The idea of digital transformation has been around for nearly two decades, but in more recent times the term has become so much of a buzzword that its true meaning is often overlooked. Many people wrongly believe some kind of integration strategy equals digital transformation. Although this sounds blissfully simple, the reality is quite different.
So what exactly is digital transformation? What does it aim to do? And what are the signs of a business that’s doing this whole digital transformation correctly? This blog post returns to the roots of this concept and shows you the hallmarks of the process that will help your business gain the results it needs to get ahead in the game.
A Quick Refresher on Digital Transformation
Digital transformation involves incorporating digital technology into every area of a business or enterprise, resulting in a change in how the business operates and delivers services, products, and value to its customers.
This definition may seem simple, but what most people miss is that it doesn’t just mean a change in business processes and operations through the use of technology. It also includes a shift in company culture, as the organization needs to experiment, play around with new ideas to see what sticks, and come to terms with failure from time to time.
Moreover, it is a fundamental reconsideration of how a business uses the technology available. At the same time, digital transformation also involves changing the way an enterprise utilizes its employees and processes. All of these changes are aimed at resulting in how the business performs in the long run.
An exact definition of digital transformation is hard to come by because it looks different for every business and each organization has its own business goals and objectives. Instead, it is easier to say that digital transformation begins with an opportunity for the business, or a clear objective, or even a problem that needs solving.
What Does Digital Transformation Aim to Do?
Using technology to beat back competition and have a better profile in the industry isn’t the only benefit that digital transformation has to offer in the long run. Instead, there are certain objectives that any business can achieve with a successful digital transformation strategy:
- Improve customer experiences: Improving services is always a win for the business no matter what they are providing to their customers. A better experience for customers will always translate to an improved reputation in the field, a rise in revenue, and a rise in company morale.
- Greater efficiency: Leveraging the latest technology will result in a company with better efficiency and optimized processes. Workflow becomes faster, and employees have more time to innovate and come up with creative solutions. It also results in refining competencies that improve processes.
- Increased Agility: In the rush of an evolving rapidly marketplace, agility is the factor that can make or break a company. Companies need to keep track of cultural and industry trends to know what their customer base wants. Digital transformation allows businesses to use the latest technology to remain flexible and connected. Huge amounts of data can be analyzed to stay in step with contemporary trends and needs.
- Bolster Collaboration: Larger projects in a company may require an all-hands-on-deck situation. The latest technology can open up channels of communication and collaboration within the enterprise and allow for teamwork, feedback, and brainstorming. Digital transformation allows the entire company to be connected and encourages collaboration between disparate teams.
- Reduce Costs: This aspect is something all businesses are drawn to. The latest technology can automate repeated processes, cut down on the need for employees performing menial tasks, and cut down on overhead dramatically.
5 Signs That Your Digital Transformation Is on The Right Track
- You Make and Implement Strong Strategic Decisions
Upper management needs to be involved in any digital transformation effort, and they should model the behaviors and processes that they want the rest of the business to adopt. This will make it easier for the employees to understand what is expected of them.
Greater digital adoption rates are linked to the quality of organizational capital; managers who incorporate technology across their organization benefit from accurate and relevant data for strategic planning and decision making.
- You Put People First
The first stage of digital transformation involves developing a total understanding of the customer. Who are the customers? How do customers interact with the company? What do they want or need from the company? Businesses that prioritize the needs of people (including employees) have a better chance of successful digital transformation.
- Clear Links Between Data and Processes
In any digitally-transformed organization, decisions need to be made based on facts – the data produced from processes. As a matter of fact, data is used to alter the way the company operates. And use resulting data from these operations to continue making further strategic decisions.
4. A Focus on Values Instead of Projects
Digital transformation is more than a mere fancy e-commerce system but is a complete re-thinking of how an organization delivers value through a network of processes and operations. It should result in a culture that questions current methods and practices, seeking out opportunities to deliver value through new business models in innovative and creative ways.
- You Are Open to Experimentation
Innovation and progress come with a certain level of trial and error, which might need a change of workplace culture that accepts the value of both failure and success. The proper investment will allow you to scale up quickly when a trial run is successful or to quickly ditch the technology if it fails.
Adopting new technology has grown more challenging over time since technology is advancing at a faster rate than the industry can implement. Choosing the kind of technology takes some experimenting, so businesses should carefully adopt what works for them.
In a Nutshell
Successful digital transformation won’t happen in a day or two. Although it may seem like a necessity, it is an empowering process that will greatly benefit your business in the long run. With the right tools and technology, you can achieve the objectives of digital transformation and give your business the boost it needs. Whether you want to achieve agility, scalability, better collaboration, or improved productivity, digital transformation will have your needs covered.