Frédéric Debruyne: Simple and Digital



Many companies struggle with a digital transition because they build on existing complexity. Frédéric Debruyne, a partner with Bain's Customer Strategy & Marketing practice, describes three core elements that companies could focus on to make their processes simple and digital while keeping the customer in mind.

Related Bain Brief: Simple and Digital—Happier Customers and Radically Lower Costs

Read the transcript below.

FRÉDÉRIC DEBRUYNE: Many companies are trying to become more digital, but we see many companies struggling with that. And we believe they are struggling, frankly, because they're trying to digitize their current complexity. That's why at Bain, we encourage our client to focus on three core elements.

First, start with the customer. You need to be very deeply customer-centric and make sure you're digitizing [for] the benefit of the customer. Second, focus on radical simplification and make sure that you simplify before you digitize. And then third is actually [when] you can embrace the digital opportunities in the right way.

But how do you do that? Because it's not so easy. A couple of elements: You want to start defining your value propositions for the future. Make sure they're simple, compelling, modular enough. And likewise for your product architecture. Then you want to turn to the customer episodes, because you need to make sure that your customer episodes are easy for customers. Also that they are personalized, frankly, because you can use tools like advanced analytics to make them very, very personal for your customer—not forgetting about the human touch, because even if digital is prominent, there are still some important interactions where you need the human touch.

There are a couple of enablers to make sure this transformation will be successful. The first one I would mention is, actually make sure you have a technology stack that is very adaptable and modular to deliver. And the second one is, frankly, to deploy an Agile operating model whereby your team can work together in a very cross-functional way, in a very high-velocity way of working.

So in sum, becoming more simple and digital is a tall order for companies, but the results are substantial, both in terms of customer-experience improvement, but also you can reduce drastically your cost position. And last but not least, you can improve time to market.

Related Bain Brief: Simple and Digital—Happier Customers and Radically Lower Costs