For most, the concept, if not the execution, of digital transformation is already well-understood. Most organisations have a mature digital estate through which to interact with their customers online. Retailers are now tracking customer journeys across channels and platforms, analysing the underlying data to better nurture customers through personalised content designed to entice the next purchase. Healthcare organisations are translating research and patient data into insights to identify the best course of treatment, driving better health outcomes. Financial Services firms are making waves by building and fostering customer relationships in new ways, demystifying services and empowering self-serviced financial decisions.
Then we come to our heritage of government work. Here, there is often a totally different user need. It’s not about converting more sales, it’s about transforming lives through digital. Often the goal is to better understand citizens’ needs and how to meet them through digital, improving services and their uptake, replacing out-of-touch and costly paper-based systems, or breaking decades-long vendor lock-in.
Remember when it used to take forever to change the ownership of your car? When you had to fill in and post a paper form? 3 weeks later you’d get confirmation back, again by post. And that’s if you got it all right first time… Working with DVLA we transformed the Vehicle Management service – now, it takes 3 minutes online. This is trading in the currency of time – giving citizens a better experience by helping them complete a task quickly and first time, whilst helping DVLA staff better track and process requests.
Then there’s the government departments that really have an impact day to day – DWP Universal Credit being a key example. A core welfare benefits service, if the underlying system breaks, it impacts lives immediately, leaving citizens unable to buy their groceries or pay for childcare.
This month we’re starting another, equally important project, aimed at improving another vital government service. Some might ask why it’s a good thing to upheave organisations like this – after all, the fall out can be huge if it goes wrong. We would say that it’s because this is about much more than just sticking a service online. It’s about truly understanding user needs, citizens and staff – why they use the service, how they use it, and what tasks they want to complete through it. It’s about the whole team, across all functions, appreciating the real-world implications for real people if the service is complicated, complex or confusing. And finally, it’s about having the thoughtfulness and social conscience to work to remove all of these barriers, and make a difference to people’s everyday lives.
Digital is no longer just another function of a business. Digital is the business itself. We are in an age where differentiation is increasingly found in the quality of your user experience. Whether you are a bank, a high street retailer, or a government organisation, the best way to build better experiences is to understand your users and their needs.
Yes, there’s a world of confusing jargon out there, and yes, you might want to put your head in the sand in the hope it’ll all go away, but the truth is: this is the new normal.
This isn’t business as usual, it’s Digital as usual.
Fortunately, with over 20 years of experience, Valtech are here to help take you on that journey. If your organisation would like to discuss how to meet the challenges of the new normal, then please do get in touch to set up a meeting.