No one’s time is more precious than your customers. Now more than ever customers are demanding faster and more agile delivery of technology and services. By now you are aware that the world is rapidly going digital via a movement called digital transformation. The CIO argues that “businesses that cannot keep pace and provide the products and services customers want in a secure manner, quickly and affordably” due to the explosive growth that is paralyzing networks. The process of digital transformation aims to improve these networks, and making them faster is a driving force behind it. In this article, I will examine 5 reasons why speed matters in digital transformation.
1.) The actual speed of the business and their products/services
Customers want things faster now than ever before in our always connected, always-on world. However not just in the professional workplace, but in their regular lives as well. This is the reason companies such as amazon are introducing drone services for faster deliveries, or same day deliveries. Customers cannot wait for a product or service, they expect it to either be maintained or available at any time. The same goes for digital. If you offer a product or service, your customers expect to have it, see results quickly at any time they please.
2.) The speed at which the business must make decisions
Businesses in the age of digital transformation cannot waste time when faced with important decisions. A clear and concise decision must be made in a timely manner to insure the customers best interests. A business that can deliver in a timely and confident manner will not only meet customer expectations but also exceed them, leaving slower businesses behind. Any delay, interruption, or downtime, inside and outside the network, can accumulate a cost that is detrimental to your business. Whether it’s an opportunity, a threat, or a change in direction, customers will expect a confident response when faced with a difficult decision.
3.) The speed at which data and market competitiveness must be analyzed
As a business, you know the rate of reaction time is crucial to business success. However, your rate of reaction time depends on how fast your network is performing. No one would stand in line at a coffee shop if it took an hour to make your coffee every morning, the same goes for your digital network. If a business takes too long, the customer is lost. This is because your customers know the value of their time and how they cannot afford for it to be wasted. Ensure your network is performing at optimum rate through analysis to maintain market competitiveness.
4.) The speed at which the business must adopt changes for shifts in the market
If an analysis of your data shows your network is under performing in terms of speed, than it’s obvious that a change is necessary. However change is not always easy, particularly in complex IT structures. However, this wave of digital transformation has proven that regardless of the complexity, the need for competitive advantage trumps all else. Dion Hinchcliffe argues that “the rate of change across most technological trends is occurring at a rate far quicker than in years past”. Hinchcliffe conducted a study where he sampled C-suite IT professionals from top companies and asked them to share how they were becoming more agile. The results proved that IT professionals were under immense pressure to preform faster. When the industry’s technology becomes faster, the need for the adaptation of faster technologies increases. But this change isn’t purely associated with hardware. With a constantly evolving industry, it only makes sense that the market changes with it. A business must be quick to adapt to rapid changes in the market to avoid being left behind. Business that cannot quickly adapt will find themselves playing a game of catch-up, a position no one wants to find themselves in.
5.) The speed at which the business reacts and fixes disasters
When a customer encounters a problem, their first reaction may be to troubleshoot it themselves. Helpdesks have a stereotype of taking up too much of the customer’s time. Zendesk examines this in a blog entitled Five trends impacting the enterprise IT help desk. The author states “IT organizations must adjust their focus towards their primary mission: delivering speedy, high-quality services that will be consumed by people, rather than spending excessive time tending to the underlying support technology that helps deliver these services”. If a customer needs help, they expect to receive that help in a timely manner. One way in which help desks can speed up their response rate is by providing self service materials to customers that would rather fix the issue on their own time. In essence, providing your customers with their own tools to be successful. Detailed online material that can help a customer out of their common/everyday problem. However, for larger issues or disasters, it is imperative that you as a business are ready to respond quickly. Address issues quickly like your reputation is on the line, because it is. No company is immune to disasters, but it is how you handle these disasters that matters to the customer. Recent trends show that businesses put increasing emphasis on preventative, and proactive measures to ensure such an event never occurs. Not having a problem at all is still better than fixing it quickly.
A network performing at optimum speed is not only essential for business success, but also digital transformation. Without a fast and agile network, digital transformation efforts would stop entirely causing your business to fall behind.