Leveraging on Digital Resilience Around the Customer by Michael Jjingo

Are our businesses digitally resilient? Well, Covid-19’s impact has tested the businesses’ digital readiness, especially those that had been slowly scaling up for years prior to the pandemic, and their readiness has significantly limited the negative effects. Digital resilience starts with scoping digital challenges and the level of digitization, plus the remedy.

True, there has been a shift in the consumer behavior from bricks and mortar to clicking! A digital presence for a business acts as a powerful marketing and growth tool. A strong digital engagement for any growing business is no longer an option but a critical necessity. The most overt benefits of digitization is connecting directly with and understanding your niche.

In an era of eroding profit margins, survival depends on business resilience. Digital resilience refers to the strategic use of technologies to deliver customer value and business growth. Indeed, some industries – such as hospitality, tourism, transport, and education – were hit more than others, especially those that did not embed digital technologies and analytics early enough.

We should appreciate that the customer-centric perspective is critical. Only companies that leverage digital technologies and data to engage with customers more effectively, enrich customer experiences or offer innovative customer-focused business models create long-term growth. Resilient businesses use digital technologies, data and analytics to create long-term customer value.

To effectively collect data and turn it into insights, four types of tech talents are required. Data engineers- collecting, processing and cleaning data for the downstream analytics. Data scientists – for more advanced investigations and prediction responsibilities to formulate recommendations. Business intelligence experts- make sense of the data from the business perspective…. What does it mean? Lastly, the Business partner who transforms the business pain points into technical solutions.

To further augment the data-driven momentum and scale customer data analysis, Businesses should launch a loyalty programme. By generating customer profiles and deciphering data across the business, this enables better scoping of the customer journey. For example, the analytics could inform the conversion rate for visitors responding to specific business campaigns. After creating the buzz among customers, there’s need to unpack this conversion rate.

The road to a data-driven digital transformation starts with BI (business intelligence), then proceeds to AI (Artificial Intelligence), to arrive at EI (extended intelligence, or decision support systems). The best strategy is to have machine learning led by human learning.

As a matter of Continually enhancing customer value, data is very key. The business should strive to become a data-driven firm. Being data-led not only improves effectiveness internally and delivers more customer value. This also opens the possibility to pivot the business model beyond the traditional usual lines. Because the company knows its clients inside out, it can create new data partnerships that will benefit the broader ecosystem.

Along the way, each organisation will meet its own challenges. Still, we believe that significant growth awaits any company that successfully completes its digital journey especially if it stays focused on how data and digital tech could empower company support systems in the service of the customer. The secret sauce includes three ingredients: a business-wide change in mindset, the development and integration of analytical skillsets.

In a nutshell, Building digital resilience starts with analytics transformation, which entails building apt datasets, a mindset and a skillset to build scenarios. Well, Digital leadership is very critical in any digitization trajectory. The primary reason is that digital efforts tend to be embraced at either the top or the bottom of any business. To achieve digital leverage, all teams should be enthused as they engage.

The writer is a General Manager Commercial Banking at Centenary Bank

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