Over the last few years, digital transformation has been one of the hottest topics at just about every business conference and event. It’s a subject which keeps the CEO awake at night yet is not always clearly defined or understood.
Digital transformation can impact every area of business. In the finance department, machine learning can automate manual processes like invoice tracking. For marketing folks, there’s no question that cloud computing will make an impact on how files are stored and accessed. Yet, for some companies, digital transformation becomes more of a concept and something to study and analyse, without becoming an actual part of business plans. One reason is that companies are concerned that any disruption will cause problems with customer services, sales, support, and other areas.
Recent studies report that worldwide spending on the technologies and services that enable digital transformation is forecast to reach $2.3 trillion in 2023, with the period from 2019 to 2023 seeing a steady expansion of digital spending to reach this figure. This shows that increasingly, the digital transformation process is being viewed as a long-term investment, with initiatives set to take over a 50% share of worldwide technology investment by 2023, reflecting the global commitment to enterprise-wide digital transformation.
So, what makes digital transformation so important and topical? Quite simply, if your organisation is not modernising then you’ll be left behind, and the threat of disruption becomes very real. If you aren’t lucky enough to be “born in the cloud” (typically companies which started in the last ten years) then chances are you are using legacy software and out of date IT infrastructure. While this itself is not a problem, your competitors now are lean, efficient, make much better use of their capital and delight their customers by engaging with them across multiple channels.
In today’s blog post, we explore the benefits of digital transformation to a business and its workforce.
1) Transforms Customer Experience
The world’s obsession with the latest technology, social media and apps revolve around a desire for an easier life. People want valuable solutions to their problems. More importantly, they want it fast.
The experience of customers is at the heart of digital. As a result, the primary focus of digital transformation is to use cutting-edge technology to improve the customer experience.
Many companies recognise this, with 92% of leaders developing mature digital transformation strategies, specifically to enhance the consumer experience.
According to McKinsey, the success factors in customer experience in the transformation process are:
- Design and digitise customer journeys
- Increase speed and agility in insights
- Achieve customer adoption of digital customer journeys
- Develop agility in delivering journey transformations
2) Drives data-based insights
One of the great benefits of going digital is the ability to track metrics and analyse the data that is gained during digital marketing efforts. More to the point, using these insights allows businesses to optimise their strategies and processes for even better results.
In businesses, two things matter more than most – costs and revenue. It’s possible to make massive changes to both by integrating data-based insights into the company culture. Using data-driven insights to understand customers and feeds into business strategy enables hyper-personalisation, relevancy, real-time feedback and agility. This involves businesses to make use of both structured (personal customer information) and unstructured data (social media metrics) pulling together data from many sides of the business to help drive the transformation journey.
The importance of data in decision-making should not be underestimated. With the right leadership to encourage this attitude throughout an organisation, the road to a higher ROI will become much easier.
Check out our blog post – 3 Traits You Need As A Leader in Today’s Digital Age
3) Encourages collaboration across departments
Many people fear change. The thought of the entire organisation making a massive digital transformation can be a daunting prospect for a workforce from leadership to entry-level employees. All processes and strategies, down to the core structure and company culture need to be addressed.
However, in that, there is an opportunity for unity throughout the workforce. To maximise the chances of a successful switch, there needs to be strong communication. With encouragement, employees can break down age gaps and social divides to engage in conversation and learn together. Solid leadership at this point will improve the digital intelligence of the workforce.
Check out our blog post – Helping Your Employees Adapt & Embrace Digital Transformation
4) Increases agility & innovation
When it comes to digital transformation initiatives, 68% of companies rank agility among the top three considerations. The rapid development and perpetual changing of the digital landscape leave no time for companies to rest on their laurels.
Even those on top must be ready to adapt and innovate. There will always be a new competition, new tools, and new trends. With that, the customer will demand more, wanting it faster and better than before. Staying ready is crucial.
5) Updates skillsets & knowledge
As new technology continues to grow, the demand for these specialised skills will grow as well. To name a few skills that are coming into their own, the future of digital business is looking to be heavily built upon the following skillsets:
- Artificial intelligence
- Augmented Reality
- Cloud Computing
- Machine Learning
- Data Exploration/Analytics
- Growth Hacking
6) Fosters a digital culture
Central to this flexible and adaptable nature is a strong digital workplace. This will allow the workforce to remain productive and engaged in the transformation without feeling overwhelmed or disconnected from the process. Merely having the technology in place is not enough. If a business is to succeed in the future, the organisation must adopt and apply a company culture that embraces the change.
Considering that 60% of professionals don’t feel equipped for change, a company culture that immerses the workforce in a digital learning environment is a significant benefit, helping them upskill for years ahead along with climb up the ladder to become digital-savvy employees.
7) Consolidates process and operations
Putting money aside, the greatest universal benefit that technology has given businesses is that it has made it easier to connect with other people. By going digital, companies can bring more than just their workforce together, but also their entire architecture. This includes social media, analytics and project management interfaces. This consolidation of the company processes and operations enables the business to connect with their target audience and satisfy their needs.
In conclusion, the future of digital transformation is no longer a dot on the horizon. The pressing need to implement it in the next few years can no longer be ignored – certainly not if the organisation has any interest in success or profits. The digital age isn’t new, but it is different. Choosing to remain on the outside was a liberty that many businesses had over the past decade. But time is up.
Find out how you can get started on your digital transformation road map with our introductory course on digital transformation.