Digital transformation permeates all the business spheres now. It is not just an optional process but has become a matter of survival for enterprises. According to the latest research, 9 of 10 business owners think they will need to change their business model and introduce new technologies.
At the same time, when managers start to go digital, they realize that it’s quite a complex process. Choosing the DT strategy may cause a lot of confusion. It happens due to the variety of technologies and approaches to the process. The 2020 pandemic added even more urgency to it. Here are the percentages of various spheres whose DTs were sped up greatly by the recent events.
To help you navigate through the sophisticated digital transformation technologies and choose exactly what you need, we created a little digital transformation guide. In the guide, we will tell you about the most powerful technologies for business and give you the keys to their successful implementation.
What is Digital Transformation?
Let’s start with a brief account of the Digital Transformation term and its role in modern business.
Digital transformation (DT) is a cyclic process of technological upgrades and the introduction of related processes and services. In general, digital transformation is the shift in the business image that happens under the influence of the digital age. Mainly, DT impacts customer experience, business operations, and business culture.
The Value of Digital Transformation
We will review the positive impact of digital transformation in the three dimensions of business we’ve mentioned above.
Enhances Customer Experience
Various technologies and devices have become an integral part of human everyday life. This fact changed the way people get services and their expectations from those who provide them. Therefore, digital transformation allows businesses to comply with the new customer requirements.
The vital part of DT in customer experience is the social media presence of a business. It provides customers with omnichannel support, makes them familiar with the product, and raises business awareness. What’s more, various Big Data tools help to analyze customer behavior patterns and sentiments. Afterward, you can make valuable insights and build an effective product/marketing strategy.
What’s more, digital transformation technologies enhance delivery services, making it more fast, transparent, and safe.
Streamlines Business Operations
It’s hard to overestimate the influence of digital transformation on business production processes and internal operations. First of all, DT deals with workforce empowerment. There are many technologies that make your employees perform their tasks faster and better. The spectrum is wide, starting with simple PCs and ends with advanced AI tools.
Apart from the employees’ empowerment, DT transformation allows automating multiple business processes. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a must for manufacturing businesses now. All the industry 4.0 technologies free workers from repetitive tasks and facilitate performance.
Shifts Business Culture
Then, DT has an enormous impact on the business culture and inner life. One of the instances is closer and faster communication between business departments. The communication results in better management, cohesion between the departments, and, eventually, better business performance. Such software tools as Slack and Google Workspace can transform the internal cooperation of your company.
Best digital transformation technologies
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is a digital simulation of human intelligence that is capable of performing natural language processing, machine vision, learning, speech recognition, and other functions. The capabilities of AI are expanding continuously, making it more capable to do human work. We can say that this technology is the grail of digital transformation cause it can coordinate the work of other DT technologies. Also, it influences multiple spheres of business.
Artificial intelligence can participate in problem-solving, planning, learning, and natural language processing. Above that, the capabilities of AI can be useful for security purposes as it can recognize systems' behavior patterns and spot anomalies. Face/voice recognition features serve as the protection mechanisms for business-related and customers’ sensitive data.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT is the technology that connects all kinds of devices and machinery through the Internet. This technology makes it possible to track the human and machine health parameters via special sensors and send the info to the connected devices. Technology has a great influence on digital transformation that we will discuss in the next section.
Robots are the machines with advanced intelligence that can imitate human behavior and perform human tasks. We live in a marvelous time when the wildest dreams of sci-fi writers are becoming reality. Robotics is one of those technologies that stepped out of the book pages to assist humans live more easily and achieve their goals faster. Primarily, robots help to streamline human work by performing the most difficult or dangerous tasks.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality is a simulation of a real-world or hypothetical situation in the digital world. A person who uses it can have an intense experience of certain circumstances, interacting with objects and characters. Currently, the technology has evolved so you can not only see and hear the simulation but feel the tactile sensations and physical characteristics of a digital world. The technology includes VR headsets, outfits, and special environments with sensors.
Virtual reality has many types that differ in the depth of the simulation experience: non-immersive, semi-immersive, fully-immersive, augmented reality, and collaborative virtual reality.
Blockchain is an open and distributed ledger that makes the data transactions inside the system almost impossible to hack. For example, to hack Bitcoin (replace the info block with your own) you need to have more computing power than all the bitcoin-mining computers. This high level of security is possible due to the proof-of-work (PoW) security mechanism. Obviously, it’s almost impossible to break through such defence because bitcoin mining consumes as much energy as a small country.
It would be fair to say that not all blockchain technologies are trustworthy and deserve your attention. However, the technology can make a business more secure, transparent and facilitate a large number of processes (documents’ transactions & signing, financial operations, order tracking, etc.).
