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5 Industry-Specific Digital Transformation Examples

5 Industry-Specific Digital Transformation Examples

Businesses must embrace digital transformation to stay competitive in today’s digital age. The transformation process involves using technology to change how you do business, from gathering and storing data to interacting with customers. While every business is different and will undergo a unique transformation, we provide five industry-specific digital transformation examples from which every business can learn.

But what is digital transformation? Why are businesses accelerating their digital transformation efforts? How can you help your employees adapt to digital transformation? And what does digital transformation look like in a post-pandemic world? We will answer all of these questions, beginning with a definition.

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What Is Digital Transformation? 

What Is Digital Transformation_

Digital transformation is implementing digital technology within an organization’s new approach to change. Businesses adopt new technology to improve efficiency, maximize employee productivity and offer more value to customers and shareholders.

But what about digital transformation encourages businesses today to accelerate their digital adoption efforts?

5 Examples of Industry-Specific Digital Transformation In Action 

Looking at examples of how large companies have responded to market or environmental changes that lead to successful digital transformation strategies is valuable to ensuring success. The first of these examples of digital transformation occurs within the manufacturing industry, where supply chain management is the key to ensuring a well-planned and effective technology rationalization plan.

1. Manufacturing 

1 Manufacturing

Companies undergoing a digital transformation in the manufacturing industry often do so for greater efficiency as they seek to improve their supply chain management within overall business processes. Predictive analytics can reduce supply chain costs and maintenance needs and decrease energy and water consumption. The IoT is also an essential tool in manufacturing transformations.

Industrial IoT Sensors 

An Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) sensor constantly monitors machines and systems to provide maintenance staff with real-time data. Rather than depending on periodic checks by maintenance technicians, IIoT sensors serve as 24/7 “eyes” for critical assets.

IoT is often integrated as a valuable tool in digital transformation examples, as transformation needs large amounts of data to draw from to ensure companies make the best changes. IoT ensures that this data is always current, allowing changes to align with current business needs driven by market trends.

Cloud-Based ERP 

Cloud-Based  ERP

The capabilities of cloud-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) mean that companies can use these solutions in digital transformation strategies in many different ways, such as:

  • Security – With the cloud, your data is isolated and secure, allowing faster access. Data is one of every business’s most important assets, so ERP uses layered security to keep it safe.
  • Interoperability – Cloud ERP is an organizational tool that allows connection and collaboration throughout departments and permits access to a single data source.
  • Configurability – Cloud ERP is configurable and adaptable to your company’s needs. You can customize the procedures, collaboration techniques, and documentation to meet specific requirements. Use digital technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), or ML (Machine Learning) in combination to get the most out of configurability options.
  • Usability – Cloud ERP features a user interface that is easy to navigate and understand. With less of a learning curve, users can be productive and efficient.
  • Globalization – As businesses expand into new areas, they must adopt an ERP system to adjust to different country subsidiaries.
  • Analytics – Cloud ERP provides comprehensive, powerful analytics to understand how every business area performs. You can use different prediction outcomes to support forecasting, and it can monitor activities, quality, and cycle durations.
  • Agility – Cloud ERP makes your workflow more efficient and provides you with real-time information to make better decisions quickly.

Smart Manufacturing 

Smart manufacturing utilizes many different technologies as part of Industry 4.0. Examples are advanced computers, robotics, and people. Software, equipment, and people integrate seamlessly to increase speed, reliability, and flow of information between systems. The PaaS (Product as a Service) business model offers manufacturers stable profit margins and more helpful insights by offering output- or outcome-based service packages. These technologies support digital transformation strategy examples.

Manufacturing Industry Example: Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences (SRIBS)

SRIBS is one of the largest professional service providers in the machinery industry, dedicated to technology consulting and developing/manufacturing safety protection equipment. SRIBS’ most notable SAJ series provides fall prevention equipment and boasts a 40% market share.

In the past, SRIBS underwent a difficult period where they had to take radical action to catch up with the demands in the market. They could not do this because manufacturing equipment needed to be automated, lowering processing efficiency. SRIBS engaged in a digital transformation strategy to improve efficiency and quality.

Additionally, their people management methods needed to be improved, making it hard for them to produce high-quality products in a standardized way. As labor costs rose and recruitment became increasingly challenging, SRIBS realized they required a radical digital transformation to maintain a quicker product development cycle.

