It has become a universal maxim that anyone attempting to sell a good or service is striving to reach the customer bliss point. In the food industry, this means finding the exact combination of salt, fat, and sugar to make foods addictive and pop songs generally utilize the same couple of chords if they want to become a hit. While the bliss point of fatty foods or cigarettes can be problematic, as a marketing concept the bliss point is simply the culmination of a focus on customer-centric approaches. These new strategies utilize big data to prioritize every touchpoint along the customer journey and anticipate customer expectations.

For companies selling a digital product such as SaaS platforms, the bliss point is all about digital transformation. By implementing holistic strategies and using innovative tools, companies can take the fullest advantages of the benefits technology have to offer. However, in order to develop customer-first products, companies need to embrace digital transformations and the back-end changes that they set in motion. By providing employees with omnichannel tools and guidance on how to use them productively, companies can drive internal digital transformations that in turn power customer digital transformations.

What’s Stopping Digital Transformation?

Companies are beginning to realize that digital transformation strategies are critical to surviving – let alone thriving – in the fast-changing business ecosystem. However, while 55% of startups are already adopting digital business strategies, only 38% of less nimble incumbents are at that point. In the case of both startups and larger enterprises, however, methodical digital transformation plans are far from the norm.

A number of legitimate concerns may be preventing companies from taking the digital transformation plunge. SMBs may believe they don’t have the time, resources, or IT expertise to undertake the paradigm shift digital transformation requires. Incumbents, on the other hand, may be stuck with siloed legacy systems that aren’t compatible with new technologies, leaving even companies that are eager to up their digital game at a loss in terms of how to begin to transition towards cloud technologies.

Finally, some companies may view digital transformation as merely a tech issue, instead of the integrated companywide growth driver is actually is. In cases such as these, digital transformation may be hampered because it has been wrongly assigned to the IT department instead of company executives. Hapless IT personnel don’t necessarily have a clear picture of company operations as a whole and certainly don’t have the authority to enact the broad changes digital transformation requires.

A Combined Human-Tech Approach Can Resolve These Challenges

The question companies need to put to digital transformation is no longer “if” but “how”. Like many business processes today the answer to how to successfully spark digital transformation within your company involves humans and technology working in tandem. Before embarking on a SaaS shopping spree, company executives should take stock of their present strategies and tools. Without a map of their current initiatives, decision-makers will be hard-pressed to discover what types of technology their company needs to fuel change.

The next step before acquiring any shiny new tech is to survey the market, understand what technologies are out there and which tech products fall within your organization’s budget. Once you’ve decided on the platforms to efficiently tackle top issues such as data analysis, CRM, cybersecurity and workflow, setting up a plan for successfully transitioning to this new way of working is of paramount importance. At present, a whopping 72% of employers don’t provide any form of training for AI, canceling out any benefits these smart, automated tools promise. Slowly rolling out changes, alongside guidance from knowledgeable people or content, can help companies onboard even more reluctant employees.

According to a 2017 SAP report, companies that are leading the digital transformation charge have seen profitability and employee engagement rates rise as a result of the changes they implemented. The same report also noted that these leading companies were driven by a customer-first approach, addressing customer-facing issues first and letting customer empowerment guide their digital transformation development. While the customer may not always be right, companies that truly want to get the most out of digital transformation should do so through a prism of what will best delight customers and ease their digital adoption.

The Time to Adopt a Unified Digital Strategy is Now

Digital adoption strategies can set off an extremely beneficial chain reaction within organizations. Employees are given access to and education about tools that work in cross-department harmony, allowing them to easily collaborate on content, data, and strategy. With technologies such as AI and Machine Learning at their disposal, employees can use company data to determine customer bliss points and create extraordinary customer experiences across devices.

By successfully turning one-time customers into return customers, employees drive higher returns. The 22% of companies that have yet to embark on a digitalization process may very well find themselves without any company to innovate for in the near future.

Read more: Where Do Your Employees Fall in Order of Importance?