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The main purpose of the current report is to be focused on a case for change, to reflect the importance of digital transformation for business development. The study is based on Primark, which is an international retailer. It can be stated that a focus on the digital transformation can help the organisation to enhance its competitive advantage and be sustainable in the competitive marketplace. Creating a digital presence through e-commerce can help the organisation in this regard. In order to enhance digital presence and foster innovation, the organisation needs to adopt updated as well as advanced technology. In this regard, the chief collaboration officer of the organisation can play a great role in influencing the team to work for organisational interest.
In this current era of digitalisation, it has become important for companies to focus on going digital in order to be sustainable in the marketplace. Hence, to create a case for change and reflect the need for digital transformation, a real business would be selected. The report would include a discussion regarding the importance of going digital for an organisation to enhance its competitive advantage and be sustainable in today’s marketplace.
Primark has been selected for the current report, develop a case for change concerning digital transformation. Primark is one of the most renowned in-store Irish retailers operating business at an international level having its headquarter in Dublin.
Figure 1: Primark logo
(Source: Retail Asia, 2019)
Primark is a renowned international fast-fashion retail giant that offers fashion beauty, home wares and best high street fashions that are simply amazing and affordable. It is one of the most leading international retailers, operating in 14 different countries around Europe and United States and is still growing (Primark Stores Limited, 2022). As per the organisational website, it has been found that the company offers affordable great quality products with trendsetting standout style for everyone (Primark Stores Limited, 2022).
Primark is only operating at physical stores, thus, the case for change will be regarding the requirement of e-commerce as the demand is rapidly taking a higher pace.
Figure 2: Global retail-e commerce growth
(Source: Chevalier, 2022)
In this era of technology, e-commerce turned out to be an integral factor of the worldwide retailing industry. As reflected in the above figure, global retail e-commerce revenue reached $4.9 trillion during 2021, which is further expected to grow more than $6.7 trillion by 2024 (Chevalier, 2022). Even, covid-19 outbreak is one of the driving factors behind retail e-commerce, due to which the value is projected to grow 50%, thus, marking a substantial revenue of more than $7.4 trillion by 2025 (Chevalier, 2022).
The objectives of its digital transformation are:
- To create a digital presence through e-commerce
- To reach out to a larger number of people all across the world
- To make effective use of digital technology to increase revenue
- To expand their presence in many nations around the globe
Digital business agility can become an important factor that can help Primark to improve their e-commerce and their digital transformation strategy along with being more efficient with their organisational website. In order to understand the development process, the Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation is being considered for a detailed understanding. Concerning this model, it has four different stages such as prediction of digital technology, digital transformational setup, adaptation and anchoring (Udovita, 2020).
Prediction of digital technology
The foremost aspect that allows the organisation to proceed towards digitalisation is the prediction of digital technologies that will become detrimental in the coming years (Bednarčíková and Repiská, 2021). In the case of Primark, it has been identified that the company is currently operating at physical stores and is not leveraging the advantage of e-commerce. The retail industry is getting very competitive in terms of e-commerce; thus, the company is not that competitive for the current business environment. Even, due to the emergence of covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce has surged to a higher extent in level while increasing up to 43% of sales in 2020 with $244.2 billion (Brewster, 2022). Therefore, the organisation requires matching the current business environment requirements along with consumer needs with offering e-commerce facilities.
Digital transformational setup
A corporation must have a stable digital capacity to support the entire development process as part of digital transformation setup (Heavin and Power, 2018). Primark has an already well-established website, which allows consumers to look out for products, offers and discounts effortlessly. However, the requirement of great e-commerce services is required in the case of Primark. With the collaboration of technologies and innovations, Primark will be able to achieve a user-friendly website, which can also offer its potential customers with e-commerce facilities (Wang et al. 2020).
Concerning Primark, the company will need to create a digital-ready experience that encourages management and workers to adjust to the changes smoothly without any disruptions (Deja et al. 2021). As part of the developing e-commerce process, responding to new trends and technologies is essential. Once the digital transformation operation will be carried out, the entire process would assist in ensuring that all organisational members are aware of the current objectives.
