Digital transformation is something every entrepreneur has heard of these days. Even though it is considered one of the top driving forces behind modern businesses, it’s still difficult to find a clear definition because there are so many different aspects, steps, and layers of this process.
If for some reason, you have not yet adopted the latest technologies and automation of the processes, you first need to understand why the company actually needs such a transformation, what processes and areas need to be improved and how to do it right. To help you, we prepared a comprehensive overview of the trends and the issues that you have to consider when planning your digital transformation strategy.
First, we need to become clear with the definition of a digital transformation – or at least with its meaning. As CIO puts it, “Digital transformation is a foundational change in how an organization delivers value to its customers”.
Forbes gives another, a more complex definition, “The realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle”.
In simple words, digital transformation is the use of digital technologies to make business operations more efficient and bring more value to customers. And because “the use of technologies” sounds too vague, Harvard Business Review identified the four main areas of the digital transformation for any company.
One cannot underestimate the significance of mobile in both everyday lives and business operations. Users rely on mobile more than ever, using it to communicate with family and friends, reach out to the companies, perform numerous operations and look for the information. So it’s up to the companies to understand the full potential of mobile and how it can impact further business growth.
One of the most important things to remember is that mobile is the advanced source of gathering customer data, which can further be used for marketing needs or when building predictive analytics models. Another thing about mobile is that they guarantee a faster and better audience reach, enabling companies to communicate with their customers 24/7.
First, companies should assess whether they need to provide employees with mobile devices for better performance. Second, companies should check their mobile presence. Do they have a mobile app or is their website responsive enough?
All these aspects play a huge role in forming customer experience and improving the work processes.
Cloud computing is secure, reliable, flexible, and easy. It offers great opportunities for storing data, team collaboration, easy and immediate access and much more.
All that made cloud computing another big thing to pay attention to. Not to mention it’s quite cost-saving and is suitable for almost any company. So you have to decide what type of cloud to use (private, public, hybrid) and how exactly cloud computing will benefit your business.
Big Data is one of the modern buzzwords and there is a reason for that. If used properly, Big Data is the ultimate source of the insights on your customers and their behavior, the state of your business and its possible development curve, automation areas and so much more.
We have already spoken about data analytics in the past blog article. So the challenge number one for the companies is to decide what goals they aim for and how much they are ready to invest in data processing and analysis.
Of course, that would depend on the company as well. Small companies can use the help of just one data analyst to dig into the data and see what’s going on with the business. Bigger companies, on the other hand, should consider integrating advanced tools or creating custom automated analytics applications.
Do not underestimate social media as this is one sure way to reach your customers, build your brand identity, and increase trust and loyalty from the customers’ side.
Social media has become an ultimate channel for leveraging customer service and companies should use it to their advantage. Building a solid social media strategy requires lots of time, skills and knowledge. As practice shows, a successful social media campaign can boost your traffic by multiple times in mere hours – and in the same manner, it can harm your business if done wrong.
We’ve covered the four main areas of digital transformation as defined by Harvard Business Review. Now it’s time to talk about the actual value that DT can bring to the companies.
Automation of the processes can incredibly boost your processes and thus save your time and money. Employees will be freed from monotonous tasks and will be able to focus on more specific issues that demand careful approach.
However, before implementing automation, think about what processes can be eliminated at all. Otherwise, their automation will bring zero value.
Worth mentioning that to perform a successful digital transformation in a certain area, the company management needs to do the groundwork and prepare the company for the upcoming changes:
Employees should learn about the new processes and the potential value that they will bring. The task is to motivate them so they embrace the change gladly and understand why they are doing it.
As for the tools, you will need to have experienced specialists on your side alongside certain technologies that will help you carry out your strategy. Maybe you will need to develop a mobile app from scratch or you will have to adopt the Machine Learning technology to process the insights on your business. In either case, first, research what you will need and only then start taking any action.
Digital transformation will boost the speed of your business and will open up brand-new opportunities for your growth. If half of your work is automated and data analysis shows that you are doing strong, you will be able to try new things and approaches towards your development.
So digital transformation will basically bring businesses freedom and room for creativity – which, otherwise, will be challenging to achieve by sticking to the old methods.
Digital transformation is amazing on the condition that everything is done right and with zero rush. Here is a quick checklist to help you navigate through it:
We highly recommend consulting a knowledgeable software development agency to help you find the best way to implement the newest technology in your processes and perform this integration on a top-notch level.