SRIBS implemented IoT as part of the main drivers of their digital transformation was implemented in the following areas:

  1. Asset tracking. IoT allowed the company to quickly locate any carrier and find its best route to optimize each operation.
  2. People management. Employees can receive and check messages in real-time when they wear a locating tag as a wristband with a screen display function. SRIBS improved productivity with additional applications such as attendance checking, work hour calculation, camera linkage, and inspection management.
  3. Safety control. The workshop can be zoned into areas of danger and risk by electronic fencing. If an employee steps too close or enters one of these dangerous areas, they will receive a signal via their vibrating and buzzing locating tag to retreat. The system will also send out an alarm and inform the administrator so that they are aware of the situation.

When SRIBS identified obstacles to success and the need for digital transformation, the implementation led to higher output and greater sustainability. But manufacturing isn’t the only sector to benefit from digital transformation. The next group of examples is within the retail industry.

2. Retail 

2 Retail

Retailers require digital transformation as part of their efforts to satisfy the changing needs of their customer base. One of the first ways retail companies do this is via omnichannel integration.

Omnichannel Integration 

Omnichannel offers retailers more options for customer purchases on mobile, the web, or stores, advertised by more robust digital marketing campaigns. This strategy improves the customer experience by delivering more channels to choose from and helping retailers maintain a competitive edge.


Data is essential to predicting how the customer journey will evolve. When retailers invest in datification based on location, purchasing data, and social data, they can make personalizing self-service a part of their digital transformation efforts. Understanding the chief data & analytics officer roles are crucial to future enterprise success. 

Tech Modernization 

Tech modernization is at the heart of industry today, and retail is no exception. Customers, especially within Gen Z and X age groups, need to see retailers offering the best technology for their interests to be maintained. These new technologies include Google lens e-commerce integration and stimulating, innovative social media and metaverse experiences to attract customer loyalty as companies meet and surpass their expectations.

Retail Industry Example: Carrefour 

By 2026, supermarket chain Carrefour plans to triple its e-commerce GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) by reaching €10bn. The Group also predicts that digital technology will contribute an extra €600m to their ROI (Recurring Operating Income) by 2026 as compared to 2021. These financial goals form Carrefour’s rationale for implementing a digital transformation strategy.

Carrefour describes four drivers they used to implement their digital transformation, driven by the phrase “data-centric, digital-first,” to highlight the significance of digital technology and data within their digital transformation. The first involves e-commerce.

Optimizing E-Commerce

Building on these strengths and taking advantage of the surge in e-commerce during the pandemic, Carrefour is planning to triple online sales to €10bn by 2026. They will also focus on faster-growing formats:

  • Express delivery promises less than 3 hours delivery and quick e-commerce in less than 15 minutes, which cements its status as the leading home delivery service in its key markets (partnership with Uber Eats and Cajoo, and Bringo).
  • B2B exists in partnership with the strong potential of Atacadão in Brazil.
  • The Carrefour Group also develops non-food items through its marketplaces, social commerce, and live shopping.

Boost Data And Media Usage

Carrefour’s ambition is to become the leading Data & Retail Media company in Europe, with a global market reach of €30bn by 2024. The Carrefour Links platform allows their industrial partners to carry out marketing campaigns across all Group assets (websites, applications, and stores) while measuring their real end-to-end impact – from visibility to sales transactions.

Carrefour Links is now the top Data & Retail Media offer in Europe. This platform houses unrivaled first-party data in volume and quality, representing 8 billion transactions from 80 million customers worldwide. Carrefour gathers this qualified and granular data in a one-of-a-kind data lake that continuously grows thanks to real-time transactions taking place both digitally and in-store, as well as financial services information.

Carrefour Links’ partnerships with tech giants (Criteo, Google, and LiveRamp) allow them to utilize data in ways other companies can’t. Carrefour expects rapid growth in this area and predicts that Carrefour Links will generate an extra €200 million ROI by 2026 compared to 2021.

Digital First Approach

The Group’s financial and insurance services have notably increased through its five banks in France, Brazil, Spain, Belgium, and Argentina. The group plans to use its bank based in Brazil- a center of innovation for digitization in the financial service industry- to create new financing and insurance products that cater to B2C and B2B customers. Some examples include Buy Now Pay Later options and micro-credit Affinity Insurance.

The digitization of financial services and the use of customer data will enable the optimization of financial services operations (such as digital marketing campaigns, qualified credit granting, and upgraded scoring) and better management of risk-related costs.

Deep Digital Transformation

Carrefour started transitioning its information technology systems to the Cloud in 2018 as they migrated 30% of Group applications. Their goal is to be a fully Cloud-based company by 2026.