Anchoring involves putting the transformation into action, which can be accomplished by forecasting the e-commerce option to the market while raising consumer awareness. Consumers will begin to notice that the company has added a new option for their seamless shopping experience. As a consequence, more consumers will get attracted towards the organisation that used to previously ignore Primark due to lack of online presence and e-commerce facilities (Taher, 2021). This will allow Primark to improve its value in the market effectively.
Digital Business Agility Model
The digital business agility model consists of three components that deliberately helps in understanding the possibilities of a company to adopt effective transformation in business operation (IMD, 2022). The three components of this theory is further being discussed below.
The concept of hyper awareness pertains to a worker’s environmental and cognitive consciousness, which enables the firm to get greater information and insight about consumer behaviours. Hyper awareness is indeed crucial in facilitating a company to recognise changes in the economic and business surroundings that can have a considerable impact on the corporation’s innovation process (Kanyuga, 2019). In the case of Primark, with hyper awareness, the organisation will be able to look out to customers, partners and suppliers in a more efficient manner. Along with this, they can establish a Digital Acceleration Team, where they can monitor the entire process of establishing e-commerce innovation.
Informed decision making
A corporation’s capacity to have an optimal decision in a particular scenario is considered as an informed decision making (Selvik et al. 2021). Proactive decisions, irrespective to prior experiences, must always be inspired by factual data and information and conveyed all through the operation to achieve objectives (Selvik et al. 2021). Thus, Primark is advised to create a customised decision-support team for identifying the market requirements and views. Apart from this, they can also have sophisticated data analytics capabilities, which will support decision-making to be successful in making informed decisions regarding their approaches in establishing transformation.
Fast execution can be regarded to a business’s capability in carrying out its objectives quickly and effectively, allowing it to instantly put judgments into action (Ishfaq et al. 2022). In this scenario, Primark is required to flexibly mobilise resources and members, along with tracking alternatives and performance towards targets. Apart from this, they need to balance their innovation of e-commerce options with their in store, so that the business process does not get disrupted.
Implementation of digital technology
There are various forms of digital transformation that are being utilised by organisations all across the world as per their requirements. However, in the case of Primark, process transformation will be the appropriate one, as it seeks to radically improve the way businesses provide value to their customers (Varl et al. 2020). Process transformation is being supported with several digital technologies in for of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data analytics (BDA) and many more, which are currently leveraged by a maximum of the retailers having e-commerce.
Considering the change in digital transformation at Primark, AI will be the most utilised digital technology that will allow the organisation to effectively position themselves in the marketplace with utmost effectiveness and success. In 2021, the worldwide AI market was approximately $327.5 billion (Ewiz commerce, 2022). AI application scenarios are expanding to provide greater insight and positive connotation for everyone. Apart from this, it has been identified that e-commerce businesses survived pandemic-related issues because of AI capabilities.
Therefore, Primark can opt for process transformation supported with AI for creating well-established e-commerce services at the global marketplace.
The concept of digital-ready culture alludes towards how humans engage with the internet on a daily basis (Westerman et al. 2019). Primark is found to be one of those organisations that believes in physical stores and completely ignored the usability of e-commerce even after the covid-19 pandemic arises. Concerning the importance of having a digital-ready culture, Google Inc’s approach “Think with Google” assists customers to access the information to understand the dynamics and complexities of the marketplace along with offering customer analytics for global initiatives (Google, 2021).
Several primary aspects are required to be considered in the case of Primark, including putting customers first, developing a collaborative culture, instilling a culture of innovation, and becoming a digital-champion. Consumers are one of the greatest aspects of an organisation and their preferences should be listed above all in an organisation (Kitchens et al. 2018). Therefore, it is important that Primark should customise their customer-driven strategy to establish effective e-commerce services. Apart from this, segmenting and targeting should be done concerning Primark’s potential customers to improve their business position and successful branding all across the world (De Miguel-Pérez and Aramendia-Muneta, 2022).
Considering the aspect of Think with Google, it is essential that Primark should have a great collaboration in the organisation so that all aspects of the targeted objective should be mitigated without any disruption. Concerning the culture of Google, it has been learned that Sundar Pichai is establishing a great collaboration and communication among its organisation members (Getchell et al. 2022). Therefore, it can be stated that collaborative culture is one of the most effective ways through which Primark can promote well-being among the ambiance of their physical store while establishing a digital-ready culture in the organisation.
