Digital transformation is the process of using technology to create new business processes (or improve existing ones) to meet customer needs, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and more. It’s not just about making things digital — it’s about adding value to customers and making the business sustainable.
Yet evidence suggests that, while being slow to adapt to digital technology can reduce some risk in the short term, it increases risk and reduces competitiveness over time. Here’s how to go through the process of digital transformation smoothly.
Benefits of digital transformation
As a business, your survival depends on your ability to be proactive and stay on the curb of innovation. By embracing digital transformation, you can stay ahead of the competition.
It can also reduce costs by automating processes and eliminating unnecessary steps, freeing up resources — which you can then use to invest in other areas of the business.
Digital transformation can improve the customer experience by providing faster, more personalized service. By automating certain processes and using data to better understand customer needs, you can create a better overall experience for them.
In some cases, it can shorten production times to help you get products and services to market faster, improving your competitiveness and customer satisfaction.
Finally, it can help you to unearth so-called shadow IT: Technology systems that aren’t deployed by your central IT team, but rather implemented as solutions by other departments. Although this is used as a solution to foster productivity and may work in the short term, IT is more efficient when appropriately implemented by your core team.
Overall, this all comes down to improving efficiency and streamlining processes.
Choosing the right kind of technology
Digital transformation ultimately comes down to technology — but you need to make sure you take the right approach.
In some cases, buying new software might be enough to streamline your business and make a tangible difference. Yet in other cases, it may be necessary to change your business model or processes entirely. For instance, in the agricultural sector, businesses are now able to use AI to label and recognize which crops are ready. This could mean that you can restructure your entire operations after freeing up resources.
Even though AI is a common choice in digital transformation processes and receives a lot of hype these days, it’s not necessarily the right choice for every organization. You need to consider what will benefit customers most — sometimes, the complexity of your process or the need for a personal touch could render AI less useful.
Finally, you need to consider cybersecurity. As companies put more and more of their data on the cloud — including sensitive information — they need to remember that hackers are also becoming increasingly sophisticated. It may be necessary to work with experts to ensure you have a secure server to keep your data safe.
How to make digital transformation successful
Digital transformation has the potential to bring significant benefits to businesses of all sizes and industries. However, it’s essential to approach the process with care to ensure its success. Here are a few tips on how to do exactly that.
Before you get started, you need to understand how you manage information (such as where sensitive data is stored), use technology (to ensure any future systems are compatible), and how you’re going to train your team to use new systems. Failing to cover any of these steps can result in a failed digital transformation that will cause more problems than it solves.
This is why you need to find the right person to lead the effort. Digital transformation is about more than just digitalization; finding the right person to lead the effort is important. This may not necessarily be someone from the IT department, but rather someone with a broad understanding of the business and the ability to effectively lead the change process.
While it’s important to have in-house expertise, working with a consultant can also boost the chances of success. A consultant can provide expert guidance and support throughout the process, helping to identify potential challenges and develop strategies to overcome them.
Time to get transforming
While it takes some serious thought to get digital transformation right, the benefits are undeniable.
We take a through and flexible approach to digital transformation to account for the unique features of your business. If you’d like to find out more, contact us to schedule a consultation.