The Customer is Always Right

Published by: Nathan Fulham
Published date: 5th Mar 2018

Digital transformation can sometimes be seen as improving internal processes, but changing it to benefit your customers will be key in the future

(Note: This news item is a summary of an article published in the Sunday Business post on March 4, 2018)

“The name has evolved, and digital transformation for me doesn’t start with technology,” says John Roddy (pictured), the commercial director at Codec.

“Technology is the piece at the end. You’re not going to have digital transformation by implementing an ERP or CRM system alone. You may have a better system but are you going to transform your business if you just implement it without any thought about how you can improve your processes and ultimately the performance of your organisation? If there’s no upfront change management or process re-engineering, if you’re not thinking that
way, you’re not doing digital transformation – you’re doing system upgrades.”

Codec is certainly one company which understands this difference. The company, which offers solutions to many of Ireland’s large corporate and enterprise businesses across the Finance and Banking, Utilities, Retail, Etail, Manufacturing,Renewables, Pharma and the Public Sectors has amassed significant knowledge in its 33 years. It knows that no matter what type of plan you have, it will always come back to people and processes. If you don’t have those, then implementing any change will be next to impossible.

“The business buy-in is critical when you’re doing anything that’s transformative,” explains Roddy.  “Absolutely IT will need to be involved and will always be involved, but if the work involves transformation in anything you’re doing, everyone has to be on [board] and you can’t leave until everyone is on board. That’s important. If you went to most customers and said ‘you know what, what’s your thoughts around bots and what will they mean to your business?’ They’ll look at you and ask what you’re talking about whereas in reality, a lot of us are already interacting with bots on a daily basis and we don’t know.”

“If you go to a website and use a chat functionality, a lot of the time that’s a bot you’re interacting with. We use them in here for new employees looking for [information], and that kind of technology will become the norm. What’s cool about that is the user doesn’t know they’re interacting with one and they don’t need to know. All that matters is the technology is empowering them, and that’s when you know technology works. Codec is hosting three thought leadership events which will focus on the topic of digital transformation and what it means for large Irish companies later this month. Codec Synergy, which will be held in Dublin, Galway and Belfast, will include customer speakers and technology strategists from the likes of Microsoft- of which Codec is both its country partner of the year and Dynamics 365 partner of the year – who will cover the entire spectrum of digital transformation.”

Offering views on what the journey has been like,the benefits, pitfalls and what businesses should look out for will be covered. Roddy says that it won’t be a technical conference, it is aimed at those who feel such a transformation would benefit them.

“We are looking for organisations to attend that are somewhat serious about digital and business transformation,” he says. “We’ll be talking about what Microsoft refers to as the fourth industrial revolution and what that means, for example, they say things like user experience are going to be more important than cost in the next number of years. They’re profound statements but you can understand why that it’s true. If you’re an online retailer for example and your user experience is bad for the customer, they’ll go to the next best competitor of yours. They may be slightly dearer but if the experience is better for them, they’ll stick with it.”

“That same thing is going to be true for any organisation that has a customer, so being able to look at digital transformation through that prism, through multiple different prisms, [is important]”.

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