What Digital Transformation (DX) Looks Like: 2 Company Case Studies

 In Digital Transformation

In today’s business climate, you have to be agile to be successful. The tech climate has changed so much in the past 5-10 years that companies have a seemingly endless amount of options on how they want to conduct their business transformation strategy. 

Customers have grown used to location-agnostic, mobile interactions with companies, and are starting to demand that level of service when it comes to more traditional industries like banking, insurance, healthcare, and more.

But so many of the companies in those industries are tied to legacy infrastructure. The prospect of shifting away from the way they’ve been doing business towards a more digital approach is daunting. If you’re at the helm of a business looking to make a digital shift, we’ve got some inspiration for you.

Below are two examples of businesses from traditional sectors who have made a digital transformation in core parts of their business. 

DBS Bank

DBS Bank was an under performing brick-and-mortar bank based in Singapore. Formed by the Singapore government in 1968, the bank employed about 22,000 people. 

DBS Bank was suffering from a reputation for being slow and having a cumbersome and obfuscated process when dealing with customer issues like replacing a lost credit card. Public sentiment around DBS Bank was so poor, people said the acronym stood for “damn bloody slow.” 

In order to combat their negative image and earn back customer trust, DBS Bank underwent a company-wide transformation that incorporated all aspects of their business — from call scripts, to customer policies, to digital innovation.

Their plan was to create an enjoyable customer service approach that addressed customer concerns with empathy. Alongside that, DBS Bank focused on a digital transformation for their business model, moving towards a mobile-centric, branchless setup.

In order to facilitate their transition, DBS Bank hired a new head of Technology and Operations that took an aggressive and data-centric approach to the transition, by eliminating waste and changing company policies to address customer needs beyond just their money. By focusing on improving those two aspects of the business, they were able to catapult to the top slot in customer satisfaction in Singapore.

The second step in the bank’s digital transformation was to utilize digital tech to create an “invisible” banking experience. The approach turned the idea of tech innovation on its head — typically, the technology is front and center and highly visible. But DBS wanted to utilize tech to make the customer experience more frictionless, making the bank itself less of a factor in how business got done. By using financial technology and creating a culture of innovation throughout the entire organization, DBS was able to create a mobile banking platform that now allows them to scale much more effectively across multiple continents.

Alpha Education

Alpha Education is a higher education advisory service and corporate partnership broker and facilitator.  

They underwent a digital transformation designed to help them work better with digital businesses as an intermediary between higher education institutions and those businesses. In seeking to ensure the best possible partnerships for their clients, Alpha Education realized that they didn’t have a good infrastructure in place to mine information from digitally-based businesses. The goals of their digital pivot were to have a means of understanding digital businesses and a way to share that information across their teams.

They underwent a very rigorous five-step process:

  1. Insight Assessment
  2. Development of Solution Scorecard 
  3. Realignment of Organization 
  4. Review of Results
  5. Track Progress

Ultimately, this process resulted in a complete digital realignment of their business. Here’s how they did it:

  • Direct Costs – Resources diverted from legacy business required to fund and execute many projects all at once.
  • Time Investment – Two-thirds of the Portfolio Strategy’s time dedicated to work with business units to identify lead/support and coordinate projects; one-quarter FTE for Portfolio Strategy or Program Management once projects were running to monitor progress and develop monthly executive meetings; one-half FTE for individuals on project teams.
  • Intangible Costs – Increased political capital by regularly sharing learning, failures, and pivots across the organization.

The results were a quick turnaround on implementation and a three-year payback period:

  • Estimated Time to Implementation – Six months to identify and coordinate interrelated projects; 1+ years to complete projects.
  • Payback Period – 2+ years to understand how the business model needs to change; 1 year to realize revenue from the new business model following implementation.

No matter your company’s size, revenue, or goals, digitization transformation is possible. If you want to learn more about how we work with companies to make that happen, we invite you to read our white papers.

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