Digital transformation simply means integrating digital technology into all business areas. While seemingly simple, it practically changes how a company operates and delivers customer value. More than the physical, too, it requires a cultural change. Organizations need to innovate or change the status quo continuously, experiment to see what works and what doesn’t, and, at some point, be comfortable with failure.
Why Change Something That Isn’t Broken?
While businesses may think they’ve got everything down to a tee, the pace at which industry landscapes are changing dictates the need to keep up. No company can remain competitive and relevant if they don’t become “digital.”
What may be confusing for many entrepreneurs and business leaders, though, is what digital transformation actually means. Is it just a new way of moving to the cloud? What steps should they take? Do they need to create new positions to craft a useful digital transformation framework? Is hiring a consultant enough? What parts of the business need to change? And, most importantly, is it worth it?
These are just some of the critical questions that business owners ask. And given the currently ensuing pandemic, which pushed companies to shift to work-from-home setups, digital transformation has become more urgent than ever.
Competition is always stiff, and organizations need to keep up so as not to get left behind. Every business needs to keep customers happy to thrive. That means improving customer experience, reducing friction, increasing productivity, and elevating profitability. Overall, a company wants to become the best, and the only way they can do that is to use digital technologies that they didn’t have access to in the past.
What Do Companies Need to Jumpstart Their Digital Transformation Journey?
Apart from an overarching business goal (e.g., to be the best), a company on its way toward digital transformation needs a framework. And while goals may differ from one organization to another, some elements remain the same, such as:
- Customer experience: This has to do with understanding one’s customers—their pain points, requirements, and more. At the end of the day, a business cannot grow and succeed without loyal clientele, making enhanced customer experience a critical part of every strategy.
- Operational agility: No company can digitize customer service provision without training their workers to use the same tools to excite their clients (e.g., tablets for interactive presentations, etc.). That requires changes in how employees perform tasks and the devices they use. They need thorough training as well to ensure all transactions are error-free.
- Culture and leadership: Working with advanced technologies requires enhanced knowledge and skillsets. And employees who have gotten used to a particular way of doing things may need a complete change in their way of thinking. The same goes true for executives. For digital transformation to work, an entire organization needs to embrace technology.
- Workforce enablement: Globalization has changed the way we do things. These days, we don’t necessarily sit next to members of the same team or those we typically collaborate with. That has become more apparent in work-from-home setups where we don’t have instant access to, say, IT personnel. All companies must strive to equip employees with basic training at the very least to work through hurdles (e.g., accessing remote files, etc.) on their own. That is achievable through training and modules.
- Digital technology integration: This simply refers to choosing and using the best tools available to enable employees to be as productive, mobile, and responsive as possible. The systems and solutions a company chooses should match its goals and workers’ requirements.
Several digital transformation frameworks are available, and we’ve listed some of them down for you:
- MIT Sloan: The Nine Elements of Digital Transformation
- Altimeter: Six Stages of Digital Transformation
Now that you know a little more about digital transformation, we can answer the question, “How does digital transformation impact our lives?” Simply put, it will change the way we think and work because we’ll need to keep pace with technological advancements if we want our business to grow and succeed.