5 things you should take into account when thinking about your company’s digital transformation May 25, 2020

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As we position ourselves as a company that can help you in your digital transformation journey, the question is raised, ‘what is digital transformation’?

The concept itself still provokes mixed feelings as both words entail change. A shift from analog to digital and to change the way you are working.
It’s about learning new skills, stretching yourself and the organisation in adapting a new way of working and investing time and money for an uncertain outcome.

In traditional sales, a common question is often what industry we focus upon. My answer is simple, wherever there is an end-user.
As Flow Pilots we have 10 years of experience in different businesses where we have co-created and developed a range of digital services.

The common denominator is always which service do you, or would you like to offer your customer? How do you provide that service today? And how is your customer going to use that service in the future?

So when thinking about digital transformation here are 5 things you should take into account


1. It’s all about the customer

Who is your customer? Is this your future customer? How old are they? Are they tech-savvy? How do they consume your service today? How is your customer changing?

For a long time two parent- two children households were the standard, today’s households are a patchwork. Whereas men used to have a bigger income, women are now earning more and more. Keeping your job for 40 year seemed a no brainer, but today’s job market is becoming a gig economy. Everything is changing in our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous ) world.
So what pain are you solving? And do you know your customer? 

Understanding your customer is step number one. You can think of the nicest applications, the most innovative technologies. If you don’t know your customer and what pain you are solving it doesn’t matter what you do. Your product will not have the success you anticipated.  No matter how much effort, marketing and communication you put into it.  


2. It’s all about the customer

Cross-check new emerging technologies to define your customer’s pain

Yes, Gartner’s Hype Cycle these days feels overwhelming. You have AI, IoT, Drones, Quantum computing, everything in the cloud, 5G, Blockchain, virtual assistants, VR, AR, Smart Robots, Smart homes, Smart cars, everything smart, and so on… It’s important to keep up with the latest evolutions in technology, knowing what’s going on, understanding it to the extend that you can see what the impact may be on your business in the near future. 

But in the end, those technologies are only important if they solve the customer’s pain. So if you know your customers’ pain, an interesting exercise can be to cross check how these new emerging technologies could help to solve that problem.


3. It’s all about the customer

Knowing your customer is not following your customer blindly.

Your customer is biased, he/she ages and has a short term memory. So, as said before, it’s your job to discover his pain, as this is what you are solving. You have to anticipate changing behaviour. In 2010, nobody believed that we would want to do all our banking transactions slouched on the couch watching Netflix. Yet here we are. The reason nobody could believe it was because we deemed banking transactions to be a serious matter, something you would get up for, sit behind a desk and do serious stuff.
But in the end the main part of the customer’s pain is doing payments and knowing how much money there is on the account. When you can do this from your couch with Netflix the pain is solved. 

Whenever you make the reflection, “this is not something my customer would do in any other way”, rest assured that somewhere a startup is already disrupting your business. 

We’re not thinking outside the box anymore, you have to throw your box away.


4. It’s all about the customer

It’s not easy, this world of change. It means you have to change too. And looking at all that digitalisation maybe replacing your job or your colleague’s job, kinda sucks.
But the reality is that if you don’t change, you will be forced eventually, because the moment your customer has an alternative that relieves the pain even more or solves it completely, he’s gone. And so is your business.
So if you look at your service, what is the part that really matters? The expertise, the trust,… that is where you need the human contact. All other things are up for change.


5. It’s all about the customer

5 tips just looked better on paper…
All jokes aside. 

What it comes down to, is that we have been living in a world where the speed of innovation didn’t seem to affect us. And in some way it is true, that it isn’t going as fast as “they”, the tech evangelists, say. Much of the above mentioned Gartner’s Hype Cycle technologies still have to go through the trough of disillusionment. But it gives us a false sense of time. They will emerge eventually and your customers are ready to adopt. 

The only question that remains is, are you ready?


Dewi Van De Vyver

CEO Flow Pilots