Inspire your team. Captivate customers. All through Digital Agility.

In brief, Digital agility, what is it?

Ever tried to implement a new campaign or idea only to hit a technological wall? Or be faced with a mountain of manual work?

You’ll understand first-hand that digital agility is not just a buzzword. Essentially, it’s defined as three different parts: hyper-awareness, informed decision making and fast execution.

We are going to focus on ‘fast execution’ and why improving this would allow your team to be more creative and your customer experience better.

How would ‘fast execution’ benefit my team?

Well, we’re all measured on the ideas we can execute - it’s all about adding value for the customer as part of the digital experience. Digital agility isn’t just about technology, it’s about how it allows you to change your working environment. Into one that’s fast. One that promotes creativity and empowers you to makes things happen.

It’s well known these days that our physical environment influences our level of creativity, modern offices are often designed to be stimulating and fun (remember when office slides were first introduced?).

This was for a good reason, the benefits are well supported by research (Becker, 2005; Groves 2010), but essentially, it’s all about enabling random stimulation and encounters being the key to human happiness and innovation. Removing barriers whilst retaining the privacy required to find your flow.

What is often forgotten, is the need for our digital workspaces to reflect these requirements. To create exciting and genuinely enjoyable digital shopping experiences you need platforms that enable you to play with ideas, collaboratively or otherwise.

Not a clunky and manual system, but one that lets you see your creation as it comes to life in a heuristic view, across all touchpoints.

Ultimately, faster execution will enable you to make more of your ideas a reality and deliver increased value to the business.

What would this mean for our customers?

It’s said that joy begets joy. If it’s easier to bring your ideas to life you will be more excited to try and exchange ideas. Through empowering yourself and your team to try ideas in an agile working environment you champion creativity, a play and try culture would be achieved. Allowing you to deliver value to customers that would have been otherwise lost.

By taking a more creative approach, at speed, you are more likely to find ways to delight and add value to your customers lives. Research conducted by ZenDesk demonstrated that good digital experiences add value in the eyes of the customer:

“75% of customers are willing to spend more from a company with a good digital experience, whilst 50% will switch to a competitor after a bad one”.

Greater digital agility would empower you and your teams to create digital experiences that differentiate from your competitors, and content that truly resonates with your consumers. Previous research has concluded that isolation between teams and in the communication process, significantly limits creativity (Fuzi et al., 2014), which in turn reduces innovation and a differentiated experience. Highlighting the importance of a seamless and collaborative digital experience platform in enabling teams to be creative. A recent study conducted by Gartner of more than 3,000 customers found:

“Nearly half of customers can’t tell the difference between most brands’ digital experiences, and even fewer customers actually report doing something different as a result of a recent digital experience.”

Implying that over half of brands do not have a content management platform (CMS) that empowers creativity. Utilizing a standardized template and page-based creation forces you into a box, complying to the same structure as many other brands – using a traditional CMS (monolithic) creates a sea of sameness that stifles your creativity and limits differentiation. If you are working in such an environment, then you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

Being in the flow - defined as “immersion in concentrated activity” by Csikszentmihalyi - is the height of efficiency. However, to enter and maintain this state you and your team need tools that facilitate creation and collaboration, not manual and isolated tools that break and disrupt your flow. Meaning that not only would a clunky CMS dampen your creativity, but your production efficiency would be reduced also.

With continued remote working in the future, it is important to prevent physical separation from stifling creativity, through creating common spaces for creative activates and collaboration (Fuzi et al., 2014). Empowering teams to play, to be creative, and to be inspired by what is possible.

I want to try to improve this; how do I approach it?

It’s said that a bad workman blames his tools, but in this case, that may very well be the case. The first step would be to review your current technology and processes. Where do you spend the most time? Why is this? Look to identify and document the pain points that you and your team currently experience.

Your CMS sits at the centre of your digital experience, acting as the conductor for your digital orchestra. As a central point, this is a good place to start evaluating your current situation and benchmark against alternative platforms – without knowing what else is on offer you will not be able to identify solutions.

In our experience, if your CMS is not designed for experience management then it is likely causing bottlenecks and preventing your environment from being one that promotes digital agility (we recommend a digital experience platform instead - DXP). When evaluating alternatives, look out for features and functionality that provide you with greater ability to play with your design and messaging in real-time such as with side-by-side creation, and the capability to preview content across all device types.

Digital agility is about empowering your teams to be creative with an experience first mentality, to create eCommerce experiences that delight your customers.

For a starting point for your CMS evaluation, download the Forrester report ‘Digital Experience with a Headless-First Approach Powers Future Growth’.