You’ve Built the Center of Digital Excellence! Now What?


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In my recent article “Building Blocks for a Successful Digital Transformation”, I have listed the following three priorities that digital leaders should cover in order to drive successful digital transformation: Developing a clear customer centric digital strategy, developing a customer data collection strategy, and building a digital transformation center of excellence.

In this article, I would like to suggest four activities that should take place within the scope of the digital transformation center of excellence.

Activity 1: Assess the organization’s digital maturity

Maturity assessment will offer understanding of the organization’s current status as compared to digital transformation enablers and levers best practices, and the gaps that are preventing it from efficiently delivering on digital as a differentiator.

It will also help set the organization’s strategic aspirations that will transition the organization into the ideal state, as perceived by its digital leaders, depending on their understanding of the change drivers, especially the evolving customer needs and behaviors.

Moreover, it will trigger curiosity to research and adopt new technological trends and applications that will lead to reaching the ideal state.

Activity 2: Identify key digital customer journeys

To uplift the understanding of evolving customer behavior and optimize digital channels, execution of a company-wide customer journey mapping exercise that will take into consideration key customer journeys is a must.

Identifying key digital customer journeys will help zooming on those moments of the customer lifecycle that can be digitalized. Pain points will become more visible when looking at the “as is” customer journey. Since the center of excellence is formed with stakeholders from across the organization, the perspective of the functional owners of those pain points as well as “outsiders’” perspective will be catered, which will help arriving at an even better perspective of the issue and its possible solutions.

The solutions are mapped to the “to be” customer journey, where in this context, the opportunities to enable more customer transactions on digital channels with an aim of reducing the customer effort as well as the cost to serve are laid out.

It is worth noting that utilizing digital tools and applications to complete the mapping exercises results in better and easier collaboration between different stakeholders. It will also help stakeholders start experimenting digital tools and elevating the digital literacy of everyone involved.

Activity 3: Build the transformation roadmap

A roadmap to spearhead the organization’s efforts towards digitalization is essential. Based on the output of the maturity assessments and customer journey mapping exercises, initiatives can be developed to bridge the gaps.

Prioritization of initiatives should take into consideration factors like alignment with the set aspirations, short or long term impact on customers, ease of implementation, cost of implementation, and others factors that are of essence to the organization.

Activity 4: Develop innovation toolkits for agility and continuous improvement

Toolkits are useful to expedite and standardize the work being done. While in an innovation environment, freedom is usually granted to stakeholders in order expand their ability in developing creative solutions, it is important to set grounds so all contributors to the digital transformation understand the same language.

Toolkits are meant to organize the work and provide simplified templates that can expedite the backstage work. Toolkits are means to an end.

While the above activities are essential, centers of digital excellence are meant to be hubs for all innovative ideas, approaches and activities. The knowledge and developments that take place in such platforms should be extended to the organizations’ human assets, beyond those that are directly involved.

Mohamad El-Hinnawi, CCXP
Conred CX
Mohamad El-Hinnawi, CCXP is a Customer Experience Management Advisor and Consultant, focusing on research, development, training and delivery of Customer Experience Management Frameworks.


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