To keep up in today’s ever-changing digital economy, enterprises must constantly refresh business models and embrace digital maturity. This is achieved through digital transformation, which Forbes says leads to 26% more profitability, 9% more growth, and 9% higher market valuation for businesses.
Adopting a digital-first approach benefits businesses internally and also creates a better customer experience. Businesses that refuse to join the digital transformation race risk falling behind in the market and losing customers to growing startups built on innovation.
Digital Transformation for Businesses
Digital transformation’s business value is irrefutable, but it can mean different things for different organizations. After all, a wide range of solutions lay under the digital umbrella. IDG discovered that digital transformation tends to mean one of the following three things for businesses:
1. Boosting operational productivity through technical innovation
Fifty-two percent of businesses think digital transformation means using new technologies to increase worker productivity. In order to ensure an easy end-to-end experience for customers, businesses must start by limiting manually intensive back-office processes. Manual processes often slow down productivity and tend to be error-prone.
IT business transformation often means leveraging technology to reduce the amount of time employees spend on routine tasks and to increase accuracy. For instance, businesses might improve the speed and reliability of operations by installing a robotic process automation (RPA) solution to streamline large volume, checklist-driven tasks. Additionally, implementing a performance monitoring tool can help ensure teams stay on task and give leaders more visibility into workflows.
2. Maximizing the power of data to meet business goals
Forty-nine percent of enterprises believe that digital transformation involves finding innovative ways to leverage data to successfully manage KPIs. For starters, businesses need to have the right digital tools to collect data. But data loses its value when it just sits there. Digital transformation often means adopting tools that gather and store data, as well as help teams draw insights in order to turn metrics into results.
For instance, a company might deploy a new tool that offers greater visibility into customer metrics in order to build a personalized marketing strategy. When it comes to data, many industries also have to follow strict regulatory requirements. Another data-focused benefit of digital transformation is helping teams meet process requirements by alerting them when there are gaps in the collection of information.
3. Building a better customer experience
Digital transformation services include improving internal operations and business processes as well as increasing customer satisfaction. Forty-six percent of organizations report that the purpose of digital transformation is to create a better customer experience. Consumers are used to easy digital experiences in all areas of their lives, and traditional businesses have to consider an omnichannel approach to keep up.
Seventy percent of customers report that companies build brand loyalty when they prioritize customer needs. Businesses can improve their customer experience by deploying a social media monitoring tool that boosts customer engagement or deploying an AI-powered chatbot that allows customers to get answers to their questions automatically.
The Building Blocks of Digital Business
No matter what digital transformation services mean to your organization, it will always require taking an enterprise-wide approach. For a successful digital journey, business transformation roadmaps should account for people, processes, and technology—the three building blocks of enterprise innovation.
When most people hear the word digital transformation, technology tends to be the first thing that comes to mind. New digital tools certainly play a dominant role in a business-focused digital transformation strategy, but it’s important to consider the people who will be using the technology first-hand. McKinsey’s survey discovered that cultural and behavioral challenges are the number one obstacle that businesses face when attempting to digitally transform.
To begin, businesses must prepare their teams for the changes they will have to adjust to and get them on board for innovation. True business modernization requires a robust culture change program where leaders can create a shared vision of the future with employees. Business teams will have to be open to experimenting, challenging traditional ways of thinking, and embracing failure.
When it comes to digital transformation for business, success comes from the inside out, as opposed to starting from the outside in. New technology innovations in business require a disruption of traditional workflows. Changing processes that have been around for years can be overwhelming and businesses often don’t know where to start. Digital transformation consulting can help businesses evaluate their traditional processes and determine primary areas for change.
Technology innovation in business is the secret sauce for digital transformation. According to IDG’s report, the top five transformation technologies that businesses have already implemented include:
- Big data/analytics (59%)
- Mobile technology (59%)
- Private cloud (53%)
- Public cloud (45%)
- APIs/embeddables (40%)
To stay ahead of the curve, businesses should also consider new technologies before their competitors. IDG found that the top technologies that businesses plan to incorporate in the future are:
- AI (56%)
- ML (55%)
- IoT (50%)
- Software-defined networking (45%)
- Software-defined storage (44%)
Industry-Specific Digital Businesses
The key to mastering digital disruption is to leverage technology in industry-specific ways. According to Forbes’ research, some of the top industries that have either adopted a digital-first business strategy or are planning to include:
For businesses that are in the services industry—everything from hospitality to logistics—technology-enabled solutions are crucial for getting demanding customers what they need efficiently. Digital tools, such as analytics and social media monitoring, can help service companies design more catered marketing campaigns that build customer loyalty.
Financial services (93%)
With the rise and popularity of FinTech companies offering new solutions and seamless digital experiences, traditional banking and finance organizations need to modernize if they want their customers to stick around. Digital transformation for financial services helps ensure that customers and workers are happy by implementing omnichannel solutions to meet customer needs in real-time and streamlining front, middle, and back-office processes to reduce manual tasks.
The patient experience is at the center of the healthcare industry. Digital transformation for healthcare works to improve patient experiences by deploying tools that foster engagement, enable self-service, and protect their data while ensuring that operations meet regulatory requirements and that costs remain low.
High tech (88%)
Customers expect nothing less than a great experience from leaders in technology. Whether you’re a software provider, app developer, or hardware manufacturer, digital transformation implements new tools that allow teams to draw insights from data, increase customer loyalty, and improve operations.
The retail industry looks completely different than it did a decade ago. Consumers are now digitally native and desire omnichannel solutions from brands. Technology can help retailers gain visibility into customers’ online behavior to increase lifetime value, open doors for new revenue opportunities, and build a better customer experience.
The Benefits of Digital Transformation for Businesses
When enterprises commit to digital transformation, they can increase revenue by up to 23%, according to Forbes. That alone is proof enough of the value of digital transformation. With a clear business transformation roadmap that accounts for people, processes, and technology, businesses can unlock all of the possibilities of modernization.