When you start exploring ways to digitally transform your business, you may just find an embarrassment of riches – there are so many options that it can be overwhelming to figure out where to get started. You could transition legacy workflows to digital, and share information more easily across different arms of your organization. You could offer customers a beautifully designed app that makes connecting with your sales teams a breeze. You could migrate operations to the cloud, so it’s easy for your employees to work from any location. There are so many ways to move forward with digital transformation that we sometimes find ourselves at a standstill.

An Increasing Rate of Change

The concept of a “Holy Grail” of digital transformation is an attractive one. In reality though, there’s no pristine, unblemished way to drive the digital transformation process. Real businesses have real challenges. You know what yours are: your goals, your resources, and your time frames. All of your decision making will stem from these factors. And it’s key to begin the process by understanding where you are, what the organization is capable of, with an idea of where you want to go.

You’ve probably already concluded that you can’t stand still when there are so many good options. You want to keep up with the increasing rate of change, not end up suffering from “Digital Darwinism,” where the market changes so much that you are left in the past wondering where your customers and markets went. The trick is to head in the right direction. But with so many opportunities to make positive change, the sheer breadth of possibilities can leave you unsure where to start. It’s a great problem to have, but what’s the solution?

Illustration for True Transformation is Centered on User Experience

True Transformation is Centered on User Experience

The reality here is that there is not one ideal way to transform your organization. There are many ‘right’ ways to move forward. The key is to focus on what your ideal user wants.

When you're building digital transformation strategies, you begin with certain preconceptions about what you're doing and why. Insider insight can be valuable, but it doesn't necessarily tell you what you really need to know. Instead, you need to put your user at the center. When you understand your user's desired outcomes, you can create opportunities to step outside your existing business model and see the future in a new way. You need to see the world from your user’s or customer’s or employee’s perspective – otherwise you are building yet another ‘monument to yourself.’

Disruptive Thinking

After all, big hotel chains never thought to create an app that matches travelers to available rooms in people’s homes. Rental car companies didn’t offer customers a ridesharing app that gets them from point A to point B. Collectively, hotels and rental car companies spend billions of dollars a year on technologies, but two startups came out of nowhere to take major portions of their business away, because they understood and focused on customers’ goals, instead of pre-determined solutions.

The hotels and car-rental companies only saw their customers through the lens of what they ‘sold’ (hotel rooms and rental cars.) But customers weren’t tied to those specific products – that wasn’t what they were actually looking for. As long as a business could get them a ride or a place to stay, they were happy to try something new. And a huge number never went back.

The question is:

Are you looking at what your business does from the right perspective – that of your user or your customer or your partner or your employee? Or have you built a monument to yourself that reflects your view looking outward from your business? If it’s the latter, then there’s a good possibility that someone out there is indeed building that better mousetrap that will capture a good piece of your business.

Digital technology supports true transformation, but a deep understanding of the customer from their perspective is the central necessity to a successful initiative regardless of the pathway chosen. In this digital age that we live in, you have an unprecedented amount of data about your customers and users, including in-house metrics, GPS/GIS data, and social media information. We can help you use these insights, along with other techniques and approaches, to bring your customers so close to your business that leaving would mean regressing to a way of doing things they’re no longer willing to accept.


Ready to begin? AAJ can help you find your starting point and the best pathway forward. We’ve worked with companies at every stage of the digital transformation journey to make real and impactful change. Our highly specialized teams know how to take operations digital, share information securely, and explore the potential of this new digital age we live in. So reach out to us. Let’s take the next step together.