The other day I attended a webinar with Brian Solis about Digital Transformation. This gave me an opportunity to get back to my blog and to share a few thoughts.
Digital transformation isn’t new, it’s been going on for years. I’ve talked about it at conferences. The one thing that striked me in 2013, was that after three years working with digital development in a museum, things weren’t evolving as fast as I had expected, and that I was comfortable with it. Now in 2014 I can only confirm, it takes time. And we are only at the beginning of an exciting digital transformation for museums.
Though by giving it a name and adressing the issues and challenges that come with transforming, we are also making sure the transformation is solid and going in the right direction. This includes raising awareness of the complexity and extent of the transformation, regardless if we move through the transformation process consciously and in control – or not.
”Social, mobile, real-time and other disruptive technologies are aligning to necessitate bigger changes than initially anticipated.”
”Digital transformation as a formal process is still in its infancy.”
Two ever so important quotes by Brian Solis
Digital – aren’t we past that?
Every now and then there are discussions arising around the jobtitle ”digital”, do we need it? Shouldn’t digital be included in all the things we do, natural in every aspect of our work? Yes, ideally, but not by far yet. We are in the midst of an ongoing and long term process. To cope we need digital hubs of excellence, digital experts, that will help the organisation keep upright and ahead of competitors.
So back to the topic. Finally awareness about digital transformation is seriously raising among museums, and here are five central issues to adress:
Five key issues in digital transformation
1. Know what needs to change
There are several reports helping us finding what are the important issues for managing and embracing digital transformation. One of those is the Digital Transformation report by Altimeter group. However without hands on experience, in house experts analysing the organisation, it is very difficult to know where to start and what to focus on in the process. This is where the digital hub of excellence, or the digital expert in a smaller organisation, is central.
2. Work top down
”It is most effective with pointed vision and supportive leadership.” Digital transformation started bottom up years ago. Today most museum managers are aware of the importance of digital. From there we need to take a step towards the management actually leading change, with visions that fit the digital era, and a leadership that recognises the need for organisational changes (as well as new business models). Get ready for empowered workforces!
3. Recognise the importance of social media
Social has made the case for broader transformation. Recognise the importance of social media, which has challenged organisations into the digital transformation. Embrace the channels and engage the staff in the conversations. And adress the challenge of connecting business objectives to social media initiatives in order to allocate more resources.
4. Map the customer journey – and the digital eco system
To take control over the museum experience, we need to know what touchpoints there are, both digital and analogue. The touch points where the customer encounters the museum. By not knowing the customer journey social media, as any other effort, will remain in silos. At the same time we need to know and be in control over our digital eco systems, know how the touch points interact, and benefit from each other in order to make the customer experience as smooth as possible.
5. Don’t forget the technology
Again, even though digital transformation in many ways is more about humans and relations than it is about technology, we have to know how technology is being used by our audiences. Of course mobile is one of the technologies dramatically altering the encounter with museums. But don’t forget to approach and evaluate other disruptive technologies as wearables, big data, Internet of Things, makers, payments (through mobile, through social) etc.
Last but not least, with a digital hub of excellence as a catalyst, alongside with social and mobile, we can keep pushing the organisations to really adress the core issues: Visions and strategies for the upcoming decade in the social digital era.