When to use those technologies
Digital transformation technologies have an enormous application field. In this section, we will name the areas that were influenced by them more.
IoT sensors are disrupting the logistics industry. It makes preventive vehicle maintenance, fuel consumption tracking, and even real-time driver’s health-check possible. Eventually, you save money on maintenance, fuel and eliminate accidents.
Manufacturing (Industry 4.0)
In manufacturing, the connection of the machinery is vital for coherent production. IoT sensors can improve employees’ safety, set the machinery engagement timing on the production line, and track its health parameters.
IoT assists medical workers to track the patient’s state 24/7 and get as accurate info as possible. Various sensors track different health parameters and send the info on other devices that can display it comprehensively. That’s how the informed usage of IoT in healthcare industry can save lives by signalling doctors and enabling them to take immediate actions.
Energy production/consumption tracking and the powerline load. As a result, it enhances energetic business management and prevents overloads that can damage businesses’ infrastructure.
Unsurprisingly, the manufacturing industry is the leader in AI technology implementation. Here, AI automates multiple work processes, predicts machinery malfunctions, and controls the quality of products.
Finance & Banking
AI can perform multiple financial functions. For instance, it can receive and process hundreds of loan requests, saving thousands of human hours. Also, the technology increases banking security when you train it to detect various kinds of fraud (financial documentation, fake ID, currencies, etc.).
Retailing & E-commerce
Improved customer experience is one of the main benefits of AI in the industries. AI helps to personalize customer interactions with a business, based on statistical information. Apart from that, customer behaviour learning allows managers to build more effective marketing strategies.
AI in healthcare can diagnose the patient more accurately, using the vast knowledge bases and tracking the smallest changes in the patient's state. Then, it takes part in the treatment selection, taking into account all the allergies and the associated conditions. You can see it as a digital House MD, but without such a brilliant sense of humor.
Robotics surgery is a brand-new trend in the healthcare industry. Robots are capable of performing extremely difficult surgeries with absolute precision. Also, advanced robots can take care of the patients, giving them medicine in time and making other helpful actions.
Robots can create products instead of humans. They are especially valuable in performing dangerous or health-damaging tasks.
Farmers use robots to reduce costs and increase productivity. Robots can participate in seed planting, watering, harvesting, animal care, and other farming activities. In addition, they can perform advanced analytics of the plant/animal state and inform a farm manager about any problem as soon as it shows up.
VR is used to treat people’s mental issues. It is effective in PTSD and anxiety treatment. The simulations of certain triggering situations help patients to deal with them in real life.
Gaming & Entertainment
Certainly, virtual reality is the next generation of human entertainment tools. The technology offers a whole another level of immersion into a video game or a show. It can give the 360-grade view of the environment and the ability to interact with virtual objects or other humans, participating in a simulation.
VR tools can enhance the educational process big time. As long as the best teacher is the direct experience, virtual reality is one of the best educational tools we have nowadays. With VR, you can simulate any real-life situation and practice your knowledge. Also, you can learn something in the quest-like simulations and exchange knowledge with other learners from any part of the world.
Architecture & Design
The simulations of buildings and rooms are changing the way architects and designers do their job. VR tools help them to have a detailed image of what the building will look like inside and outside and even feel the touch of the material they are going to use. This technology assists to eliminate all the possible planning and design mistakes.
Banking & Finance
Surely, blockchain is more essential for the banking industry. It offers extremely fast transactions worldwide with little fees, depending on the system you use. Also, it can offer a high level of asset security during currency transfers and deposits. World-class banks like Santander are already implementing blockchain solutions to improve their financial operations and present better service.
Yes, blockchain is helpful in the healthcare sector too. It concerns health data security. Blockchain algorithms (PoW, cryptography) we’ve mentioned protect data from any kind of theft or leak.
Law enforcement & Notary services
Apart from encryption and financial operation, blockchain offers smart contract features that can serve as a notary confirmation. Furthermore, transparency makes all the financial and non-financial transactions transparent that eases the work of the law departments.
Now you know 5 top-notch digital transformation technologies and are ready to apply them correctly. There’s no sense in waiting for a better moment to upgrade your business anymore. Moreover, every minute you hesitate is a minute of wasted opportunities that you could have with the new digital tools. So, take this guide and make the first step towards the new version of your business!
P.S. If you feel the need for professional help and advice, feel free to call us. Akveo is ready to receive your call any time of the day and has offices in the USA, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. We help businesses on every step of digital transformation and create custom mobile/web applications, implement new technologies and software.
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