore why hyper-personalization is so important, the difficulty of responding to ever-changing market demands, the changing role of mobile in the customer experience, and even the role security and composability play in the customer experience.

Only by understanding and continuously meeting the needs and expectations of customers can we maintain high customer satisfaction and allow enterprises to maintain a competitive advantage. While delivering a great customer experience is critical and challenging, it is ultimately only one of the sine qua nons required to meet the higher demands of digital transformation.

Talk about transformation

Let’s first look at a set of data.

Digital transformation is important. According to PwC research, 60% of executives believe digital transformation is the most critical economic growth factor in 2022. A recent BCG survey also noted that 80% of organizations are ready to accelerate their planned digital transformation journey.

However, digital transformation is costly. IDC predicts that global digital transformation spending will reach $1.8 trillion in 2022, rising to $2.8 trillion by 2025.

In addition, digital transformation is also very difficult, and 70% of digital transformation projects fail to achieve their goals.

Nonetheless, businesses understand the importance of digital transformation. Research shows that companies that are leading the way in digital transformation experience 1.8 times the revenue growth of companies that are lagging behind. Organizations that implement digital transformation correctly are able to continuously innovate, quickly adjust their strategies, and prepare for market competition. These are the keys to improving their top-line revenue profile.

Defining digital transformation

We all know that businesses that can successfully complete digital transformation will achieve amazing ROI, but how to ensure that organizations can eventually become that successful 30%?

This is a priceless question, but the tricky part is that there is no right answer.

To truly understand the depth and breadth of digital transformation, let’s first review its history. Since the late 1990s, digital transformation has gradually developed as a term and concept in the business world. As a term, digital transformation is very literal in its infancy. Organizations are either digitizing core systems to eliminate mainframes, or replacing paper and manual processes with digital products. Back in 2001, digitization probably meant nothing more than converting a paper ledger into a big spreadsheet.

From the early 2000s to the 2010s, organizations entered a more comprehensive phase of digitization, beginning to eliminate all manual work across departments. Spreadsheets and databases are increasingly being replaced by seamless, adaptable digital workflows. Organizations are looking to increase operational efficiency, save costs and enhance customer experience through successful digital transformation projects.

The global pandemic has had a massive impact on the progress of digital transformation projects. Countless companies trying to maintain the status quo have finally discovered that the global environment has undergone earth-shaking changes. They can no longer choose to remain complacent, and should think about how to take the next step correctly. The pandemic has not only accelerated the adoption of digital technologies by a few years, but it has also revolutionized how and where we work. While a significant number of employees have returned to the office, 73% of workers want to be able to work flexibly.

As of this year, the supply chain is still recovering. Even so, the labor market is increasingly competitive, with organizations competing to recruit and retain top talent. In addition, consumers expect more from digital than ever before.

After years of development, the definition of digital transformation is now very broad, with many different interpretations surrounding the term and concept. Therefore, the first hurdle an enterprise will face before embarking on a digital transformation project is what the definition of digital transformation means for an organization. Enterprises need to start from a small-scale transformation, plan the goals, steps and reasons for supporting the implementation of the project, and the criteria for measuring the success of the project should also be consistent with the definition of digital transformation.

Plan the right course for digital transformation

Although there is no perfect practice or unified route for digital transformation that can be replicated, once a company has identified the goals, methods, and reasons for digital transformation, it can begin to move forward. There are three key elements to any successful digital transformation program:

• Lead the overall situation and fully delegate power

Any CEO has digital transformation as a core part of his vision, and for this vision to permeate the entire organization, it needs to gain buy-in from the C-suite to the rank and file. Once digital transformation fits the needs of an organization, it needs to be reflected in strategy, goal setting, and how the organization operates and makes decisions.

Success in digital transformation requires both motivation and authority, so empowering project leaders to work smoothly across the organization avoids stalling projects due to inability to agree across functions during the decision-making process.

• Change management

Change is challenging, especially for established organizations that were not born in the age of digital acceleration. It’s a pain to make changes when a business has been around for decades and has huge technical debt. Businesses born in a changing environment have a more inclusive attitude towards transformation, whether it is a new startup or a century-old enterprise.

Change management, while a key element in digital transformation, has been underestimated in its importance. Technology is often a hot topic in digital transformation, but it is the people who implement and use these new technologies that really make or break a digital transformation. Make sure your employees understand and participate as much as possible in the process of digital transformation. This will make employees more convinced and supportive of the corporate vision set by the CEO. However, accept the fact that not everyone is willing to support and participate in the corporate vision. The job of change management includes understanding and supporting an evolving workforce.

• Change from within

If business leaders can focus on responding to changing external factors, cornering overtaking is possible. According to McKinsey, 64% of business executives believe that strengthening new digital businesses is key to business survival.

Change can bring innovation and create promising new digital businesses. It’s hard to change internally, but as a leader, you have to break the mold and take the hard first step. You can gain the flexibility you need to make change from within by establishing digital transformation as a long-term practice.

Improve anti-risk ability

How to define digital transformation is just the beginning. Businesses need to build a culture that welcomes change and empowers competent innovators to lead right-sized digital transformation projects. But completing endless digital tasks is not the long-term goal of a business. The primary goal of modern digital transformation is to make change a permanent practice. Businesses are always ready to respond to sudden changes in the industry and be able to develop and launch products that meet customer needs. new digital businesses, and help a dedicated, creative workforce continue to innovate and stay cohesive.

There are no miracles, only trajectories, Thomas M. Siebel once said: “Since 2000, more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies have been acquired, merged or declared bankruptcy, and this continues. This massive’ The extinction event did not happen for no reason, but the cause of this ‘extinction’ was digital transformation. On the contrary, innovative companies with new genes, such as Amazon, Meta (formerly Facebook), etc., are still in a more competitive market environment. To have a role to play” .

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