Carrefour has quicker systems action and a shorter development time for new services and applications, all because of the Cloud. Also, Carrefour gets more play from operational data due to reinforcement from artificial intelligence solutions.

All of these aspects of their digital transformation strategy have helped Carrefour remain one of the leading supermarket retail chains in the world.

Another sector that benefits from digital transformation is the financial sector.

3. Banking 

3 Banking

No industry is more vulnerable to rapid market changes than the banking industry. Banks and financial companies must learn to be agile and predict the market to remain sustainable. One of the first ways many banks seek to achieve this is AI.

AI, Automation & Machine Learning 

Digital banking adoption examples like AI are often used in finance to design, set up, and build a wide variety of banking systems more efficiently. Automation and machine learning work alongside AI to help complete more repetitive tasks so staff can focus on higher-level tasks that keep them motivated and help maintain well-being.

Big Data & Analytics

The banking industry depends on accurate data and well-designed metrics to create powerful data analytics which illustrate successes and missed opportunities. Banking organizations must always include data analytics and metrics in digital transformation strategies to ensure success.


Blockchain technologies have many benefits within banking companies, particularly in lowering risk and optimizing capital expenditure. Blockchain can also help banks improve customer settlement time, as the process can now take minutes rather than weeks.

Banking Industry Example: DBS Bank


Banking Industry Example_ DBS Bank

In 2014, Piyush Gupta and his team devised a way to make banking joyful for customers of DBS Bank. This goal seemed unattainable due to public views of banks after the global financial crisis – suspicion and negativity.

Moreover, they discovered that people were increasingly moving towards online transactions instead of physical. For example, in a survey conducted in America, 71 percent of millennials said they would visit the dentist before going to their local bank branch. Of those surveyed, 74 percent said they preferred financial services from companies such as Google or Amazon.

DBS also closely examined lessons from successful technology companies and remembered them by creating the mnemonic “GANDALF,” inspired by the wizard character in The Lord of the Rings series of fantasy novels.

The G in this mnemonic stands for Google, which utilizes open-source software. A is for Amazon, whose cloud platforms power much of the internet. N is Netflix, whose data automation and personalization have changed media consumption. DBS represents the D for the company that came up with this mnemonic, while A is for Apple, which takes care of system design, and L for LinkedIn shows them the way to learning opportunities. Finally, F for Facebook represents building communities, which should be a focus for any business or individual looking to make positive change on a large scale.

GANDALF helped inspire a new mindset for DBS’s digital and core technology transformation. The bank identified and adopted five key initiatives.

  • Stop producing products and shift to a platform-based model where teams have authority over their business projects instead of committees.
  • Change how they develop teams, so they’re high-performing and agile. Before the transformation, business departments would set goals, and technology played a supporting role. Both sides come to the table with equal footing and shared goals.
  • Automate processes to speed up efficiency in building and deploying systems.
  • Use Cloud technologies to design modern systems that are scalable and adaptable for experimentation.
  • Give employees the right resources and support so they can work agilely.

4. Digital Technology Industry

4 Digital Technology Industry

Digital technology is at the heart of every digital transformation for companies of every size and type. One of the most important tech topics in our digital world is cybersecurity.


Cybersecurity is essential in protecting digital consumer data, and companies must include it in any digital strategy. Today, digital data is often sensitive, and cybersecurity staff and tools reduce the financial risk of litigation, freeing up resources for other digital transformation initiatives.

Wireless 5G Technology 

Companies are integrating 5G technology within their digital transformations in many fields. The automotive industry uses 5G as part of sensing and computational tech, and the healthcare industry uses it within wearable medical technology and telesurgery robotic arms with haptic sensing.


Web3 is the next iteration of the internet and is set to become part of all digital transformation examples of the future. Following Web 1, which was read-only, and Web2, which was read-write, Web3 is set to become read-write-own. The ability for users to own virtual products within the metaverse and NFT is a tech disruption that companies must embrace within their digital transformation if they hope to maintain a sustainable business strategy in the digital era.

Natural Language Processing 

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a subset of AI that allows AI to understand language similarly to humans. This tech has many applications within digital transformation examples, such as the automation and convenience offered by chatbots and using keywords to improve customer experience by establishing their position in the buying process.


The metaverse is a large, virtual retail and leisure environment growing daily, so companies must begin planning their place to remain competitive as part of their digital transformation.

