Business and IT leaders have long touted the benefits of digital transformation. But for many years, it failed to make the leap from tech-centric buzzword to strategic priority.
Then the pandemic arrived.
Bringing a new sense of urgency to rethink digital strategies, organizations realized that they must adapt to a changing world—before disruption forced those changes upon them. One study found that 66 percent of IT pros said the pandemic exposed weaknesses in their digital strategy, forcing them to quickly push through initiatives that were once part of multi-year digital transformation programs.
Business models—the mechanism by which a company creates value for its customers—had to be completely reinvented. Organizations had to redefine how they deliver value to their customers, transforming traditional enterprise operating models to meet digital business demands.
And to power this massive digital transformation, many organizations turned to Salesforce.
Seeing Disruption as an Opportunity
The relationship between business leaders and disruption has historically been one of fear and anticipation. As a result, transformation strategies often began from a place of risk reduction. Businesses sought to mitigate the impact of change—caused by new technologies, market changes, and shifting customer demands—rather than embrace it.
For over a decade, Salesforce was used primarily as a tool by executive teams looking to protect their organizations from disruptive changes. But Salesforce, when leveraged effectively, can actually turn disruption from something to be feared into something with limitless opportunities.
In March 2020, we all hunkered down for what we thought would be two weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19. Now two years later, the continued impact of the pandemic—along with supply chain disruptions, inflation, and The Great Resignation—has forced organizations to re-evaluate their digital transformation strategies again.
So, in our current environment, where rapid change has become the norm, what does a successful digital transformation look like? And how can Salesforce help us achieve it?
4 Ways Salesforce Powers Digital Transformation
Salesforce is now a vital piece in the digital transformation puzzle. It is “just” a CRM company in the same way that Amazon is “just” a bookseller. Salesforce can help organizations respond to digital disruption and operate more effectively in a digital world.
Here are four ways Salesforce can support your digital transformation strategy and ensure your organization is prepared for whatever disruptions may come next:
1. Shift from monolithic to modular
If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s the importance of staying nimble and ready to pivot quickly. Building an agile enterprise that can adapt to changing conditions—and leverage disruption and uncertainty as tools for growth—are vital to success in the modern economy.
But it’s hard to achieve that with monolithic systems and processes that are cumbersome and slow to adapt.
Composability is the ability of an organization to turn its assets into reusable building blocks—and it’s essential to gaining the speed, flexibility, and agility needed to compete in the digital era. That’s why leading organizations are increasingly focused on designing business and operating models that are modular, independent, and composable.
Salesforce’s tightly integrated but independent clouds—such as CRM, Service, Collaboration, eCommerce, and Support—enable businesses to achieve composability. Salesforce’s modular design means that organizations can quickly adapt to change—without disrupting the entire organization.
2. Orchestrate business processes
One thing that makes digital transformation so hard is that it requires change—and change is uncomfortable.
To successfully operate in an environment of continuous change, employees need to be supported by solid business processes tightly aligned through orchestration. They also require technology solutions that effectively protect the limited capacity of a team adapting to organizational change.
Salesforce makes this possible through multiple means: process automation tools, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that quickly surface relevant information, and value stream maps that identify and eliminate process inefficiencies.
The alignment of people, processes, and technology—centered around a solid digital strategy—allows organizations to scale during times of massive disruption effectively.
3. Prioritize investments based on outcomes
The days when transformational initiatives were funded from one central budget controlled exclusively by CIOs have faded. No longer solely focused on technology outputs, the modern CIO now owns the execution (and business outcomes) of the organization’s strategic vision.
As a result, tracking and measuring performance has shifted from an on-time and on-budget mindset to one focused on business value realization and ROI.
To successfully navigate this level of execution at scale, tight alignment across lines of business (LOBs) is necessary. LOB owners are responsible for their piece of the overall budget, and stakeholders are responsible for building the business case and delivering business outcomes based on those investments.
With Salesforce, business leaders can prioritize investments based on outcomes—not outputs. This allows CIOs and CEOs to remove or replace underperforming projects from the strategic roadmap earlier, resulting in significantly less risk and lost opportunity costs.
4. Empower remote and hybrid teams
Today, 83 percent of workers say they prefer a hybrid work model, where they can work from home at least a quarter of the time. And overwhelmingly, top companies agree: 63 percent of high-growth companies have already enabled “productivity anywhere” hybrid work models.
The way we work has fundamentally changed—and we aren’t going back. Work is no longer a place we go but a thing we do. And Salesforce is uniquely suited to help organizations thrive in the work-from-anywhere world.
Even the best strategic planning is doomed to fail without rallying those who transform great ideas into great results. Salesforce’s connectivity tools like Slack enable remote and hybrid teams to easily collaborate across time zones and oceans. With Salesforce, organizations can build a digital-first, future-ready workforce that is empowered to work from anywhere.
Future-Proof Your Business in the Age of Digital Disruption
Digital transformation is taking place in every sector, forcing companies to reconsider their current business models, processes, and technologies. While business disruption is not new, the pace and impact of digital disruption are—and they demand a different approach.
Only organizations that shift to a fully composable, digital-first model will thrive in the future economy. By redesigning a world built on new digital business and operating models—with Salesforce at the foundation—organizations can master the art of the pivot, turning any disruption into an opportunity.
Ready to find your disruptive advantage?
Schedule a free transformation assessment to learn how Aquiva Labs can help your organization turn disruption and uncertainty into a competitive advantage with Salesforce.