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The Human Side of Digital Transformation

This is a guest post written by Dave Jones, VP of Product Marketing at Nuxeo, a Silver Sponsor of FinovateSpring. Jones is a strategic marketing leader and information management expert with 20+ years of experience in the technology space.

Today, consumers embrace a willingness to experiment with new ways of doing things. This, in turn, is driving the need for financial services companies to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives in order to compete and remain relevant to customers.

But digital transformation should not mean customers never talk to a human being. A digital business should look to exploit technology to create new sources of value for customers above and beyond their products and services. They should also look to increase operational agility in the service of those customers—and that service does not always have to be digital. It can, and often should, be a human interaction.

Many describe this human element within an organization as the culture – but what is culture?

It’s a shared set of values and beliefs that drive behavior. It’s not what you say, it’s what you do. It’s how people behave when no one is looking and when no one is telling them what to do that will pave the way for great innovation.

At Nuxeo, we believe that a digital culture is critical to the success of a digital transformation project. Below are four ways that culture can play a pivotal role in digital transformation projects:

  1. To drive digital experiences, strive for a culture that fosters customer empathy and that values a deep understanding of customers’ needs and ecosystems.
  2. To drive digital operations, focus on things that customers value, and reward digital experimentation and collaboration. Nurture a culture that embeds metrics (customer metrics) into the scorecard of every employee. And foster customer empathy and customer-led decision making.
  3. To leverage digital ecosystems for broadening platforms and partnerships, nurture a culture that promotes internal and external collaboration.
  4. To place digital innovation at the intersection of experiences and operations, support a culture that encourages speed instead of perfection. Develop a healthy tolerance for risk, and a willingness to fail fast and learn from failures.

In order to become a digital business and move up the digital maturity curve, no financial institute can ignore culture because it impacts everything. The traits found in strong digital and customer-focused cultures include:

• Customer Obsession

• Empathy

• Speed & Agility

• Collaboration

• Experimentation

These are the traits that successful digital businesses have in common, and they’re the traits that allow organizations to drive their digital transformation to the highest level. However, these traits are missing from many digital transformation programs, despite assertions by many who say “Yeah, we’re doing that.” This is a problem.

Most organizations are still addressing digital transformation as a tactical, short-term savings focused exercise. Some are getting some cost savings and functional agility, but very few are creating end-to-end digital businesses with a sustainable and long-term competitive advantage. What we have are organizations that think they are done with digital transformation who were never truly on the journey, and never addressed the human and cultural piece of the puzzle.

To those organizations, we implore you to rethink your strategy and to factor culture into your digital transformation journey. But to those organizations who are using empathy, collaboration, and the natural human instinct to help others as a way to deliver a stronger and more sustainable offering to their customers – bravo. You are in the enviable position of having all the right pieces in place for your digital transformation journey – all that remains is for you to push ahead, build on the strength of your new human-digital culture and enjoy the trip.

To learn more about the trends driving digital transformation and strategies for success, download this complimentary Digital Business Playbook for Financial Services. Nuxeo is a Silver Sponsor of FinovateSpring, coming to San Francisco in less than one month! Find out how you can get involved with FinovateSpring here >>