Digital transformation puts companies in a far more advantageous position, giving them all the benefits that the latest technologies bestow. However, while the adoption of new technologies is a key element of the process, deeper changes are needed before an organisation can truly reap the rewards. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what digital transformation is and what it can offer.
What is digital transformation?
On one level, digital transformation is the process of adopting technologies like cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the IoT in order to make business processes more effective and efficient. What makes these technologies particularly beneficial is their ability to gather and process data. This enables companies to be more informed about their processes, strategies and activities while giving them data-driven insights to help with decision-making.
The adoption of these technologies, however, is not merely something that happens in the data centre or in IT, it brings change to the entire organisation, forcing the company to rethink its goals and strategies, reorganise its structures and roles, and to make changes to processes that affect all its workforce. Indeed, for many companies, some of these changes are often necessary before the process of digital transformation can commence. Key here is the corporate attitude to digital transformation. For it to be successful, the business needs to embrace new technologies and this often requires a shift in company culture.
The driving force behind successful digital transformation is the digital leader. This is someone who clearly knows the technologies needed to transform the company and who understands the changes their deployment will bring. These leaders don’t just have belief in the project, they are also able to communicate that belief in order to bring on the cultural shift that’s required – and that’s not just in the board room; it’s across the whole business.
What are the benefits of digital transformation?
Once the company is ready to embrace new technologies and the changes they will bring, there are numerous benefits that can result. Here are some of the main ones.
Making the most of data
Digitalisation helps break down departmental silos so that data can be unified and more easily analysed. As a result, end to end customer journey mapping is attainable, while other forms of unstructured data can be combined to gain previously unobtainable insights.
While technologies like cloud, with its pay as you go pricing, can significantly reduce IT costs, this is just the tip of the cost-saving iceberg. New technology can help companies optimise a wide range of business processes, providing valuable data to show where efficiencies can be made
Modern digital technologies can transform how a business goes about its operations, helping to streamline its workflows and, in the process, cut employee workloads and reduce overheads.
Creating customer-centric businesses
One of the main benefits of digital transformation is that the data it provides about customers enables businesses to improve the customer experience. From websites that offer personalised products to communications sent at the right time and via the right channel and with the right message, digital transformation enables businesses to deliver experiences that the customer wants.
More attractive products and services
Understanding what the customer wants not only improves the customer experience, it also enables businesses to provide the products and services that the customer is looking for. It helps manufacturers with product design and retailers with inventory selection while enabling other companies to offer services which are more likely to appeal to their customers. As a result, companies become increasingly more effective in the marketplace.
Precise market segmentation
The technology available to digitally transformed businesses enables them to have far more information about their customers, helping them to discover new market segments that, in the past, they would never have been aware of.
Omnichannel customer experiences
Digital technology enables business-wide systems to be put into place so that your customers can interact and buy from you when, where and how they choose, whether that’s online or at your bricks and mortar store.
A more agile and innovative business
The modern technology that digital transformation provides is faster, more powerful and more capable than legacy IT systems. It makes it easier for teams to collaborate and enables businesses to react quickly to market changes. It also speeds up the development and launch of new products, services and strategies.
Digital transformation is not merely the process of deploying new technologies, it’s the adoption of a digital culture that embraces this technology and carefully manages the significant changes that it will bring to the company as a whole. As technology is in constant development, digital transformation, too, is an ongoing process. However, once the culture is in place and the technology is deployed, there are significant benefits to be had.