Digital transformation is a mega-trend that is spreading across industry after industry.
But for organizations who have yet to begin their transformations, they may ask the obvious question – why digital transformation?
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Below, we’ll explore 5 answers to that question.
1. Technology is a strategic differentiator, and competitors are evolving.
The first rule of the digital economy: disrupt or be disrupted.
Companies that accept, adopt, and implement new technology often have an edge over those that don’t.
With the right technology, businesses can:
- Gain a competitive advantage
- Increase internal efficiencies
- Boost employee productivity and performance
- Automate job tasks
The right technology can make a significant difference in the competitive landscape.
At the bare minimum … even if companies don’t innovate and disrupt their industries … digital transformation helps companies keep up with the curve.
And this brings up our next point:
2. The entire economy is digitizing, changing the minimum digital standards.
Today, businesses don’t use typewriters.
And fax machines are, for the most part, obsolete.
Our work world has become dominated with digital technology.
But it’s important to recognize that this digital transformation hasn’t stopped with desktop computers.
Here are examples of trends that continue to change the “digital minimum standard”:
- The World Wide Web – The web gave rise to ecommerce, social networks, and much more. Today, having a website and social profiles are bare-minimum requirements for most businesses.
- Mobile Technology – Mobile interaction has become standard for many companies, changing the way companies advertise, interact with, and reach their audience.
- Data, Snalytics, and Artificial Intelligence – Data technology has opened new frontiers when it comes to analyzing and understanding business, the economy, consumers, and much more.
These technology trends continue to advance.
And, as the technology evolves, so too will the minimum requirements for competing in the digital economy.
3. Data fuels new insights, revenue, and business models.
The right application of data can generate massive returns.
Digital transformations that prioritizes data technology can:
- Gain insight into the competition, their own business processes, and the larger marketplace
- Forecast future outcomes and trends
- Increase efficiencies and decrease error rates across a wide range of business processes
- Better understand customer behavior, then use that information to improve the customer experience
Among many other things.
These examples serve to point out why an integrated data strategy has become so critical for modern organizations.
4. Digital transformation extends beyond IT, impacting every area of a business.
We have touched upon a few areas that are affected by digital transformation, such as the customer experience.
However, it’s important to understand that digital transformation is holistic.
- Culture – Corporate culture is directly connected to how the company behaves, performs, and produces. Cultures that embrace technology, data, and innovation, for instance, are more likely to fare well in today’s environment.
- Workflows – Online collaboration, remote working, webinars, and video conferences demonstrate the value of digital work practices. Such digital workflows can greatly enhance or even completely change how a company operates. Today, for instance, it is possible to have a completely virtual company, with team members spread across the globe.
- Experiences – The employee experience, the user experience, and the customer experience are becoming digital. In today’s online world, brand experiences are designed across multiple channels and technologies. To stay relevant, businesses must change the way they view and interact with their digital audiences.
- Strategies – All of the factors mentioned in this article mean one thing: new digital transformation strategies are necessary. The digital environment is changing every aspect of a business, from top to bottom. Companies that don’t overhaul their strategies won’t be able to survive in tomorrow’s economy.
Elements such as these are virtually inseparable from a company’s bottom line.
5. Digitally mature organizations outperform their peers.
For-profit businesses have one overarching concern: ROI.
As we have seen repeatedly, digital transformation impacts the bottom line through many vectors – from innovative products to optimized workflows.
These various areas are more easily viewed through the lens of “digital maturity.”
Digital maturity is a recent scale that measures things such as:
- Technical capabilities
- Software implementations
- Digital literacy and employee skill levels
- Digital strategies
A framework such as digital maturity can be seen as the “digital fitness” of an organization.
As with physical fitness, digital fitness measures how healthy an organization is. And, in general, this scale can help an organization determine how well it will perform in the marketplace.
Even if an organization has no specific strategy for disruptive change, they should still prioritize digital transformation.
Research from MIT has shown that the more digitally mature an organization is, the better its financial performance is likely to be.
Digital transformation is not a luxury in today’s competitive marketplace.
The digital business world sets new standards daily.
Digital maturity, speed, and innovation all fuel success.
But in order to obtain these qualities, organizations must undertake targeted digital transformation programs.
In the short and the long run, digital transformation will deliver significant ROI at every level of a business.