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Guest blog: “Yes, but where should I start on my digital transformation journey?”

Guest blog by Keith White, Director, Credera UK

We recently answered your questions on sustainable digital transformation in our virtual roundtable, and the resounding sentiment we were met with across the board was “which area should I focus on and what should I avoid?”

The challenge for Building Societies is that the transformation roadmap has so many potential junctions that it is difficult to evaluate them all and get started. For example, should you focus on the increased demand for digital services from members and future members, the need to increase support for remote working, operational efficiency, or work towards getting more value from your data? Building Societies do not have the luxury of change budgets that can afford multiple dead-ends; on the other hand, requiring certainty about outcomes can result in inertia.

Even the most detailed and well-planned of traditional implementation projects contain uncertainty with inevitable scope creep and change requests during delivery. The answer to this problem is to spend less time evaluating and more time travelling. As we discussed at the roundtable and set out in our whitepaper, understanding where you are starting from is important. It will help you realise where your current areas of strength and weaknesses lie. Based on this, you can then set a broad direction of travel in line with business needs and ambitions.

An effective way to choose the starting direction is to consider the member experience. Whilst it can be helpful to look at the experience in its entirety, doing so will be time consuming. Focusing in on key touchpoints within specific end-to-end interactions, such as onboarding, that make the most impact would be a great place to start. These touchpoints are those that shape the customer interaction and ultimately whether they serve the customers’ expectations or needs. Often the touchpoints that need to be addressed first are ones that are the source of friction in the customer journey; the biggest ‘knots’ that can shape or restrict progress. Those may be internal processes or technology; it may be a hybrid mix of these (every organisation has its unique foibles).

Working this way, the digital journey ceases to be about a choice of projects and becomes focused on the steady incremental improvement of the customer journeys. The digital roadmap is therefore focused on the improvement of the business metrics that represent the health of and the value achieved from the customer journeys. In this style of business focused roadmaps, small, targeted changes can be as effective and as valuable as larger, more ‘project-like’ initiatives. Prioritisation is driven by business and customer value, not the technology. Whilst technology will always be a dependency, it should not be the driver of the choices that are made. This may be a significant change for building societies used to working in a traditional project governance environment, but it is at the centre of transitioning to agile ways of working and delivers significant benefits in business and customer engagement.

In a nutshell

Creating an outcome-based set of measures for prioritisation and ROI allows your investments to become more agile and able to move with business need. By moving forwards this way, it is easier to quickly assess an idea and measure it against other things on your prioritisation backlog. The customer journey is the signpost that will guide your choice of first step.

Download ‘Clicks and Mortar – five tech priorities for building societies’


The views, opinions and positions expressed within guest blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the BSA.

Posted by Keith White on 08 September 2021