According to a McKinsey study, digital initiatives in response to Covid-19 have leapfrogged businesses’ progress by a staggering seven years, across numerous sectors.
And this acceleration isn’t just a temporary blip. Respondents talk about their long-term investments in digital transformation, as executives now recognise its competitive importance.
Today’s businesses must be able to constantly innovate, redefine themselves and challenge commonly held assumptions.
One company that exemplifies this type of thinking is car manufacturer Tesla. This is a company that has shattered long-established motor industry conventions, placing itself ahead of market trends to embrace radical new growth opportunities.
Not only did Tesla’s boldness and willingness to innovate create opportunity for them, but it forced the market as a whole to change, as the car manufacturing industry has pivoted to accelerate its transformation. Competitors in the electric vehicle space have emerged to challenge this and, in turn, usher in the new and different.
In our recent Blazing Business Trails podcast, I spoke with Shainir Amersi, Senior Client Partner, Salesforce and Ismail Amla, Chief Growth Officer, Capita, who talked about how innovation is becoming ‘business as usual.’
“If you look back at the history of business, consistency and stability used to be a key criteria for successful businesses, and they used to be at the top of their game for a long period of time,” says Amla. “Now, a company… has to innovate, do things differently, just to stay in business.”
It’s clear that the smart economy of the future belongs to those who can lead the way in thinking differently to the norm and by pushing the boundaries of innovation.
One thing is certain from our ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report for 2020: expectations around digital are higher than ever and digital-first habits are here to stay.
Overall, 88% of customers expect companies to have accelerated their digital initiatives as a result of Covid-19.
No matter the sector, customers want to know that businesses can digitise their operations for faster, more personalised, multi-channel interactions.
And B2B expectations are catching up -- 86% of business buyers expect a trusted advisor relationship with a sales executive, but businesses fall significantly short. In reality, 73% of B2B customers say most sales interactions feel purely transactional.
From property to recruitment, education, accounting and law, business services of all kinds rely on building human connection and trust.
Better use of data insights and AI can enable them to leverage the single, holistic view of their customers that’s needed to drive better, more connected services. Technology is the key to being resilient and agile, able to respond to the unmet needs of customers on the fly.
But more than that, digital transformation is about stepping into a whole new mode of thinking about relationships of all kinds.
Everything we do these days is based on networks, and is increasingly two-way. Our choices are shaped by the experiences and opinions of other users, and when we use a service or product we join a community.
Rather than the linear fashion in which businesses traditionally operate, they can start to open two-way relationships with customers, learning from and interacting with them in far more authentic ways.
And by extending that understanding to business partnerships, they can create a whole ecosystem of related service offerings and added value for customers.
With innovation and digital transformation at the core of what we do, Salesforce helps organisations towards their goals of greater data sharing, connectivity and collaboration.
Data, intelligence, AI and the cloud are the magic ingredients for delivering the personalised experiences customers expect.
Our platform is tailored for organisations to make it easy to share data, insights and analysis across their business, so they can become confident data-driven decision makers across everything they do.
With this in place, they are able to embrace an innovation culture based around insight and visibility, and drive the best possible value from their relationships.