Lack of innovation and e-commerce is hurting Primark’s business performance. According to Forbes, it has been understood that Primark has faced 30% of losses in revenue due to its closed stores, lack of innovation and e-commerce services (Loeb, 2021). Undoubtedly, Primark does not have the culture of innovation unlike retailers. Primark can install an innovative culture with well-determined goals and encouraging organisational members with required training and developments. Even, conducting innovative workshops will also work that will help in providing challenging aspects with appropriate feedback (Hartmann and Henkel, 2020).
Hence, it can be stated that there is a long way for Primark to become a digital champion as it is still behind the competition of leveraging and technological aspects. As a result, there is a small probability that, in the 21st century global economy, functioning solely through physical locations can support Primark in successfully becoming a digital-retail champion (Meyer and Norman, 2020). Therefore, it is required that Primark should focus on innovation and technology to improve their attractiveness in physical stores as well as online with an influence of digital-ready culture.
Roles and responsibilities of a Chief Collaboration Officer (CCO)
Effective collaboration is essential for driving ideas as well as innovative thinking, which can further influence the overall productivity of an organisation. CCO used to play a great role in an organisation as they are responsible for connecting opportunities with the right talents and teams (PR news wire, 2022). A CCO of an organisation has responsibilities to look at the coordination and take effective strategies to improve cooperation among team members. To be more specific, the roles and responsibilities of a CCO include the development as well as execution of strategic plans to achieve organisational objectives.
For example, the CCO of the BRAFB’s Management team used to participate actively in the creation as well as execution of strategic plans for achieving organisational objectives (Koya partners, 2021). In accordance with the study of Sanyal and Hisam (2018), positive interactions and effective collaboration among team members can help them to understand the importance of teamwork in achieving common organisation goals. This is indicating that a CCO can significantly contribute in achieving organisational goals by taking responsibility to enhance effective interactions as well as helping team members to work in a collaborative manner for organisational interest.
Advice on how the CCO of Primark to increase collaboration
From the above discussion, it is clear that a CCO takes the responsibility to influence team members to work collaboratively. In accordance with the study of Hadjielias et al. (2021), in digital transformation, an organisation needs to adapt, respond and utilise updated technology such as teleconferencing for ensuring collaboration. In this regard, collaboration and effective interaction among team members for sharing their valuable ideas can help companies. This is indicating that the CCO of Primark should also be focused on organising regular meetings. Furthermore, improvement of team interactions is required to be improved by the CCO, as it would help the organisation in the generation as well as improvement of products by fostering innovation (Hadjielias et al. 2021).
It is very important that an organisation should have an appropriate leader, who will guide the entire workforce towards the aim. From the understanding of Goleman’s leadership style, it has been identified that there are six leadership styles consisting, democratic leadership, commanding leadership, affiliative leadership, visionary leadership, coaching leadership style and pace setting leadership (Cwalina and Drzewiecka, 2019).
Concerning the requirement of Primark and its digital transformation through e-commerce, it can be stated that a visionary leadership will be appropriate in this case. The leader will have a vision to be persistent with a collaborative and communicative approach in the organisation (Prestiadi et al. 2019). The visionary leaders are found to be more open-minded and imaginative with inclined towards innovative approaches that will help Primark to move towards e-commerce services effortlessly.
Among the most crucial qualities the leader must concentrate on successfully transforming Primark digitally while focusing on instilling a culture of innovation. Compassion, serenity, innovation, and an effective communication approach are all required among the leaders (Abbasiyan Esfarjani et al. 2020). Furthermore, recognising market needs, establishing tolerance, and concentrating on the positive elements will enable the visionary leader to emerge. Through this style of leadership, Primark will entail a great deal of interaction, appreciation, and encouragement, all of which contribute to a culture of cooperation and collaboration.
From the overall discussion, it can be concluded that digital transformation can positively influence the overall business growth of an organisation such as Primark. Findings reflect that Primark needs to be focused on its digital transformation to foster its growth. Particularly, the organisation can create its digital presence through e-commerce, which would help it to expand its presence around the globe. For creating a digital-ready culture, the company needs to provide importance in instilling a culture of innovation. In this regard, the CCO can play a crucial role. Moreover, visionary leadership can help the organisation in its digital transformation.
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