Even the world’s biggest enterprises are coming under pressure to transform the way they do business. We’re all watching as innovative digital disruptors continue to shake up every industry.

Traditional enterprises have become digital dinosaurs. They need to digitize operations in order to escape extinction. But all too often big businesses are weighed down by the limitations of legacy IT systems and a lack of effective collaboration between business units.

The prevailing advice to traditional enterprises is that the path towards transformation begins with doing as the disruptors do, providing more personalized, relevant services.

Here are five key areas that business and technology leaders should consider in service of this goal:

1 – Personalization: Offer unique experiences 

Personalization means being led by the needs of each individual customer to deliver a uniquely improved experience to every single one. Big data is enabling businesses to serve customers, employees and stakeholders based on preferences and insights, rather than spamming them with content and services they are not interested in. Businesses need to utilize big data and transform if they are to stand a chance of meeting that expectation.

Progressive brands seek to connect with consumers on a personal and even emotional level. Netflix knows which shows and movies users may want to watch based on their viewing history, in the same way Amazon suggests potential purchases based on browsing history.

Personalized experiences are taken for granted in social and entertainment environments, but when we arrive at our place of work – where we spend up to 35% of our lives – the digital experience is often decades behind..

Real enterprise mobility requires a complete culture change and a content-first approach, rather than focusing purely on device management. Providing employees with access to their chosen software, dashboards, apps, content and databases whenever and wherever they need them.

2 – Contextualization: Deliver relevant information

Relevant, tailored and adaptive digital experiences are now an expectation. Consumer apps like Uber and Google Maps deliver services in real-time via any device, while Swiftkey use AI to follow and log the way that users type, offering presice prediction capabilities.

These apps understand their user and consistently deliver spot-on services, encouraging brand advocacy. The nimble, agile disruptors know contextualization and are getting it right. But larger, more established enterprises are finding it more challenging to deliver.

To master contextualization, incumbent businesses need to do a full audit of their processes and systems and ensure that customer data is shared across silos and departments. They must harness demographic data on lifestyle and behaviours, historical data on past purchases, browsing history and behaviours, as well as situational and location-based data. The smart analysis of this combined data enables companies to serve up relevant content, advice and services on appropriate devices at the most relevant times.

3 – Perspective: Take a holistic view of the enterprise

In our experience, businesses that are new to embracing digital technologies often make the mistake of investing and focusing too heavily on customer facing apps. They do this without considering that customers have many touchpoints across the business, both online and in the physical world.

Businesses can only serve the connected customer with a connected experience, by being connected themselves. Large, multi-channel businesses must look to agile platforms that enable them to synchronise all their enterprise systems.

4 – Customer experience: Consider the whole customer journey

True digital transformation is about joining the dots of the customer journey across the many touchpoints, breaking down business silos, and helping data flow across systems. When this goes wrong, the customer knows about it first.

For example, consider a common customer service issue with a utility company. The organisation may have made efforts to build a nice app that monitors energy usage and shows billing status, provided a great Facebook page with useful information and advice about saving energy, and may be responding to customer service requests on Twitter.

But all of this can go horribly wrong if the organisation works in silos, which could see the billing department not lined up with customer service, or interactions via social media not logged with other departments. In the real world this happens every day, causing disappointment and frustration for customers.

5 – Connectivity: Make you data available everywhere

Connectivity is becoming the foundation for enterprise productivity as the growth of the cloud drives demand for constant, immediate communication and instant access to data.

This is a huge challenge, especially for companies with large systems that would take years to upgrade and months to create bespoke connectors that offer the same level of connectivity and flexibility as the cloud. Waiting for connectivity is no longer an option and enterprises need new and innovative models.

Wrap-around platforms provide the answer, adding an agile digital layer to enterprise architecture that connects legacy systems and streams of data across the enterprise. Through this, companies can make data more available so that business units and employees can better respond to opportunities for new business.

Let’s be clear: Enterprise transformation is hard

It’s acknowledged that large businesses around the world are finding it difficult to transform and deliver the experience that today’s customers expect. It’s time for digital dinosaurs to take action.

If you’d like more information about how to enable digital transformation in your organization and delight your customers, download our ebook, ‘Make Your Breakthrough in Customer Engagement’.