Here is the definition that Deloitte, the famous British audit and consulting firm, gives of digital transformation: “digital transformation, digital transformation, or even digitization, consists for any company or company to become a digital company, it is that is, an organization that will use technology to constantly evolve all areas of its activity and all aspects of its business models, such as what it offers, the customer relationship, and the way it operates, so as not to name only the most important elements.
As technology evolves, so must your business. At this stage, it is not for companies to choose to transform, rather it is necessary to decide how to transform in order to best start its digital transformation.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the challenges of digital transformation and cover all that it means for businesses today, to help you adapt to technological advancements and this coming revolution, and ultimately , to change the way you do business.
An overview of the digital transformation of companies
The digital transformation of companies can refer to everything from IT modernization boosted by new technologies, with for example cloud computing, to digital optimization, through the invention of new digital business models and the exploitation of the big data . In general, this term refers to the use of digital technology to create new marketing and business processes, or to evolve old ones.
For all businesses, digital transformation is also the process of analyzing customer needs and using technology to improve the end-user experience. End users can be customers or employees, and many companies must take the views of both into account anyway.
Digital transformation is about moving your business forward by experimenting with new technologies and rethinking your current approach to common issues. Because it is an evolution rather than a revolution, a transformation does not necessarily have a clear finish line. It is for this reason that it is better to consider digital transformation as a continuous adaptation to a constantly changing environment.
For French or foreign companies, this means constantly looking for ways to improve the end-user experience, for example by offering high-level training on demand, by migrating data to services. cloud, leveraging artificial intelligence, etc.
The different types of digital transformation
Here are three key areas of digital transformation for businesses:
- Customer Experience: Work to understand customers in more detail, use technology to drive customer growth, and create more points of contact with customers
- Business Processes: Improve internal processes by leveraging digitization and automation, enabling employees to use web and digital tools, and collecting data to monitor performance and make more strategic business decisions
- Business models: transforming the business by increasing physical offerings with digital tools and services, introducing digital products and using technology to deliver shared services internationally
Why is digital transformation important?
While each digital transformation initiative has its own specific goals, the main goal of any digital transformation is to improve existing processes. Digital transformation is important because companies must evolve to remain competitive in their industry. If you are not moving, you are actually falling behind.
Digital transformation is essential because it allows companies and organizations to adapt to constantly changing sectors and continually improve the way they operate.
The advantages of digital transformation
While the ROI of digital transformation depends on a variety of factors, the right technologies can go a long way in improving the way your business operates and the way customers engage with it.
Here are three benefits that technology can bring to businesses:
1- Increase productivity while reducing labor costs
Using technology to work more efficiently is one of the best ways to transform your business. For example, for companies, the time and money they spend on training new employees and updating digital resources can quickly spiral out of control. With the right tools, you can reduce those costs and increase productivity.
2- Improve the customer experience
Tech-savvy customers want a great shopping experience through multiple touchpoints: mobile apps, social media, email, live chats, etc., and that’s something tech can do for you. to provide.
3- Make your company more competitive in its sector of activity
Your competitors are necessarily turning to digital transformation, whatever your position on this phenomenon. Choosing not to adopt digital transformation means making the decision with serious consequences to be left behind by most of your competitors.
How to achieve your digital transformation?
To succeed in your digital transformation, maintain the momentum of all your current initiatives towards your ultimate business objectives, and add to your plan the five main drivers of the digital transformation: the digital “twin”, privacy, culture, increased intelligence and digital product management.
According to Gartner, the leading American consulting firm, business leaders must focus on these five areas to enable a successful digital transformation within their company:
1- The digital “twin”
Gartner defines the digital twin, or “digital twin,” as the digital representation of a real-world entity or system. The implementation of a digital twin is a software model that reflects a physical object, process, organization, person, or other abstraction.
Digital twins support digital transformation by making it easier to experiment and collect data that results in more informed business decisions.
2- Confidentiality and protection of customer data
If you can’t manage the privacy of customer data, your digital transformation is doomed. As more and more digital tools and solutions become available, businesses tend to jump on the ones that seem most appropriate or practical. However, research shows that a large portion of consumers and employees are unwilling to give up privacy and protection of their data for the sake of convenience.
Thus, business leaders must take the issue of data privacy seriously. Employees and consumers will not support a transformation that violates their privacy or the security of their personal data.
Resistance to change is a human instinct. When you ignore the cultural aspect of a digital transformation, there is a risk that you will encounter strong resistance quite quickly. Moreover, nearly half of business leaders say that the cultural aspect remains the biggest obstacle to digital transformation.
So if you have pro-change leaders and collaborators, use their voice and influence to move your initiative forward.
4- increased intelligence
Augmented intelligence goes beyond artificial intelligence (AI) , and allows humans and machines to work together effectively.
AI’s data collection and analysis capabilities far exceed that of humans. But augmented intelligence is not about replacing employees with machines. AI collects and presents data in a way that enables employees to improve their knowledge and make informed decisions.
5- Digital product management
Gartner explains digital product management as a change in mindset that places more importance on products than on projects. These products in question must be designed to improve the customer experience and be delivered through digital channels.
What is it about ? Digital product management is about knowing your industry and designing products that serve it. For example, instead of expecting the healthcare industry to align with Apple’s offerings, Apple created a watch that monitors the health of its customers.
Business leaders who focus on these five key elements will be able to stay ahead of their competition by constantly improving and expanding their businesses.
The different stages of digital transformation
After several years of interviews with leaders in digital transformation, Altimer recently published a report that defines six steps to consider for the digital transformation of your business. These six steps provide direction for focused and results-oriented transformation initiatives.
Here are the 6 stages of digital transformation:
- Business as usual, or status quo – The current state of your business
- Present and active – A time of experimentation within the whole company where you encourage creativity and the improvement of skills in the digital domain
- Formalization – As experimentation becomes more intentional, initiatives become clearer and you begin to seek buy-in from leadership
- Strategy – The moment when groups begin to collaborate and share their research to create strategic plans for digital transformation
- Convergence – Formulation of a dedicated digital transformation team that will guide strategy, set goals and put systems in place to support transformation
- Innovation and Adaptation – When digital transformation becomes part of the business and leadership establishes a system to monitor technology and market trends so the business can continue to evolve
The goals you set for yourself and the technology you use to achieve those goals will define what your digital transformation will look like. However you choose to transform your business, proper planning and monitoring is essential.