tough_mudder.jpgImagine running a Tough Mudder race by yourself, unable to see your competitors, without mile markers telling you how far you have come or signs telling you which way you should go.  This is how the Digital Transformation journey feels for most retailers.

A retailer who has transformed to a Digital Business model is one who can comfortably use technology to drive efficiency and competitive differentiation within their business.  In turn this enables changed business models and provides new revenue and value-producing opportunities.

The reality is that retailers have started out on this Tough Mudder road but don’t know how far they have come compared to their competition - and have no idea which way to go next. 

The rate of change within the industry - driven by such factors as cloud, social media, the Internet of Things, mobile technology and the power of the customer – is incredible.  The pace of change is increasing and it is impossible to tell what you need to be ready for. 

For example 2016 has seen Pinterest appear as a new sales channel and Pokémon Go and Chatbots have appeared offering new opportunities to engage customers.  These present both a challenge and opportunity for retailers, but did anyone foresee these on New Year’s Day 2016?

If this were an actual Tough Mudder competition, be it in New Hampshire or North Yorkshire, you would need three specific things:

  • A map of the route ahead.
  • An understanding of where you are – both on the map and compared to your fellow racers.
  • An appreciation of the capabilities you need to get over the likely obstacles ahead of you.

Any retailer undertaking the Digital Transformation Tough Mudder needs the same things.

Software AG is dedicated to helping retailers undertake digital transformation and through extensive research have identified seven key capabilities needed to transform.  The “Seven Disciplines of Digital Fitness” represent the key technology requirements that retailers need in order to be able to transform themselves into a digital business.

Whilst these provide the capabilities to get over the obstacles ahead in the race and are a major part of the route map – which will be different for every retailer – you still need to know your standing in the race to be able to interpret the map.

For this reason Software AG has developed the Digital Fitness Assessment  as an online, self-service tool to attain an understanding of where you are in the race and what capabilities you still need to invest in to be prepared for the obstacles ahead.

Focused on key business initiatives, the assessment provides retailers with a detailed understanding of where they are today and how “fit” they are to complete the race.  Benchmark comparisons, based on research by Forrester, show how retailers compare to their competitors in relation to the Seven Disciplines but also advise where the biggest focus should be targeted. 

For companies wanting to learn more, it also acts as the basis for Software AG’s customer engagement model.  This highly engineered approach avoids the traditional technology vendor approach of talking about products and solutions and instead focuses 100% on the customer and their specific business initiatives – ultimately drawing the customer specific map through the Tough Mudder.

Every retailer is facing major challenges on their Digital Transformation journey.  Understanding the capabilities required you can see how you are performing in the race and exactly where you are.  What do you need to complete the course?  The Digital Fitness Assessment tells you exactly what you need to know.

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