Technology has permeated almost every aspect of human life. Now, companies feel threatened when they have yet to adopt new technologies useful to normal business processes. Digital transformation makes this integration possible. In today’s piece, we’ll discuss digital transformation and how it can improve businesses.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the implementation of digital technologies into existing work processes to enhance your operations mode and offer customers added value. Digital technologies can optimise routine work procedures, office culture, and customer experiences to suit the evolving market requirements.
The remodelling of business processes using technology is known as digital transformation. It is evident in organisational cultural change when the entire business process, customer management, and traditional office roles are remodelled with digital technology.
For example, companies moving away from paper to document management systems are restructuring their business. Also, more and more businesses are replacing call centres and in-store service desks with chatbots, social media platforms, and customer support software to communicate with customers in real-time.
Startups, multinationals, and government organisations can design frameworks for digital transformation and future-proof their operations towards sustainability. It starts with thinking about how digital technology can be harnessed to help your business go digital.
So, take a step back and ask the big question: How can we digitise our processes to ensure better decision-making, efficient delivery, and improved customer experience? When you find the answer, you can begin the digital transformation.
How can digital transformation improve businesses?
Digital transformation is a complex and challenging exercise that you may need to feed off the benefits to see it through. Besides increasing revenue, modern businesses should anticipate these benefits when implementing digital transformation.
Efficient resource management
Digital transformation also involves the efficient management of information and resources. Every aspect of business requires data to perform operations. So, it’s important to reduce data mismanagement and equip teams with the right tools to efficiently govern business data. You can use enterprise document management tools to integrate applications, databases, and software into a centralised platform.
Increase customer satisfaction
Customer expectations continue to change, and it’s your responsibility to meet those demands. Essentially, customers want personalised services that are tailored to their specific needs. Digital technologies can help you gather data-based insights on customers that help you learn how best to satisfy their needs. You can implement digital strategies based on locational or industry preferences to satisfy customer needs.
Digital transformation will create more agile teams within organisations. It will enable teams to recognise that customer demands are ever-changing and help them anticipate challenges and develop workable solutions beforehand. A McKinsey research found in 2017 that only 8% of respondents believed their present business model would be economically viable if their industry kept up with digital change.
With the right digital tools, teams can work together to centralise workflows and enhance productivity. Digital transformation automates repetitive tasks and integrates data throughout your company. This encourages team members to contribute meaningful work and sparks higher productivity.
Enables future digital growth
As you take the proper steps today, your company will reap the benefits for many years ahead. This is essential because digital transformation is continuous. Every action you take to transform your company digitally sets the stage for future business growth. So, investing in digital technologies will prevent your company from going obsolete. Even worse, companies that don’t leverage digital technologies might go bankrupt soon.
Which industries can improve with digital transformation and how?
The retail industry can benefit more from digital transformation than most industries. With a well-developed website or even a single webpage, retailers can promote and sell their products online and increase profits. Amazon has leveraged digital transformation since the 90s, and the results speak for themselves.
The manufacturing industry is currently under pressure to digitise its operations to remain relevant. This change can be effected by incorporating data from the supply chain to design, production, engineering, and client service.
Leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and Augmented Reality (AR), manufacturers can limit human error, accelerate product development lines, and enhance the customer experience.
The legal industry can leverage digital transformation strategies to provide optimal legal services to clients. For example, a professional website connected with a mobile app can serve as an online platform to connect lawyers with clients. The software can reduce the stress of physical meetings, increase case referrals, and create validation for the company.
Digital technologies can enhance information exchange while reducing the cost of transactions. Mobile banking will enable small financial transactions to be conducted more frequently and at affordable rates. With custom-built fintech solutions, this industry can provide a comfortable user experience for its customers and attract more investors.
What are the key steps toward a successful digital transformation?
Successful digital transformation won’t happen overnight. It takes careful planning, research, and teamwork to decide the company’s needs for digital transformation. Here are some critical steps that can lead to a thriving digital transformation.
Determine what digital transformation means for your company
This means prioritising the core areas that require immediate digital transformation. Also, ensure that these areas will have the most impact on your company’s growth.
Find the right buy-in
Once you create a strategy for digital transformation, you should get executive buy-in. This step will ensure you access the necessary investment to forge ahead.
Ensure you have the right skills in place
Every digital transformation was achieved with a team having the right IT skills. Assess your current workforce to be sure they are skilled enough to handle the proposed transformation.
Prepare the entire business
Ensure that everyone is in sync with your digital transformation plan. You can achieve this by communicating the goals, strategies, and requirements to all team members. Also, allocate tasks and responsibilities to get everyone involved.
Begin the digital transformation
Now that you’ve covered the required grounds, you can execute your digital transformation plan. Take things slowly, so you can track the results as they trickle in. Stay flexible as you monitor the transition so you can easily change your plans.
What are the risks of failing?
After making a major decision to transition to digital means of operations, it’s alright to accept that some of your strategies won’t yield. Here are some risks of digital transformation failure that you should be aware of.
Having too many expectations
As you plan to transform your business digitally, it’s essential not to expect too much from the digital transformation process. Although digital transformation significantly improves efficiency, you should remember that it’s not the ultimate solution.
Little or no guidance
Companies that embark on a digital transformation journey with the proper guidance might save valuable time and resources. Some projects fail because there needs to be a clear direction, and teams may need to use the right tech tools. To avoid such risk, companies can hire digital transformation experts to access their unique needs and provide the most cost-effective digital solutions.
Lack of skills to sponsor digital transformation campaigns
Every digital transformation path you choose carries some level of risk. If your team doesn’t have sufficient skill sets to match your transformation strategies, it may lead to failure. As you deploy new tools for digitising operations, ensure that your team possesses the project management, user experience design, and marketing skills to harness it.
If you agree that upskilling in IT will make digital transformation more straightforward, you can book a career consultation with our course advisor today. The Institute of Data will guide you to acquire the necessary tech skills to jumpstart your career and contribute meaningfully to a digital work environment.