It seems to be the buzz word in business at the moment, but what exactly is digital transformation, and why is it so important? Air Social Digital Marketing Agency’s managing director Alex Vinall, breaks it down.
Digital transformation is essential for all businesses, whatever their size, but what does digital transformation actually mean? One thing’s for sure; it’s not just a catchy way to explain a business moving to the cloud.
Digital transformation is different for every company (hence why it can be hard to pinpoint a generic definition of the term) but essentially it is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, which results in fundamental changes to the operation of that businesses and how value is delivered to its customers.
Technology is a hugely important element of digital transformation; however, it's about much more than that. Digital transformation requires a cultural change that demands businesses to continually challenge the status quo, experiment and become more comfortable with failure.
The (ever-evolving) process involves adopting a different way of thinking; one that often requires business leaders stepping out of their comfort zone to encourage innovation and increased use of technology to improve the experience, not just for customers but for all those involved in the business.
Digital transformation can be a complicated process and finding the right strategy for your organisation is possibly one of the biggest challenges. It is the strategy and not technology that drives digital transformation, so it’s essential to get it right. Common themes usually cited within digital transformation strategy include customer experience, operational agility, culture and leadership, workforce enablement and digital technology integration.
It may all sound like far too much effort, not to mention the cost involved, but the fact of the matter is, digital is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity to succeed in the world of business. There is simply no choice but to transform digitally.
Besides, there are vast benefits of digital transformation. Not only will digital transformation make your business more customer-centric, enhancing the customer experience, but it will also drive data-based insights so you can better understand your customers and optimise future strategies and processes accordingly to obtain even better results.
Furthermore, by eliminating the dependence on slow legacy IT systems, digitally-transformed businesses make themselves more agile so they can respond quickly and efficiently to ever-changing market trends and demands.
And while digital transformation may seem costly at the outset, it’s an investment that will reduce costs in the long run by eliminating overheads associated with outdated solutions and streamlining workflows at the same time as increasing sales and customer retention.
Each organisation will handle digital transformation differently; however, there are a few universal tips that will enable your business to make the most of its digital transformation journey. For example, don’t let past technology investment affect how you adopt new technology - digital innovation can only be as effective as the rest of your technology allows it to be.
Businesses also need to ensure employees are on board with the new digital culture – they need to believe in it, which means business leaders need to provide appropriate training and continuous learning opportunities to cultivate the knowledge and skill-set necessary to maximise the impact of digital transformation.
Is your business ready for the digital age? Contact us to see how we can help your business digitally transform.