What does Digital Transformation actually mean?
Are you confused by digital transformation?
Technology is growing quickly and becoming an integral part of pretty much everything we do. Digital transformation is increasingly important for companies looking to maximise their development and customer base.
But here’s where it gets confusing.
The process of digital transformation will look slightly different to everyone and every business. This makes it a pretty hard concept to understand. To help clear this up, we’re going to look at what digital transformation is. The we’ll look at why it matters to you.
We’ll also look at what digital transformation can involve and why more businesses are starting to embrace it.
First off, let’s find out what digital transformation actually is.
One way to define ‘digital transformation’ is to look at the terms separately. ‘Digital’ relates to the use of computer technology. ‘Transformation’ means a noticeable change in form, nature, or appearance.
So, digital transformation is the application and integration of computer technology to businesses fundamentally changing their processes, models, and all other areas of operation.
The term encourages businesses to rethink their older systems and strive towards the new opportunities. It encourages the optimization that comes with digital technology.
Because digital transformation is quite a general term, definitions can vary depending on where you look. But the main point to take away is the use of new technologies to change businesses, helping them develop in faster, better, and more innovative ways.
So why does it actually matter?
Technology is increasingly important in our day-to-day lives. Whether you’re the CEO of a large company, or a high school student – everyone uses it. In turn, this means technology plays a crucial part in a business’s ability to evolve with its customer base and maintain value to them.
Competition for consumer loyalty is tougher than ever. And companies that fail to evolve with the current trends may need to undergo digital transformation to re-capture the confidence of their target audience.
Not only does it help struggling organisations, but it can help improve the way more successful businesses work, and optimise their profits. Digital transformation encourages companies to constantly improve, to challenge themselves at every stage. But it should be seen as a continuous transformation, as technology is developing quickly and continuously.
This process can help businesses maximise their productivity, centralise their data and access to it, and improve their ability to respond to rivals and competitors.
Digital transformation is a multifaceted process that means different things to different businesses. Just as no two companies are the same, their processes of evolving are also unique.
The common element is a complete change, not just in technology, but also a cultural transformation, changing the way people interact and use this technology to get results. Integrating digital technology and a digital culture into an organisation is a huge part of this whole transformation.
While we’re discussing this, let’s take a brief look at what other processes it could involve.
Whether your business is completely new to the process, or you’ve already started your evolution, these steps are a great place to start.
It can start with changes in leadership and the restructuring of traditional hierarchies. The aim here is to recognise and involve every member of a company. This promotes trust, transparency, and new ways of thinking. It is one of the main steps people refer to when looking at the cultural impact of the process.
On top of this, digital transformation tends to go hand-in-hand with the Cloud. Many companies who undergo digital transformation are utilising the cloud to streamline their infrastructure. As well as increase employee access, improve security, and reduce their environmental footprint.
The cloud is being used by large and small companies alike to improve efficiency and immerse their company in the digital world. A final example of common digital transformation processes is a customer-based focus. While many companies are undergoing digital transformations to improve employee experience, primarily they are looking to improve their customer service and experience.
So why isn’t every business undergoing digital transformation?
It might surprise you to hear that a majority of companies are still not actively in the process of digital transformation.
Many still use traditional hierarchies, excluding the majority of employees from key processes, and many businesses aren’t making the most of the technologies available to us.
This doesn’t mean organisations aren’t looking to evolve. The IDG examined the topic in late 2018 and revealed that 89% of businesses are planning to increase their usage of digital technology. However, in reality, only 44% of organisations had completely taken up this digital transformation. So, what’s stopping more businesses from getting started on their journey to digital transformation?
One major thing that could be standing in the way of some businesses, especially smaller ones, is the perceived cost of a complete transformation. However, these processes don’t always have to break the bank.
Simply rethinking old models and embracing the input of each member of the company is a really easy place to start. This isn’t a process that is achieved overnight, which can be off putting.
Not every company will start at the same point. Their goals will differ. But, evolving alongside technological developments now and in the future can really help businesses to create an impact in their field. It can help them one step ahead of their competition.
This process challenges businesses to adapt, constantly question the norm, experiment with new ideas, and understand that failure is natural.
Rethinking old models and striving for optimisation across the entire organisation is helping companies change with the times. It also helps them survive in the face of tough competition. Digital transformation can seem daunting at first glance, but is vital for organisations looking to get to the top.
Of course, if you want to find out more about what digital transformation means, and how you can achieve it, make sure to give us a call.