What Is Digital Transformation?
The Global Center for Digital Transformation says that “organizational change is the foundation of digital business transformation”. That’s because changing the nature of an organisation means changing the way people work, challenging their mindsets and the daily work processes and strategies that they rely upon. While these present the most difficult problems, they also yield the most worthwhile rewards, allowing a business to become more efficient, data-driven and nimble, taking advantage of more business opportunities.
Define ‘digital’ in digital transformation
While the focus is on changing how the business works at every level, technology underpins all digital transformation projects. But what technology?
Obviously this changes as time goes on, but typically businesses want to adopt technologies that help them harness and make sense of the vast quantities of data they are sitting on, as well as preparing for trends like the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile.
That means analytics tools are high up on the agenda, as well as cloud computing, which lets you store data outside your own data centre, potentially closing this down. You might also want to focus on collaborative tools, like file-sharing, mobile devices, and apps, that let your employees work wherever they are, and which give them instant access to information – especially useful for salespeople visiting customers, for instance.
What Digital Transformation Means For Your Business?
Accepting and moving toward digital transformation doesn’t simply mean jumping on every technological bandwagon that comes along. Doing that is like putting a bunch of cut up vegetables in a pot and calling it soup. Unless you put the right ingredients in the pot and turn on the stove, you’ll never make soup-at least not soup that anyone wants to eat. Instead, each company has to spend some time thinking about what digital transformation really means for them.
Companies need to think about transitioning core business processes and digitalizing the client/business process first. They have to think about which applications, platforms, and solutions fit into their culture, daily operations, and budget. There is unfortunately no cookie cutter solution that businesses can opt into. It’s a process that requires personalization and a knack for following trends.
Digital Disruption And Focusing On The Consumer
Digital disruption is another key term that describes what digital transformation can do in society at large. Smartphones created a disruption, Uber created a disruption, and wearable technology continues to create disruptions. With each key technological advancement, the daily lives of consumers change a little more. The norm is shaken up, and the advancement adds value to consumers. Businesses that take advantage of the new changes, and who understand how these changes affect daily life, can modify their practices to meet the needs of the consumer.
Consumer-centrism is one way to ensure that you’re meeting the demands of the digital age. Knowing where your customers are interacting online and how you can meet them on their own turf will enhance your ability to make their lives easier and to make sales. Every business has to think about digital transformation and the power of disruptions now. There is no longer time to take baby steps and get your feet wet. It’s a sink or swim environment for many businesses.
Planning Ahead For Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is both an end result and an ongoing process. You have to make the initial move, and then you must continue to evolve or be forced out. There is no quick fix for digital transformation. When you sit down with your team to discuss your company’s digital future, think about the near future, but also the long-term goals of your company. To maintain relevancy, you will need to implement digital solutions that keep your company moving forward into the digital era and not standing still or moving backwards.
At every step, think about the business experience. What can you implement to streamline in-house operations? What can you implement to facilitate customer interactions? These aspects that will drive your digital transformation. For some companies that may mean adopting an integrated payment solution so that customers can login to an online portal and pay their bills. For others, it may mean getting on social media and posting relevant content on a regular basis. Any move to the digital space is part of the digital transformation.
Over the long term, the digital experience will shift. How can you make changing an easier part of the business process? Transparency, a group mission toward digital relevance, and constant listening to customer behaviors may all be important for shifting your company’s focus away from legacy business practices and to a more digital oriented future.