Article by Guest Blogger: Jenny McTiernan COO of ProTech

Digital transformation, like any other kind of business transformation should be seen as the integration of people, processes and technology to achieve improvements in customer satisfaction, engagement and overall cost effectiveness. As with any change digital transformation should be embedded within, and be broadly supportive of the organisation’s overall corporate strategy.

To understand exactly what digital transformation is, it can be helpful to define what it is not. It is not about incremental evolution of an existing IT strategy, it is not about ‘projects’ or ‘initiatives’ and it is definitely not about technology for its own sake.

Digital transformation should be just one strand of a business’s overarching transformation approach. This is because it is the integration of people, processes and technology that will actually deliver the real benefits to customers, staff and the business as a whole. As with any transformation, people should be placed at its core. Any business that does not have a process to continuously transform itself, risks failure in a world where change is the only thing that is certain.

Digital transformation will mean different things to different businesses and what is important is that your digital transformation places customers at the very core.

A digital transformation could mean building on a digital platform that is already heading in the right direction. For example, we would mostly agree that Amazon is a customer experience centred business that may need to change its attitude towards corporate social responsibility.

Or it can mean that a complete culture transformation is needed e.g. the digitalisation of local government to enable services delivered by your local council to be provided online.

True digital transformation involves transforming the culture of the organisation and ‘turning it on its head’. Executives and senior managers are no longer the real decision makers – control lies with the customer. An organisation’s ability to respond, with agility to this ever evolving customer demand is what determines whether digital transformation will take place.

To what extent is digital transformation already on the agenda of NFP’s today?

There is no question that many NFP’s are already engaged in, or have a strategy to engage in, what they believe to be digital transformation. This typically involves projects designed to deliver deeper engagement with social media, investment in app development, responsive web design and so on.

My concern is whether NFP’s really understand that whilst this may deliver some incremental improvement, these projects alone will not deliver digital transformation.

I also worry about whether NFP’s are investing enough in understanding customer behaviour and the motives for their behaviour or empowering their frontline staff to use data and analytics to respond proactively to changing customer demand.

I don’t see NFP’s ready to relinquish control to the customer to the extent required to respond with a truly personalised, integrated, interactive experience.

These are the things which actually deliver digital transformation.

What are the consequences to NFP’s that don’t embrace digital?

The smart NFP’s are starting to understand that digital is an enabler to delivering a truly customer centred product or service. By leveraging digital technologies they are delivering a personalised, engaging, responsive and interactive customer experience and will see increased customer demand, greater staff satisfaction and higher profits.

In a world where members/customers have more choice than ever, if they do not get the information they need, when and how they want it delivered, they will simply vote with their fingers and go elsewhere!

Jenny McTiernan, COO, ProTechAuthor: Jenny McTiernan, COO of ProTech.

For more than 20 years ProTech has been delivering specialist CRM software and change management services to the Not for Profit (NFP) sector. Its Pro-8 CRM software operates in a Microsoft environment and delivers easily configurable specialist NFP modules. ProTech delivers a Government ‘OFFICIAL’ security accredited fully integrated web and CRM platform and its Lean3S, change management methodology based on Lean and Systems Thinking, ensures that NFPs can fully optimise their investment in ProTech’s fully integrated web and CRM technology platform.