Here’s an idea – let’s store our data on floppy disks again.
I guess you’re not eager to rush to the nearest antique store to follow through on this suggestion. Good. It doesn’t make any sense. I surely don’t have to explain that it would undoubtedly slow down any business and make it archaic. (Assuming you could even get hold of a floppy disk reader).
Similarly, processes like non-automated shipping, paper accounting, or clunky ordering options can become your company’s counterpart of a diskette. Obsolete, manual ways of operating excel at slowing your business down, ruining customer experience, and similar atrocities.
If you think we’re exaggerating – we’re really not. And to prove our point, in this article, we’ll list the key examples of how digital transformation can reshape your business (in a good way) ⬇
What is Digital Transformation?
If you work in IT, or simply work in management, digital transformation is a term that crops up at most meetings. Forbes alone had 148,811 results on the topic of digital transformation a few years back already. Yet “digital transformation” on its own means nothing. It’s not a buzzword – much like Industry 4.0, it’s shorthand for a much larger, more complex concept.
But what concept, exactly?
Shortly speaking, digital transformation is the process wherein a company embraces new digital solutions to open up new benefits or eliminate older problems.
Now, let's get back to our main topic – the reasons why you should embrace digital transformation in your enterprise.
Better employee culture and collaboration
There’s this TV ad – supermarket, dairy and cold cuts stand; somebody asks for 10 ounces of cheese. The lady behind the counters grabs a chainsaw and cuts off a gigantic chunk of cheddar. Finally, she asks – “will 50 ounces be fine?”
This surreal concept was advertising money loans for companies that were lacking the funds to buy the right tools to operate efficiently. Similarly, through digital transformation, team members can get the optimal tooling, tailored to the character of their operations, encouraging a digital culture.
These new tools offer people a more seamless way to collaborate and enable the organization to move ahead digitally. Naturally, this has a huge influence on the entire organization’s way of thinking.
Not even to mention that digital transformation boosts the overall employee experience. If efficient, intuitive processes are in place, it makes the job less stressful. Employees are better organized and can achieve better outcomes of the same activities. As a result, digital transformation enables team members to be happier and more productive with their everyday tasks.
Statistically, maintaining legacy systems and products is expensive. That’s ironic since they’re usually performing way worse than their modern equivalents.
So, completing a digital transformation can not only save you money right away by getting rid of these additional maintenance costs. It also has the potential to save a lot more time and budget in the following years – since further innovation is one of the pillars of digital transformation.
From that perspective, the longer you wait with starting your digital transformation, the more expensive your processes will likely become. As a result, in most cases, it’s not a good idea to wait with setting up new processes and innovations.
Better customer insights
We won’t bother you with another “data is the new oil” trope. But we will emphasize that data is key in the current business landscape – and digital transformation is a good way to get useful customer data.
By understanding your customers better, you can tailor your operations and offering to match their needs. This data can be both structured – like personal customer information – or unstructured – like social media metrics.
So, with this data, you can create customer-centric strategies empowered by more personalized and relevant content. If used smartly, this approach can become pivotal in your business operations.
Better customer experience
We already established that digital transformation can have a positive impact on your team. Now, an equally important benefit is that it also has the potential to deliver a better customer experience.
In 2022, we, as customers, are spoiled. Everything is so quick, so easy to get (apart from the PS5). Shopping online or subscribing to a service is seamless – even more than buying a can of coke at your local store. After all, you don’t have to leave your house.
That’s why businesses need to make sure they’re a part of this trend of seamlessness. Otherwise, they may lose their competitive strength. Regardless of if we’re talking about online retail stores, email communication portals, subscription services, or any other product offered on the internet, the experience the customer gets must be of top quality.
As a confirmation of these words, two-thirds of companies declare that they’re competing with other brands mostly on the ground of customer experience.
And having clunky processes in place is the opposite of what you need. Even if you offer good prices and a wide variety of interesting products/services, you may still fail if your digital side is not competitive enough. For example, if you don’t offer automated shipping and thus keep your customers waiting for their orders.
If you do your digital transformation effectively, you’ll be able to respond to the customer and market needs swiftly. In 2020, the need to become flexible has come into the picture more than ever.
With so many events happening that we can’t foresee – recently, Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, for example, which upset many operations (i.e., the construction industry) – it’s good to be ready for whatever the future holds. Ad hoc reacting will only get you so far.
Additionally, through digital transformation, enterprises become more agile. If done proficiently, an IT transformation can boost the speed-to-market and the adoption of Continuous Improvement (CI) strategies. Coupled together, this helps you to be ready for whatever comes.
When discussing the benefits related to better employee culture and collaboration, we already mentioned that digital transformation can empower your team members to be more productive. Now, let’s consider that in more detail.
First, by automating manual tasks, you can save your team members from performing boring, repetitive activities. And this can empower better efficiency and focus.
Next, with the right tools to streamline workflows, your team can become better organized and work on increasing productivity.
Not even to mention that they’ll probably be happier with doing more interesting responsibilities.
A hugely important benefit is how digital transformation can influence profits.
The SAP Center for Business Insights and Oxford Economics reported that 80% of organizations that have completed a digital transformation also increased their profits. What’s more, 85% said that the transformation has influenced their market share. Finally, on average, decision-makers expected a 23% higher revenue growth than competitors because of the transformation.
These increased profits don’t only result from the cost optimization we’ve mentioned earlier. Companies can also maximize their opportunities with a more data-driven approach. Finally, they can also benefit from the digital culture, which improves best practices and enables them to capitalize on areas like trend evaluation or pattern recognition.
Better resource management
Thanks to digital transformation, you can consolidate data and resources into a suite of business tools. So, instead of dispersed software and databases, it consolidates your tools and reduces vendor overlap.
Recently, the average number of applications used in enterprise business was 900.
With digital transformation, you can integrate these applications, databases, and software into a central repository for business intelligence.
Consider Starting Your Digital Transformation Soon
Digital transformation can become a pivotal step for your business.
The longer you wait with starting your digital transformation, the more benefits can keep slipping through your fingers.
And if you'd like to learn more about how to approach digital transformation, download our dedicated e-book that will tell you all you need to know ⬇