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In addition to ensuring the smooth running of technical operations, digital business is also a key technical issue of concern to various industries. The board expects technology operations to comply with service standards and cybersecurity protocols.
Still, technology-based businesses are relying on the next phase of digitization to deliver their business strategies and drive value by enhancing customer experience and streamlining operations. However, they do not pay enough attention to the impact of digitalization in terms of social, lifestyle and community impact.
Digital success requires technical expertise, product expertise and customer insight.
Of course, the ability to quickly digitize interactions is an indicator of effective digitization. However, the illusion of speed is often evident when digitization removes key customer interactions where customers expect conversations. This can lead to opportunities to deepen customer relationships being digitized, and other equally important revenue-generating opportunities can be lost in the absence of these direct conversations.
Meanwhile, the organization’s customer-centric area is exploring ways to create customer-to-customer interactions. In a virtual environment, this is changing the norms of how the strength of relationships with customers is established and redefining loyalty. In other words, the reality of ensuring that enterprises are digitally connected is changing the way companies do business.
Boards also recognize the realities of their technology organizations implementing solutions, with an emphasis on speed of implementation. Some technology capabilities not only affect how an organization operates, but even take it away from market advantage.
For example, we often hear “better technical solutions are being implemented”. It’s a stark reminder of the Betamax story. Betamax is a tape-based consumer-grade analog recording format used in video cassette recorders. When customers adopted VHS, Betamax became obsolete. This is not because of a lack of cutting-edge technology, but because of differences in adoption. The parallels to today’s digital world are striking.
A CEO Perspective in a Technology-Based World
CEOs of technology-based organizations realize that a focus on operationally proficient technology is essential, leading to a digital refresh of technology leadership. As a result, the technical teams of the future place very different demands in their day-to-day work. Keeping your next-gen code current is only part of the story.
For technology leaders, the reality is that expectations have risen for lagging organizations. The good news is that this is a great opportunity to grow and develop talent within the technology function. Furthermore, as the next generation of CEOs becomes increasingly tech-savvy, the impact of digitalization is having a profound impact on the market for successful organizations.
Social Impact: The Law of Unintended Consequences
More profoundly, the impact of digitalization is being felt at the social level.
With many activities digitized, there are limited requirements for social interaction in day-to-day activities. For example, organizations have removed the ability to speak to a service center for customers who want to have a conversation. This underscores both the requirement for first-time digital processing of customer requests, and the requirement for organizations to recognize the impact on communities and re-cultivate social competence in a digital world.
While this can have a beneficial effect in terms of freeing up more time for other activities, it also raises awareness of the impact of digitalization on societal wellbeing as interactions are directed to websites, apps and portals. Both scenarios must be considered when building the next-generation digital future.
The Critical Position of Technology Leaders
As leaders increasingly digitize business operations, digital activity is reshaping the customer experience, changing lifestyles and reshaping how time is spent in everyday life. This again underscores the need for digital quality, ensuring cybersecurity and a seamless customer experience.
Equally important, attention to changes in everyday life remains at the heart of the social impact of aggregated digital implementation. When designing experiences, one must still consider the impact on everyday life and the surrounding interventions that may be required to ensure a balanced lifestyle, wellbeing and impact on designing the social lives of the next generation.
Digitization has many positives as it simplifies everyday life and creates straight-through processing and timely response to customer and client requests. However, it is important to maintain a healthy balance and ensure the influence of the digital world, blending work and reducing the need for travel for face-to-face interactions.
As organizational leaders, ensuring our ability to support society in maximizing the benefits of digitalization while minimizing unintended impacts remains critical. Within the boardroom, a digital balance must be struck to ensure that the company delivers at the local, organizational and societal levels.
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