Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, corporate culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation.
In Vietnam, digital transformation is an opportunity to create greater value for each business, make each organisation more efficient and offer better opportunities for every citizen.
Vietnam Insider talked to Steve Sidhu, CEO and Founder at CSS Partners about the opportunities and challenges of digital transformation for Vietnam’s businesses.
What is your point of view about digital transformation in Vietnam?
As Vietnam continues to be the one of world’s fastest growing economy and third largest in South East Asia, and achieving GDP in the 7% range, the growth in the digitization market will only increase as more rapidness and embracing of the markets. Today the population stands at around 97M and with many young tech savvy IT professionals this will turnaround quickly and provide exponential growth in digital as needs increase. The key challenge is where to source very experienced IT and business minded talent who are to converse with top management.
As Vietnam is undergoing digital transformation and utilizing technology, this is imperative across all industry sectors covering AI, IoT, Robotics, Cybersecurity, Banking, Insurance, Education and Renewable Energy to name a few. In digital transformation, understanding current processes and objectives is crucial before technology is sought. Vietnam will need experienced digital transformation consultants to assist in projects from start to completion. Considerable amount of work needs to addressed with investment for the shortcomings to reach attainable goals by 2030.
Where are key decisions made in every organization with digital transformation?
Firstly, before a decision is made, it is necessary to assess the organization digital maturity and define the digital strategy and vision specifically for the company which includes looking at competitors’ digital maturity and any competitive advantage that can be executed on. This is performed with the C level executives.
Ideally, the Digital Transformation key decisions should be made at the Enterprise Level and sponsored by the CEO,CFO, COO and CTO as it involves people, process, technology and content of the Enterprise. The decisions are made best horizontally across the organization by a cross section Steering Committee that would include HR, IT, Finance, Digital Marketing, Information Architects, Enterprise Architects, Operational SME’s in workplace management, Call Centre Managers, Data Managers and Transformation program managers.
However, some Digital transformations are also driven from the operational areas in silos, due to ageing infrastructure or legacy systems from IT that create then an urgent need to transform many other aspects of the business. These are usually less successful as they have siloed mind sets, limited and competing funding and have other division priorities from an Enterprise perspective.
What do the business owners need to do differently to ensure digital transformation is a success?
A3. Business owners need to look at comprehensive current state practices, clearly define a future state vision for their digital business, identify any gaps to the visions and build a roadmap and digital capability to the future with people, process, technology and content.
The following are some examples of requirements based on what the business owners could define and drive differently;
- Superior Customer experience – People track – includes building a customer centric culture, partner enablement program, personalised buyer engagement, and any cross functional collaboration or industry cross function to enable the Digital business.
- Maximum Organisational efficiency – Process track – Customer lifecycle analysis, digital multi-channel and data driven marketing campaigns, total operational integration of workflows and data flows, advanced business intelligence utilising all structured and unstructured data to drive customer focussed initiatives, AI. Provides business agility and scalability.
- Integrated information infrastructure – Technology track – Integration of information management platforms and data silos, create a contextual information architecture, introduce predictive data analytics to predict customer preferences for purchasing customer products and services. (AI, machine learning)
- Optimised Content Management – Content track – tag and track large digital assets for instant access by users, high volume productive data should be easily on boarded, maintained and presented to customers, Enterprise search and site search optimisation for internal and external sites. All enterprise data should be cleansed, and meet quality and governance, privacy and compliance requirements.
As per your experiences, what holds people back with digital transformation at organizations and how to respond to such hold backs?
The key digital drivers are; 1. Speed to market, 2. Customer intimacy, 3. Disrupters with new companies, 4. Data becoming important and; 5. The need to take the roof off your business (I.e. moving from a physical office to a virtual world, staff or IT no longer need to be in the office.) There is now a need for businesses to have the customer front and center. Strategic competitive advantage now dominates.
Key Digital Challenges are:
- Business owners want to retain the same business model when they can now redefine it which means the return on investment is limited. Business Managers need to think differently and champion the cultural mind set to introduce Innovative ideas.
- Senior Managers would like to preserve their jobs till retirement and are not engaged which means key Digital initiatives are delayed, deferred or put on hold and limits the return on investment for the organisation.
- The top four descriptions are what businesses identify as their reason for difficulties and hold backs during transformation activity and these are; Legacy Peoples Culture, Confusion as to what Digital is, Disruptive shift in competitive advantage and Lack of Collaboration for system solution.
How does communication flow through the organization during the digital transformation process?
A5. Digital transformation requires cultural change management, people changes, process, data and technology changes. All of which must be communicated, especially the Strategic and directional changes that will take place to identify the Enterprise impacts on the workforce, systems and customers experience. Typically, this is done poorly if it is not a Strategic lead project. Often Consultants with prior Digital Experience are requested to do this. If it is a Strategic lead project, the Change Manager will create a Communications Plan and Key messages for the Enterprise at each level, from the Project kick off with the Transformation Program Manager or Executives. Messages are usually delivered with clarity, consistency and eliminate any workplace fears and are signed off by the sponsor and HR.
Where are the opportunities to influence new ways of working or new work?
Some quick opportunities are;
- Customer end to end processes. Leaning them out to reduce waste and create quicker customer orders, demand and on boarding.
- Customer facing websites and mobile application development enablement
- Multiple business form consolidation into one digital form
- Automating excel spreadsheets with robots to reduce error
- Automating new employee on boarding, changes and termination processes
- Enabling partners in your end to end process workflows
- Service catalogues, search engine improvements and service performance
- Reimaging your processes, what can you do differently, innovation consulting
- Call centre, telephony consolidations to promote multi brands, remote work forces.
- Legacy system reduction and move to Cloud applications, SasS, PaaS etc. and hybrid infrastructure from architecture plan.
- Set up of a data lake for business intelligence and identify key data sets
- Governance, risk and compliance audit review and requirements for Digital
- Supply chain process improvements
- Sales revenue opportunities, business model reviews
- Reduction of email through the company with workflow and systems enabled.
Why should business owners be advised by experienced consultants like your company?
CSS Partners can advise a digital strategy and action plan, with per year roadmap (specific to your organization), based on the ability to respond to change and readiness to absorb digital transformation so you are successful in execution. CSS Partners can provide Lean and innovative thinking and coaching to business managers without that background as have been involved in many projects.
In addition CSS Partners has professional digital consultants with over 20 year experience who can provide advice on Enterprise best practice and proven business working examples to enable business owners to (1) enhance the customer and end user experience to improve loyalty, revenues, productivity and retention. Help you know the customer with predictive ability; (2) Transform business process and models to reduce costs, improve productivity, integrate supply chain partners and differentiate service offerings. (3) Simplify service management and catalogues through service strategy and design to reduce complexity, solve issues before they occur and gain visibility over assets and employee services. Provide workplace and customer mobility options and social media opportunities. (4) Optimise infrastructure and operations with Cloud strategy and Cloud based applications replacing legacy costly applications. This improves business agility and cost-effectiveness. (5) Derive Enterprise business insights on governance, risk, compliance and customer analytics to improves efficiencies and gain competitive advantage.
About Steve Sidhu
Steve is the CEO and Founder of CSS Partners. His career which spans many years take’s him into assisting local and global companies with global business development expansion, digital transformation, sales and marketing strategies, advisory, sales training and coaching. He has considerable experience and demonstrated success in building relationships with top Fortune 1000 CxO management and companies across the globe and delivering results.