Digital transformation focus: Buyer takes the lead

Nelt avatar Nelt 01.10.2019.

Autor: Nikola Ćorsović, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer

Digital transformation and advancements in the integration of modern technologies have to be observed from at least three different perspectives – that of the buyer, the processes and the people in the company. This multi-annual evolutional journey ought to start by placing the buyer in the central role, by adapting the existing processes and business models. At the same time, one must not forget the role of the employees and the inevitable change in the mindset and a fresh approach and understanding of digital transformation, since it is not just a simple process of getting used to new technologies but rather an entirely new method of work and doing business.

The buyer’s perspective is the focal point of digital transformation. The answer to “How can we use new technologies to provide a better service for the buyer?” represents that focal point and is also the point of departure on a digital journey. It will help us devise solutions that are tailored to user’s needs and which will assist them in winning the market race. Each idea that we contemplate from that point of view primarily needs to take into account the source of value for the buyer. There are traps which ought to be avoided at all cost such as allowing ourselves to be misled by modern and attractive technological solutions whose value for the buyer might not be sufficiently attractive.

THESE PROCESSES COULD BE OBSERVED IN THE CONTEXT of evolution or, indeed, revolution of the way in which we provide services to the buyer, i.e. how a change in the way a service is provided can impact the ongoing processes in the company. For example, do the existing processes accompany our digital business model in an efficient and effective way and what changes may be necessary for such a model to achieve its full potential in view of quality and accessibility. Here we need to consider whether there is a possibility to make our processes more efficient through the use of advanced technological solutions, such as introducing robotic process automation for simple manual tasks or whether this automation process should involve entire business operation segments (warehouse management, for example). Depending on what answer we arrive at, a positive or a negative one, we would either opt for altering entire processes or adapting them to a new business model.

People also play an essential role in successful digital transformation. Comparative research has shown that companies that focus solely on the role of technology and business models in digital transformation processes stand less than 30 percent chance of completing this transformation successfully in view of achieving desired results. The main reason is that essentially it is not the companies that are changing but rather the people working in them and this change is rarely quick enough to accompany the technological aspect of digital transformation. Creating a healthy foundation based on organisational culture is key for successful digital transformation which is why we always have to be aware of our organisational values, how adaptable they are to change and how we evaluate them. In addition, there are a few questions that we need to address and find answers to before embarking upon this transformation: How does the change in how we do business impact performance management, how does it change the mindset of an individual, impacts skills evolution, but also the organisational foundations of the company itself.


In order to prepare for this journey, we need to work on a number of segments. When an organisation is presented with clear values, it is necessary to redefine performance evaluation processes in order to highlight the priorities and avoid wasting resources on something that will not generate real values. The following step is redefining organisational culture with special focus on proactive and innovative approach as an integral part of its DNA.  It is also necessary to redesign the recruitment process and include modules for nurturing the desired mentality in the training programmes for the existing organisation template. An example of good practices could be a launching of collaboration and feedback tools based on established leadership models (which can be introduced or requested at any moment), as a method of sending a clear signal that personal development requires constant work and dedication and that this is not just another topic that comes up once a year within the framework of formal performance evaluation process.

In order for it to succeed, digital transformation always needs to be perceived as a story which, though it has a beginning, is essentially open ended, with new episodes constantly being added and which are reflected in ceaseless questioning of the status quo and in searching for new solutions and improvements to existing processes while never forgetting about the people who are the key implementers of these processes and their constant training and development.