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    Leverage Digitization to Disrupt Your Industry

    By: Matt Kanaskie
    September 15, 2020

    The world has gone digital. How is your business leveraging the continual shift? Today’s customers desire – and often expect – a quick, seamless digital experience. You can thank Apple and Amazon for that.

    What is Digitization?

    Digitalization is at the core of every new technology today. Wikipedia, an exemplary example of digitalization in its own right, describes it this way: digitization “allows information of all kinds in all formats to be carried with the same efficiency and also intermingled.”

    Business owner using a tablet to assess user data. While the Internet of Things (IoT) is accelerating at a rapid rate, the concept is still relatively new to many. Even people who are participating in and benefiting from IoT may not know to call it that. Still, when you look at the numbers, the household average for number of connected devices is estimated at 50

    Following along its current trajectory, Martech Advisor estimates there will be around 75 billion connected devices by 2025, a projection of around 125 billion connected devices by 2030. Looking at those numbers, it's clear digitization is here and it shows no sign of stopping. 

    With more and more Fortune 1000 companies undertaking digital projects, there is no time like the present to explore how your business can embrace digitization—and improve customer experience along the way. 

    How Are Businesses Embracing Digitization? 

    Need some inspiration? Here are three ways businesses are embracing digital to improve the customer experience:

    1. Personalize the Experience

    You don't have to look too far these days to figure out that customer experience is king. Just about any company can develop and sell a product, but customer service? The ability to customize knows no bounds.

    For instance, State Farm insurance is focused on bringing a next-gen customer experience throughout the company. Slated for both digital and offline channels, their take on digitization includes providing data-driven, actionable insights to their agents, data those agents can use to improve the customer experience. How are they doing it? Through automated data capture and CRM synchronization. 

    2. Create Alignment from the Inside Out

    A desire to embrace digitization is a great place to start, but it won't do much in the way of getting things going. Alignment across the organization, with an emphasis on key stakeholders, is the place to start. In order to move the initiative, collecting buy-in has to happen.

    In order to be successful, look at the silos throughout your organization. How can digitization-related objectives be understood across departments and groups? Most companies find effective  internal communication a struggle, which is a key indication that implementing a digitized initiative will be difficult. In order to see the benefits of simplified, automated internal processes, start with getting key stakeholders excited.

    3. Think Seamlessly

    If you look at organizations leading the charge in digitization, a few words come to mind. Seamless. Integrated. Automated. And it's not by accident. Organizations who deliver in terms of seamless interactions know how to create omnichannel experiences.

    Consider the many channels a prospect may interface with in order to become a customer at your business. Maybe it starts on social media before moving to your website. Perhaps they then interface with your website's chatbot or mobile app before contacting your call center or visiting a physical store location. Considering your business, how seamless is that prospects path to become a customer?

    By leveraging digitization, businesses have the opportunity to improve business operations and customer satisfaction. Not only that, but you have the opportunity to disrupt your industry. 

    Digital Transformation Leads to Industry Disruptors

    Digitalization represents a significant shift in how organizations thrive. Consider this... Uber, a taxi service, doesn’t own any vehicles. Facebook, a “news” source, develops no content. Airbnb, a lodging rental website, doesn’t own real estate. These are all examples of industry disruptors. 

    What are Industry Disruptors? 

    Industry disruptors are businesses that create a new way of doing things within an existing market. It could be in their approach to their products and services, or alternatively, their way of approaching business, that the existing market is disrupted. Most often, disruptors are less likely to come from inside an industry or market and instead disrupt from the outside looking in. 


    Embracing – and really leveraging – digitalization requires an overhaul of business processes. Consider your opportunities. What manual processes can become digital in your organization? What’s already digital that you can leverage? Take one step at a time, beginning with the end in mind.

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