Since the first industrial revolution, enterprises have been investing their time and money in technological innovations to increase productivity and incomes. Today, with the spread of the Internet, personal computers, IoT sensors, mobile devices, and related software, the process remains actual. Moreover, it is gaining popularity and importance dramatically, considering the global technological and social changes. As the latest research showed, the worldwide spending on digital transformation increases along with it and will be 2.39 trillion US dollars by 2024!
However, it’s fair to say that multiple misconceptions and concerns are swirling around the term digital transformation. To eliminate all of them and clear out your vision, we prepared this overview of the Digital Transformation process. It will help you to take the first step towards the digitization of your business and experience its empowering effect. Here you’ll find:
- The definition of Digital Transformation;
- The importance of Digital Transformation;
- The characteristics of DT framework;
- The elements of the digital transformation framework;
- Success stories of digital transformation in different business spheres.
Digital Transformation definition
Digital transformation (abbrev. DT or DX) is the continuous process of implementing the latest technological achievements into a business to enhance its processes, introduce new services, and improve customer experience.
Digital business transformation is a complex procedure that touches all the domains of a business and involves all your stuff, from C-class management to junior team members. Among other characteristics of the process are:
Digital transformation should happen step-by-step for all the improvements to be properly implemented.
For a successful DT campaign, you need to consider the value the technologies bring you first and then proceed with the action.
One way or another, all the digital transformation activities lead to customer success: whether it is the service/product availability & faster delivery, better support, personalization, or supply optimization.
IT digital transformation is meant to be repetitive. Our world is an ever-changing and evolving picture. To be a part of it, you should always adapt to its shifts. Technology is inseparable from the world and follows the same laws. Therefore, one digital transformation round follows another, and so on.
Why does Digital Transformation matter?
Digital transformation brings a large number of benefits and improvements, impacting your business on all levels. The process concerns not only large-scale companies but also small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The latter can benefit from the DT more if they react swiftly to the latest technological developments and use them successfully. Timely digital transformation is sure to give you the upper hand over your competitors, who postpone it. To have even more advantages, consider the most important benefits of digital transformation:
Streamlines Management & Team Communication
Digital tools allow managers to track productivity metrics in real-time, everywhere, and coordinate the team more effectively. All they need to have is an Internet connection and a suitable gadget with specialized software. Slack, YouTrack, Google Workspace are only some of the best-in-class tools for team collaboration and management.
Advanced devices and software free your employees from repetitive tasks, giving them space for more essential endeavours and creativity. In addition, digital transformation increases the productivity and quality of work, streamlines the existing business processes, and makes the overall work process more agile.
Cost Reduction & Revenue Growth
Investing in modern digital equipment can significantly reduce business-related expenses (salaries, taxes*) and save plenty of time. For instance, remote work and digital documentation do more than just save you thousands of dollars but have a positive ecological impact.
The faster and more productive your work becomes the more profit you can gain. RPA (Robotic Process Automation) tools, for example, can boost production. Then, the Power BI tools will help your marketing & sales team to sell it faster. Eventually, you sell more goods much faster. Practically, almost every digital tool you organically implement into your business leads to a significant rise in profitability.
*Replacing the old machinery with the new eco-friendly devices can reduce businesses’ tax payments in some developed countries (US, Canada).
This benefit is more substantial for logistics businesses or the ones that have the delivery service as their part. The IoT and GPS sensors, modern ERP systems allow your customers and partners to check the safety of their stuff on the way, see more details on your product delivery process, and estimate the time of arrival.
On the internal side, transparency opens more opportunities for cross-department communication, which increases productivity and enhances communication.
Customer Experience Improvement
As we already mentioned, customer experience is the cornerstone of a digital transformation. Thus, this part of your business will be improved by the DT big time. Big Data tools, omni-channel support through social media, knowledge bases will help you to express your love to the customers and understand them as if they are your best friends. You’ll know their preferences, behaviour patterns, the weaknesses of your product or services, and many more. The equation of the modern business is quite simple: happy customers = profitable business.
What’s more, modernization and digitization have become vital for multiple types of business after the pandemic stroke. Today, any hesitation to go online and adapt to the new realities can kill your product awareness.
What is a Digital Transformation framework?
Digital transformation framework is the structure of your business digitization process. It includes the DT execution order and your business domains that will undertake the upgrade. You need to create it to estimate your expenses for a new hardware/software, define how to train employees, and make sure that all the spheres of your business get a proper modernization. In this section, you’ll know the major parts of a business digital transformation framework.
