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Digital transformation of the company requires transformation of the team and the individuals on the team. The culture of a company embodies old behaviors and processes, and we forget why it was there to begin with. Such passive acceptance leads to lack of innovation, or kills innovation early in the cycle.

We left behind video tapes and CDs and prefer to watch streaming media. Such rapidly changing trends mark significant shifts in consumption that will leave large business corporations such as Blockbuster behind, if they don’t transform themselves in an agile way. Since this is core to the DNA of the company, such a massive transformation can only be successful if its driven from the top down, and made highly relevant to each functional team.

The digital age is as much about use as you go, use only as much as you need, and ‘snacking’ on bits of information all the time, as much as it also sets the willingness to pay for the consumer. The level of flexibility and ease with which you can dial up or dial down your consumption, alter your preferences, go from an individual power user to a social group user, sets the tone for highly elastic consumption of services. There is a need to keep innovating without a preset idea of outcome or ROI. The investment in bottoms up innovation is much more promising than top down initiative prioritization in today’s changing landscape.

The retail industry is undergoing digital transformation in many facets. Much as I love shopping and trying new clothes and shoes in the store, I have found myself very comfortable with choosing options such as StitchFix, LeTote where you can give highly customized style preferences, event-ready choices, changing body type selections and try all this in the comfort of your home, and mix and match with your ever expanding wardrobe. The added value, I have found as have many others, is also the opening to go beyond your usual comfort zone and style, thus enjoying the experience beyond store shopping. Such is the power of innovation, which allows companies like Nordstrom, to take on Hautelook or similar digital avenues to stay in tune with changing trends. Now you can get the combination of great service in store or on your mobile!

Omni commerce requires that we can transact in any way we wish; desktop, store, mobile, phone, etc. This is great because the more we push towards a paperless transaction, the more information we collect towards improving customer experience. Insights into preferences, allow for fine tuning of the service offering while adjusting processes in the traditional framework. This can cut down costs and time.

Traditional approach towards demographics and customer segmentation are not always relevant in this shifting world of digital consumerism. Old paradigms are not based on a real understanding of needs and behavior of the end customer. We should now capture the person and the behavior in context of each other.

Lastly, creating a digital transformation is about putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. Monitoring the behaviors, community chats, traditional and non-traditional feedback will allow you to improve the customer experience. Ease of searching, buying, adoption, pricing and obtaining support, all contribute to the full experience.

In summary, digital transformation is as much about technology and process as it is about leadership and creating organization readiness.