Unlock the Power of Digital Transformation
Discover the Top 4 Key Areas You Need to Know!
- Digital transformation describes how adding new technologies to your business can benefit both the internal operations of your company and the experience your customers have interacting with it
- Customer experience, data and analytics, cloud computing, and mobility are among the aspects of your business that most benefit from an innovative use of digital transformation
- Businesses go through a six-stage process when choosing the best ways to implement digital transformation and integrating them into their everyday operations
Technology is constantly evolving, and sticking with what worked for your business, even a decade ago, may put you at a bigger disadvantage than you realize. Your customers expect your business to keep up with tech trends in your field, and these products and programs can also make a significant difference in improving the organization and culture of your business. Digital transformation is adding new tech tools to nearly every part of your business.
What Is Digital Transformation?
New technologies can do more for your business than simply replace a specific procedure that was once done on paper. Adding more complex digital products and programs to your business’s everyday operations over time can also transform your business’s culture, goals, and capabilities for your team members and your customers. Considering how emerging technology can take nearly any aspect of your business to the next level is an important step in reimagining what it can achieve for you and do for your customers in the digital world.
Areas of Digital Transformation
Various organizations use different names to identify each of the four areas that digital transformation impacts, which include several aspects of how reimagining how your business uses technology can transform the internal operations of your business and how your customers view your company.
Customer Experience (CX)
Your customers’ overall experience using your products and services is crucial in determining whether they will become repeat customers or switch to your competitors. Understanding how your target audience wants technology to impact their interactions with your brand and adjusting your digital products and services to match their interests and typical tech preferences can help you provide the comprehensive but user-friendly digital experience your customers expect in the 21st century.
Data and Analytics
Keeping track of your business’s data on paper may have been your only option in the past, but continuing to do so in the digital age creates too many opportunities for misplacing, damaging, or discarding your only copy of important information. Shifting to digital data storage and organization improves the security and immediate accessibility of your data, and many of the storage programs you have to choose from provide built-in data analytics that can gather more information about your customers and help you use numbers and demographics to identify ways to improve your business.
Trusting one computer or server with your crucial data is not the best idea for many business owners, especially those who rely on protecting sensitive information about their businesses or customers. Shifting to securing more of your information in the cloud and on multiple servers can make a significant difference in keeping the digital transformation changes you make to the structure and functionality of your business safe and working properly.
Creating websites and programs that are accessible on any device also plays a key role in making sure your full customer base can benefit from everything your business has to offer. Many of your current and potential customers depend on cell phones and tablets as their primary options for accessing digital tools and other online content, which means that prioritizing user-friendly apps and websites that are optimized for smaller screens is an important step in making sure your commitment to digital transformation can reach as much of your target audience as possible.
Stages of Digital Transformation
Although the digital transformation timeline looks different for every business and every project, successful projects generally progress through these six stages.
Business as Usual
The first stage of digital transformation occurs before any changes or even consideration of potential changes. The Business as Usual stage simply acknowledges how the business looks before the transformation.
Present and Active
In the Present and Active stage, businesses identify areas most in need of transformation and begin to consider potential strategies for improving them. This early stage of digital transformation is still relatively disorganized, and these first discussions of the need for improvement are unlikely to go very far until more formal steps are implemented.
The Formalized stage is typically the first point where intentional decisions showcase a business’s commitment to digital transformation. Heavy experimentation throughout this stage is key because it is the best time for businesses to try a wide range of potential approaches and digital tools to eventually choose the best options. Conversations with stakeholders that have a strong influence in decisions or may ultimately provide funding are common during this stage, as are conversations among team members to prevent potential company culture concerns as changes are made.
Major decisions can begin by the Strategic stage, as many potential problems that may stand in the way of successful digital transformation should be worked out during earlier stages. At this point, businesses can create a tentative roadmap that identifies the best tools and strategies to move forward with, although adjustments will still be made during later stages.
By the Converged phase, businesses have typically decided what changes they want to make and identify specific individuals that will handle the remainder of the work throughout the final stages of the process. Most problems should be solved by this point, which allows businesses to implement changes with as few hiccups as possible.
Innovative and Adaptive
During the final stage of digital transformation, the process of implementing changes is complete, and businesses have begun adjusting to the benefits they should now be experiencing. Minor tweaks may still be made if unexpected problems indicate that a change may not work as well as your team anticipated it would. Still, most businesses see positive results for their company and customers during this stage. However, digital transformation is an ongoing process, and your new company culture may still be a stepping stone to starting the process over to reach even more innovative results in the future.
Digital transformation is important in ensuring your business uses technology to its advantage as much as possible. Although the specific ways that using a new tech tool to improve your daily operations, culture, and customer satisfaction can look different for every business, continually looking for new ways to benefit from digital tools is an important step in improving both your business and your customer’s overall experience in an increasingly digital world.