DX will go beyond skin deep with real design thinking

Here's why organizations will adopt a more design-focused mindset to digital transformation in 2019. 

Suman Reddy Jan 11th 2019 A-A+
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Too often, people equate digital transformation with a slick new app, a VR experience or anything voice enabled.

But those flashy new interfaces on the surface soon become another silo to manage in the background—leading to the same disconnected customer experience, just with prettier screens.

Digital transformation will go beyond skin deep with real design thinking: True digital transformation must go more than skin deep—it demands the hard work of designing journeys for optimal customer outcomes. In 2019, organizations will adopt a more design-focused mindset to digital transformation. This means identifying the most important customer engagement problem to tackle first and designing the right solution with the right processes and technologies to make the experience flawless. 
 
Digital transformation will get harder before it gets easier: The race to digital transformation has been uncomfortable at times and often wrought with challenges. McKinsey reports that 70 percent of digital transformation initiatives will fall short of their goal—making many organizations wonder if they’ll ever reach the finish line. But therein lies the problem: viewing DX as a destination, rather than the continuous journey it truly is.

... Agile isn’t just for developers these days as its core principles—rapid and continuous innovation, customer collaboration through regular feedback, reflection on results—are all applicable and valuable strategies for every business function to consider adopting. It’s for anyone who wants to brainstorm, model, build and collaborate—on any application, without any roadblocks.
Suman Reddy
Managing Director, Pegasystems India

The hard truth of the matter is that DX will only get more difficult. As teams go deeper within their organizations, they will uncover even more layers of silos to work across, less obvious pain points to identify, and a more complex path to solving customer challenges. While it may be difficult to imagine, organizations will encounter even more failure as they try to clean up digital “knots” left behind by poorly-planned past projects—but they must untangle this mess or risk falling behind the market.
 
Diversity of perspective will be required to design better experiences for everyone: In our culturally diverse society, no two customers are the same. This year, IT organizations will start to take real steps to ensure the composition of developer teams reflect these distinctions – but not just because it’s the right thing to do culturally, but also because the final product will be better for it.  

Design, in any aspect, is up to interpretation and a reflection of the designers’ cultures, perspectives and experiences. To meet the needs of unique customers, technology providers will be more cognizant of the need for diversity to ensure their teams have the proper perspectives to produce the best possible product that will be well received by the greatest number of users.
 
The new enterprise executive will need to unify people and tech skills: For some time, technologists have been focused on solving very specific challenges within a solution: How will this app integrate with that solution? What data set does this solution need to be more efficient? However, those types of functions are or will soon be automated, meaning these individuals will need to refocus on other aptitudes to continue to drive value. The biggest challenge for business leaders will be in bringing together the tech and the people skills to propel transformation forward.

To help teams thrive in this new world order, leaders must broaden their own skillsets to understand not only technology, but also people. Leaders that recognize and can unite people and tech skills will be tasked with igniting change within their organizations to build teams that can add value throughout an organization’s evolution. 
 
Agile moves from app dev to an org-wide mantra: IT orgs are rapidly adopting agile today as the new standard for software development. But why does it need to be confined to IT? This year, agile will cross over to the business side and serve as an operational model for success. Organization-wide, businesses need to develop, adapt and change with customer needs to remain competitive. This is true for all facets of a company, including finance, marketing, and operations teams who must address ever-changing customer preferences and adjust business processes to deliver a superior experience.

Agile isn’t just for developers these days as its core principles—rapid and continuous innovation, customer collaboration through regular feedback, reflection on results—are all applicable and valuable strategies for every business function to consider adopting. It’s for anyone who wants to brainstorm, model, build and collaborate—on any application, without any roadblocks.
 
Beyond low code to AI-driven app development: Low code application development empowers anyone to easily create applications without IT involvement. Can’t get any easier than that, right? But, what about applications that create themselves with no human input whatsoever? In the next evolution, AI will go beyond low-code development and actually create software by self-identifying problems and automatically creating solutions.

When deployed effectively, AI can detect patterns of inefficiency and write software that provides a solution to users—without interacting with users or IT departments. As a result, digital transformation will become an easier task that will require far less oversight. 

Suman Reddy is Managing Director at Pegasystems India

Disclaimer: This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the contributing authors and not of IDG Media and its editor(s).