Digital – A Practitioner’s View

Digital – A Practitioner’s View

UC Berkeley – Haas School of Business has recently published a case study titled, HCL’s Digital Open Innovation: Enhancing Business Model Effectiveness through Talent and Customer Acquisition, Development, and Retention. The case study is a practitioner’s view of the digital journey that focuses on significantly enhancing employee productivity and hence, improved business effectiveness. It provides an illustration of how a set of digital technologies leverage mobility, cloud, collaboration, etc. to transform the way enterprises take advantage can create business impact.

Digital is truly one of the biggest enablers for businesses today – to fundamentally transform conventional business models. It provides the opportunity of a lifetime to every business in every part of the world. Seamlessly connecting the digital and physical world is the key to not only deliver a phenomenal customer experience, but also drive significant operational efficiencies. Digital channels for sales and customer interfaces, digital employee engagement models, digital supply chain integration, etc. are the back bone for any enterprise today. With the advent of smart mobile devices, ubiquitous connectivity, secure content on cloud and predictive analytics, business engagement and effectiveness models can be substantially improved.

We are in the era of Digital Darwinism, where technologies evolve faster than most organizations can adapt. Native digital companies have inherent advantage on this count while at the same time, reborn digital enterprises have the business maturity and scale that must be leveraged to their advantage. Several phenomenal global brands are in this process – Starbucks, GE, Boeing, Nike, etc. These forward-looking mega brands are committed to being reborn digital and are navigating the digital reborn wave extremely well. It is not only a matter of creating significant value for their ecosystems, it is also a matter of thriving in the new digital world to create customer delight, provide deep insights into business strategy and work wonders through employee engagement.

The UC Berkeley – Haas School of Business case study focuses on how to leverage digital to significantly improve business effectiveness through employee onboarding and their continuous engagement. The Starting Point platform, which is the central theme of this case study, is part of the digital journey and the concept is applicable for any organization across any industry, globally. The digital platform focuses on the following key attributes:

1. Effectiveness – reduction of cycle time in employee onboarding: to put solutions together across multiple stakeholders globally.
2. Consistency – in user experiences/proposition development and articulation, across all levels of global teams.
3. Agility – mobile platform availability on devices that are most commonly used by the team – iOS and Android: available whenever needed, wherever needed.
4. Knowledge – retention on the platform: significant reduction in training time.
5. Loop back mechanism – continuous content updation.
6. Impact – for new employees to be effective in 30-45 days instead of 180-200 days; for existing teams to leverage the platform to significantly improve customer experience and increase wins.

Digital transformation is a journey where the cycle of creative destruction never ends but only accelerates. It is important to keep looking for areas that can be significantly improved through digital business process improvement. Digital evolves… It is for the long haul. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and every section of the long haul is important.