How Can Digital Transformation Improve My Business?
Digital transformation has the potential to radically change the way your company works. It’ll make your company more efficient and productive by integrating technology into your everyday processes in a way that benefits all levels, including your customers.
But as with all things IT-related, there’s a tendency to get distracted by the razzle-dazzle of technology and not think through the hard truths of execution until you’re well on your way. Then the promise of digital transformation doesn’t live up to the expectation, and it’s abandoned just as quickly as it was started.
When done right, however, digital transformation can have a positive impact on your company. And companies are certainly buying in. In fact, digital transformation technologies and services are forecasted to reach 1.97 trillion by 2022, according to IDG.
If you’re thinking about digital business transformation for your company or organization, keep reading.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation (DX) is the process by which technology is incorporated and integrated into the processes and strategies of a business organization to better compete in a digital economy. It affects all areas of the organization, from internal processes and workflows to employee skills and roles. DX helps organizations keep pace with emerging customer demands and compete in an economic landscape that’s constantly changing as technology evolves.
The way companies transform, however, is as unique as their organization, their market, and their products. Each company will use and integrate the new technology differently into their organizations to enhance their capabilities and business process to grow their business.
Successful examples of digital business transformation
Not sure if digital transformation is right for your business? Take a look at these examples from across a wide variety of industries and see for yourself.
- Dine Brands Global, owner of IHOP and Applebees are trying out mobile ordering through virtual assistants like Google Assistant.
- BMO Harris Bank is using software from fintech startup Blend to accelerate the loan origination process for its customers. Within one year of deploying it, loan applications are up nearly 300 percent, more than 80 percent of them are filled out using Blend, and the new software has reduced the loan lifecycle by an entire business week.
- McDermott International, a premier provider of technology, engineering, and construction solutions to the energy industry, has been undergoing a steady transformation process that incorporates software platforms to centralize activities across the global company. They’re using cloud software to drive agility and optimizing work processes as they incorporate more open and connected systems.
- Digital twin technology is helping the manufacturing industry reduce maintenance issues and ensure optimal production output. Chevron’s digital twin program is forecast to save them millions in maintenance costs in their oil fields and refineries by 2024.
Getting started: digital transformation strategy
Since DX affects every level of a business, it requires a lot of planning and thought. It’s more than just bringing in a new software application and mandating that everyone use it. Executives must buy-in, make organizational changes, reskill and retrain employees, revise and optimize work processes, and experiment with emerging technologies.
To get started with digital transformation, ask yourself (and your business) this question: what business outcomes do you want to achieve for customers? The outcomes will act as the basis for your transformation efforts. You’ll use them to work backward and identify what processes you need to change, the technology that’s affected, and so on. Having a documented customer journey is helpful at this stage since you’ll have a visual representation of those outcomes and what you’ll need to change to achieve them.
Next, look at customer expectations for both your own business and your competition. See how you’re both fulfilling them and what gaps exist. Try to forecast where customer expectations will go in the future and then plan towards meeting those goals.
Finally, you’ll need to identify the technology partners that can help you reach those customer outcomes, not just from an individual process or team perspective, but enterprise-wide. This helps CIOs and IT teams recognize where they’ll earn the highest ROI from their tech investments.
A technology partner can help you define a digital transformation strategy that works for your unique business by understanding the technologies you already use and helping your business plan for growth.
A step towards data transformation usually means updating your legacy system. Learn key challenges your business might face as well as how to overcome them in our guide to replacing your legacy system. Download the guide below.