Technology Industry Example: Adobe 

Technology Industry Example_ Adobe

Adobe used to sell boxed software and was called Adobe Systems. But when the 2008 crisis hit, they took a risk by moving from a license-based model to a subscription-based system instead. They redefined their service offerings into three cloud-based solutions: Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud. This radical transformation is how Adobe became remembered as a cloud company that operates in the now popular SaaS (software-as-a-service) model.

As part of its digital transformation, the company acquired a web analytics company (Omniture) and an e-commerce platform (Magento). They also realized they could only achieve their goals if they had the best talent. Therefore Adobe focused on ensuring people were happy at the company by building an employee-focused work culture with benefits and employer branding. They also employed a data-driven operation model that helped them monitor the business’ health.

Adobe’s digital transformation wasn’t just surface-level; it happened on many fronts, including its business model, technology, service packages, and positioning. By focusing on enterprise clients and data-driven operation models, Adobe discovered two essential facts:

  1. Digital transformation can give your business a competitive edge.
  2. This shift needs to involve every single employee and change how everyone does their job.

Technology is at the heart of transformation for the tech industry. But what part does technology play in the transformation of public sector organizations?

5. Public Sector 

5 Public Sector

Although the public sector operates under a different business model to for-profit organizations, it still needs to reduce financial waste and streamline business processes to ensure efficient capital expenditure for the citizens who fund it. For this reason, public sector organizations still need digital transformation strategies, the first step of which is the effort to unify citizen experiences.

Unifying Citizen Experiences

Successful digital transformation is building a trusting relationship with your users. The more trust they have in the system and what it offers them as citizens or employees – such as efficient services for government work – the easier this process will be for everyone involved. Many of the most successful digital transformation examples in the public domain have unified citizen experiences to achieve their goals.

No one wants to stand in a long, tedious line at the DMV. But people do it because they feel like there’s no other option when their license gets renewed every four years, and when they are given an alternative, all of a sudden, life becomes so much easier. This scenario is why public bodies need No Wrong Door – a new approach for government services that elevate expectations about customer experience with brands such as Amazon, which already utilized them by taking advantage of technology breakthroughs during their 2018 holiday season.

Government services are now more accessible than ever before. As of 2021, 90 different processes and forms can be accessed in one place for citizens to make transactions with their government without needing assistance from an agent or submitting paper requests. This dramatic shift towards online contact channels has already identified over $308k of annual savings.

Automating Manual Processes

Government organizations are finding ways to offload manual processes from their employees as they transition into business process automation (BPA) solutions. Public sector departments do this within the public meeting process by responding to service requests with efficient tools powered by technology.

The government’s internal process for documenting and preparing public meetings often requires a weeks-long review of paper documents. Automated through digital technology, this can go from taking hours to minutes. For citizens searching online on the website of their local municipality, they are given access not just to see what happened at any particular meeting but also to watch videos that allow them to skip irrelevant sections.

Designing for Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are changing the way that governments operate. The 2019 Civic Engagement Report shows that this trend has only recently increased, with nearly half of all website visits from these mobile devices alone. For hard-to-reach populations who may never have had access to computers or other forms of technology before now – their first impression is likely to occur on a smartphone screen. Hence, government entities must provide them with every opportunity possible by building responsive websites and eliminating PDFs.

Using Better Data

The open data movement has empowered governments and citizens by making information accessible to everyone. City planners are better prepared for future decisions when they receive this new, democratic form of governance in real time via technology solutions like sensors or mobile apps. They understand their environment better and make decisions based on what the state needs at any given moment – housing options for low-income families, traffic patterns, or during rush hour.

Leaders in Culver City, California, used data from their communications software, govDelivery, to measure and improve citizen engagements. Over the last year, they sent 2 million messages reaching 24 thousand residents who subscribe to topics that interest them most – this combination has resulted in 57% engagement rates which beats government benchmarks by 12%.

The Secure Cloud 

Many businesses perceive Cloud technologies as equally secure, if not more so than traditional software. However, to ensure that public organizations remain safe from cyber threats and data breaches in the digital era, influential leaders must practice what is known as “security by obscurity.” This phrase means ensuring there aren’t vulnerable points within the cloud system where people can get into something harmful while evading detection.

When the State of New Hampshire faced varying security needs, they had a problem that most other states didn’t – how do you ensure everyone’s protected? They tried using one size fits all strategies, which wasn’t practical because different agencies always made exceptions. In this situation, an agency can request extra layers for its needs. This way, no matter who asks or why the state maintains essential protection against outside threats without getting overwhelmed.

