Digital Transformation: Why You Need It and How To Sustain It

In the modern world, companies need to ensure they can keep up with increasing digitalisation and technological advancements to stay relevant and competitive. 

One such technology concept that is revolutionising the day-to-day operations of businesses worldwide is digital transformation. Quixy’s data predicts that the global expenditure on digital transformation will reach $84.6 billion by 2027.

As a by-product of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are looking to capitalise on the strength of online services, and not only develop into an exclusively digital corporate model but also modernise and innovate existing processes. 

So, digital transformation is now becoming more of a competitive advantage than ever before; companies that fail to adopt or fully embrace it are more susceptible to hindrances, whilst those that do will be better equipped to deliver products and services faster and more efficiently. 

This blog post will highlight the steps to start this journey, how to create a desirable digital transformation strategy, and how to constantly innovate your digital transformation model. 

What is Digital Transformation? 

Simply put, digital transformation is the integration of digital technologies into all facets of a business’ operations, services, and model. It is a holistic approach that leverages modern technology to streamline business processes and increase efficiency. However, digital transformation is not just the digitalisation of existing processes. Instead, it aims to completely reimagine how an organisation approaches business to deliver value in new and innovative ways. Some examples of this could include: 

  • Digital Shopfront: With an increasingly digital customer base, companies are moving their historically onsite B2C operations online, or creating a second, online avenue for customers to reach them.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): Using AI to carry out repetitive tasks frees up human resources and automates processes such as financial transactions, data entry, and customer service. 
  • Cloud computing: Adopting cloud-based systems can help reduce infrastructure costs, whilst offering better security and data protection.
  • Modernising legacy software: Updating your legacy software has been shown to directly lead to increased revenue as well as heightening the company’s performance.

Why Should You Start a Digital Transformation Project? 

There are many advantageous qualities to starting a digital transformation, and you should expect to see results on many levels. Some of these could include: 

1. Improving Operational Efficiency

Digital transformation acts as an enabler to streamline your organisation’s workflow. By digitalising your operations, the room for human error drastically decreases as previously-manual activities become computerised. 

Leveraging the modern power of technology can allow for operational automation in areas such as data entry, marketing campaigns, and customer service. This, in turn, leads to greater employee satisfaction levels and frees up valuable time and resources for further efficiency. 

Likewise, employing digital transformation technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics, and robotic process automation (RPA) creates a greater security network, alongside providing good insight into potential improvements and revisions for the business.

2. Enabling Options for Innovation

Furthermore, digital transformation is a great way to make your business agile, adaptable, and flexible. With the digital overhaul, your capabilities to adapt the company to any market changes dramatically improve. In this way, the options for innovation are perpetually in-place, ready to be utilised at any point, giving you a significant advantage over your competitors.

For example, any new trends can be swiftly monopolised by your business, and it is very easy to scale up or down depending on your needs. Likewise, digital transformation facilitates communication and collaboration among employees, partners, and clients. This, therefore, allows for problems to be solved quicker and more successfully, using online communication mediums to effectively liaise with other departments should issues arise. 

3. Augmenting Customer Experience

Yet, perhaps most importantly, digital transformation refines the experience that your customers have with your company. With a more customer-centric ethos, you are likely to see a better return on investments (ROIs) and improved customer satisfaction levels, driving long-term loyalty and exponential growth. 

Through digitalising different aspects of your business, you can provide customers with real-time support by using AI chat boxes or virtual assistants that can seamlessly aid their overall experience with your brand. 

Equally, you can enhance your customers’ experience with your business by running an omnichannel service, where their interactions with your brand manifest themselves in different ways, be it through websites, social media, or mobile apps. This seamless integration of numerous channels and touchpoints when people interact with your business online further encourages subsequent visits

How to Sustain Digital Transformation

So far we have tackled the ‘why’ of digital transformation, but, perhaps more importantly, is the ‘how’; that is, what steps you can take to ensure that your digital transformation is as effective as it can be, and how to continually develop through this digitalisation. In essence, it boils down to two overarching points: 

1. Maintaining an Innovative Mindset

Digital transformation is far more than just employing digital tools to help modernise and computerise your business operations. It is, essentially, a complete overhaul of your systems and procedures to deliver value sustainably in the future. 