The components of a digital transformation framework
First of all, a digital transformation framework should include a well-thought-out strategy. It will make your DT process coherent, seamless, and allow you to have tangible results at short notice.
While building your strategy, remember that digital transformation isn’t a one-time process. The technologies never stop developing and evolving, and the business/service standards rise with them. Thus, you’ll need to keep up with the innovations and always be aware of the brand-new technologies to be on top.
Product and Service
On one hand, the Internet and the newest devices have changed the way companies present and deliver their products and services. Now, for a business to be successful, it needs to have an attractive website and a mobile app. These digital shops and services allow you to make your services/products more accessible (even internationally) and offer them in a structured manner.
On the other hand, modern technologies broaden the delivery capacity of businesses. Today, for companies like Amazon to deliver your purchase became a matter of hours or days, depending on your location. Also, DT makes the delivery more transparent, enabling the clients and business partners to track the goods during their journey. All of that is possible due to the high-tech delivery car and warehouse equipment (IoT, GPS sensors, software, and devices).
Work process automation
Another crucial component of any DT is the automatization of business processes and staff enablement. This aspect of digital transformation even became the separate development direction which is called Industry 4.0. For the manufacturing industry, work process automation is the core of the digital transformation framework.
As we mentioned, RPA systems, AI (Artificial Intelligence), digital communication tools significantly accelerate the workflow. Above that, the industry 4.0 toolset includes smart factory software, IoT sensors for preventive maintenance & performance tracking, digital tween, etc.
This aspect of the framework undergoes much change due to the new ways of providing customer support and personalizing client interactions with your business. Social media, chatbots, and vast cloud self-help knowledge bases are a great addition to traditional phone support.
Big data tools allow tracking the customer preferences by analyzing their interactions with your business website or application. Knowing it, you can suggest the related goods and services that might interest your clients.
Digital transformation is not all about the technology, but also the people who operate it. Personnel training and the proper culture in the company define a great deal of your digital transformation success.
The courses should start prior to or together with the introduction of new digital equipment and processes. Thus, your employees will be able to adopt new workflows without any delay. For instance, during the lockdown, the ability to work remotely has become a must for thousands of organizations. It means that all of the remote staff should be familiar with the necessary devices and tools to adopt this working style.
Furthermore, as the digital transformation cycles will repeat themselves, your employees should keep their minds open to the new working styles. To assist them, business owners and managers should keep the atmosphere in the team fresh, setting the culture of change.
Data management & Analytics
In the era of information, digital transformation cannot get away without data handling and analytics. This part of digital transformation is essential for marketing, customer service, decision-making, and management.
Big data tools like Power BI skyrocket the customer experience in many ways. Apart from that, the insights on customers’ sentiments have an enormous impact on building marketing strategies.
Learning what types of services customers leverage more, using the historical data and overall performance statistics can help you spot the pain points of your enterprise. Having that knowledge, you can dismiss all the issues before they cause serious harm to your business performance.
Digital Transformation examples
Netflix is one of the most vivid examples of digital transformation power. Started as a mail-order DVD-rental service, Netflix ended up changing the video rental and broadcasting industry forever.
Due to the implementation of state-of-art technologies, the company can stream on-demand content right to the customers for competitive prices. Apart from this, various big data tools allow personalizing suggestions, according to the users’ tastes and habits. Providing the business with all those features, digitization put Netflix in the same league with such mastodons of the entertainment industry as CBS, The Walt Disney Co., Fox, etc.
The timely technological updates help the vehicle production giant, Volvo, to stay in the game and flourish. The continuous digital transformation makes the car (truck, bus) creation process faster, cheaper and better in terms of quality. Besides, it allowed to control vehicles’ quality and create more bold designs. The main focus here was on industry 4.0 technologies and customer experience enhancement.
Amazon wouldn’t be the world’s best supply chain if it hadn’t made the most of its digital transformation. The company represents the perfect example of DT. It uses the newest technologies to streamline workflow in its offices and warehouses, enhance the delivery process, and provides the customers with exceptional multiplatform support & service. Also, Amazon always implements cutting-edge technologies and acts as a trend-setter in the industry.
Hope now you are ready and full of courage to embrace the newest technologies and the incredible opportunities they can bring to your business. Come back to this mini-guide wherever you feel the need to and see your business flourish, bringing you incredible financial benefits.
P.S If you need a helping hand from a pro & experienced digital transformation team during these first steps, call us. We offer detailed digital transformation consultations (industry 4.0, Azure), development (mobile & web applications, Data engineering) & design services, and financial software creation.
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