Public Sector Example: Government of South Korea 

The public infrastructure development of South Korea is one of the best digital transformation examples in the public sector. This transformation began with the launching of the GovTech initiative.

This initiative directly responded to World Bank client countries’ growing demand for support in designing and improving advanced digital transformation programs. One output product developed as part of this process, GTMI (Government Tech Maturity Index), sought entry points into future interventions to better understand maturity levels in different types or stages within government technology providers across clientele nations.

Korea has been at the forefront of government technology for decades. They were one of few countries that introduced an Integrated Financial Management Information System (dBrain and e-Hojo), Human Resources Management Information System(eSaram), and finally, their workflow management system OnNaRA – which means ” Government” in Korean.

The Korean government’s efforts for digital transformation in the public sector align with three aspects of our approach atGovTech. In 2021, they announced a “Digital Government Master Plan” plan.

This plan aims to ensure an entire country-wide strategy embodies all areas that companies are digitally transforming across industries and municipalities by 2025. The South Korean government has also made efforts towards expanding citizen services by adopting new innovative technologies while still maintaining simplicity & efficiency throughout these changes. The ultimate goal is operational transparency.

In many ways, South Korea is leading the world in its use of technology within transformation strategies. So what other technological advances are we likely to see within transformation efforts in the next few years?

What’s Next For Digital Transformation? Statistical Predictions

What's Next For Digital Transformation_ Statistical Predictions

The nature of digital transformation is that it responds to change. This is why we will see massive changes in what digital transformation strategies will offer. One of the first changes we will likely see is an influx of digital transformation (DX) investments as they add economic weight to companies.

An Influx of DX Investments Adds Economic Weight 

ZDNet reports that the economy remains on a course toward its digital destiny, with 65% of the global GDP digitalized by 2022. It will drive over $6.8 trillion of direct DX (Digital Transformation) investments from 2020 to 2023. Considerable investment in global DX strategies will cause these changes as companies appreciate the economic value of DX.

Digital Organization Structures and Roadmaps Mature

Digital Organization Structures and Roadmaps Mature

By 2023, 60% of leaders in G2000 (an Asian multi-brand clothing retailer) organizations will have shifted their management orientation from processes to outcomes, establishing more agile, innovative, and empathetic operating models. 

The Rise of the Digital Platform and Extended Ecosystems

By 2025, driven by volatile global conditions, 75% of business leaders will leverage digital platforms and ecosystem capabilities to adapt their value chains to new markets, industries, and ecosystems. 

A Digital-First Approach

A Digital-First Approach

While the digital-first approach has been popular for many years, 60% of enterprises in 2021 invested heavily in digitizing employee experience. This change transformed the relationship between employers and employees. The digital-first approach will also improve customer experience, boosting revenue for organizations.

Business Model Reinvention

Business Model Reinvention

By 2021, at least 30% of organizations will accelerate innovation to support business and operating model reinvention, fast-tracking transformation programs to future-proof their businesses. 

Sustainability and DX

By the end of 2022, most companies will realize more significant value by combining digital and sustainability, giving rise to digitally driven and sustainably enabled projects as the standard. This action will lead to more sustained, predictable, and consistent growth.

Digitally Native Cultures

Digitally Native Cultures

To thrive in a digital supremacy economy, 50% of enterprises will implement the organizational culture optimized for DX by 2025 based on customer-centric and data-driven approaches. 

Accelerating Digital Experiences

Accelerating Digital Experiences

By 2022, 70% of all organizations will have accelerated the use of digital technologies, transforming existing business processes to drive customer engagement, employee productivity, and business resiliency. 

Business Innovation Platforms

Business Innovation Platforms

By 2023, 60% of G2000 companies will build their business innovation platform to support innovation and growth in the new normal.

These changes will drive growth and sustainability as part of digital transformation strategies of 2023 and beyond, driven by technological progress and environmental and economic changes.

A Digital Transformation Strategy Is Essential For Our Digital World

A Digital Transformation Strategy Is Essential For Our Digital World

The amount of investment required and the types of digital technologies involved in DX can feel overwhelming. However, these successful transformation examples show the essential nature of DX within business today, into 2023, and beyond.

In our digital world, a digital transformation strategy is essential to success. You can build a robust online presence and reach new customers and previously inaccessible markets. You can also improve your customer service and create efficiencies throughout your organization. Take your time with your competitors to outstrip your digital capabilities – start planning your digital transformation today.

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Digital Adoption Team
Digital Adoption Team

A wonderful team of Digital Adoption, Digital Transformation & Change Management Experts.