As such, to carry out such a transition successfully, all employees need to be tuned into this new operational mindset. Below are the best practices to sustain an innovative ethos company-wide:

  • Foster a culture of constant learning: Make sure that all employees understand the cultural shift within the organisation and provide them with training so they can be better equipped to handle the new digital environment. 
  • Dedicate time and resources to modernisation: Invest money into the correct technology and infrastructure for your transformation which aligns with your long-term objectives, ensuring that all employees have the skills to operate this tech. 
  • Enable knowledge-sharing: Adopt a policy that encourages continuous learning by running knowledge-sharing calls or offering mentoring schemes. 
  • Encourage risk-taking: Urge employees to continually look for further innovations, rewarding new ideas, and experimenting with distinct strategies. 
  • Review and measure success: Take time to review your project, understanding that innovation is ultimately a trial-and-error process, and make informed decisions based on your evaluations. 

2. Using a Digital Transformation Framework

Transforming your business into one that operates in a predominantly digital space is not something that can be done overnight. Instead, in order to guarantee longevity for your transformation, it is a process that requires much thought and careful planning to ensure that all steps of the project are mapped out beforehand. 

What is a Digital Transformation Framework?

A digital transformation framework is essentially a blanket term that describes the structured and holistic approach to transforming the business. It refers to the systematic way that companies should plan their digitalisation process in order to achieve the best and most successful results.

In this way, a digital transformation framework is a blueprint or set of rules for the transformation, encompassing various benchmarks and plans for the entire lifespan of the process. 

The framework must begin by laying out a clear strategy and identifying what elements of the infrastructure you want to change and how you plan to do so. If you are struggling to evaluate this, hire an expert consultancy firm to guide you through the digitalisation journey. 

After this, it is important that you constantly look to explore growth opportunities as the market and subsequently customers’ needs change, as well as fostering a culture of constant improvement and innovation company-wide, as highlighted in the previous section. 

Why is a Digital Transformation Framework Useful?

The main advantage of a digital transformation framework is that it is a centralised and structured point of contact that is available to all employees throughout the entire process. 

This is especially relevant in the case of cross-company collaboration; this framework helps bridge the gap between business and technology sectors, ensuring that the corporate strategy is aligned with the capabilities of the IT department. Through strategic and careful planning, and using a universal language, a successful digital transformation framework will provide a shared understanding of the goals and objectives of the organisation. 

It is also very reusable. If the foundations are put together effectively, you will not have to form new business strategies every time the market changes or technical innovations are inevitably introduced into the sector. 

Even so, despite the benefits listed above, it is essential that the framework is robust, and that you have meticulously planned the digital transformation before embarking on the journey. At Zartis, the consultants are experts in forming a strategy for your digital transformation. They will attentively work with you to ensure they can provide you with the most innovative and effective digitisation for your business. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Digital transformations are revolutionising the modern world, and companies need to adopt them to stay relevant in the increasingly competitive market.
  • A digital transformation is not just the implementation of digital tools into your business, but rather a complete overhaul of the daily operations to increase value.
  • Undergoing such a transition can lead to a more efficient workforce and an agile and easily changeable model that can swiftly react to market changes. 
  • Another key aspect is the benefits it gives your customers when interacting with your brand digitally, which helps to drive higher ROIs. 
  • The key to maintaining such a transformation lies in a solid framework, the set of rules that track your digital transformation through all stages of its lifecycle. 
  • Within this, it is important to foster an innovative mindset that constantly looks to develop and modernise your brand. 
  • Before starting a digital transformation it is essential that you have considered how to modernise your current infrastructure and make a long-term plan. 

Interesting Related Article: “How is Digital Transformation Impacting Supply Chains?