Digital transformation isn't easy. No business transformation is, but it seems that going digital is even more difficult. Some surveys indicate that digital transformations have significantly lower success rates than regular business transformations. And at 12%, regular business transformation success rates should be easier to beat.
But still, digital transformation seems to be a popular topic, and businesses seem to be resolute to see it through. After all, who would say no to better profits, which is exactly what 80% of companies that move towards digital transformation experience. So, let's see what exactly digital transformation is, and how it might affect your business.
What Is Digital Transformation?
The simplest and the broadest explanation of digital transformation is that it's the process in which your business incorporates digital solutions into every possible part of the business. Some businesses, the ones that are using digital-first solutions from their very start, don't have to worry too much about it. Older businesses are the ones who can have a harder time adapting to and adopting digital technologies.
And they're also the ones who desperately need it. Digital transformation can happen on two tracks simultaneously. The outward processes and products, the things the customers see and experience, are on one of the tracks. On the other, there are the internal processes, the stuff that's happening behind the curtains or under the hood. For the best results, businesses, especially the more traditional ones, should invest in both.
What Does Digital Transformation Do for Your Business?
One of the best examples of the possibilities of digital transformation can be found in retail. The "retail apocalypse" started happening around 2010 and is still going on. In it, we saw retailers such as J. C. Penney, Sears, J. Crew, and many other large chains having to drastically reduce the number of brick-and-mortar stores in a last-ditch effort to stove off the inevitable and stay in business. Some were successful, others weren't.
The businesses that thrived during the period, however, are those that adapted to the new reality of retail. The increased prominence of mobile-first shoppers shows just how much people are craving the convenience offered by digital solutions. But those same people might be unwilling to completely give up shopping in stores, which only goes to show how the analog and digital, the old and the new, need to mix.
The businesses that found success during the decline of retail are the ones that managed to harness the power of digital solutions. And even though some of them were the smaller and nimbler businesses that can adapt more easily to emerging circumstances, the lesson that's present in the example should resonate with businesses of all sizes. The lesson is simple: digital transformation is the thing that can keep your business relevant. Therefore, engage in getting an online presence if you don't have one, or improve if you do with our Digital Marketing and Web Design in Perth.
Digital Transformation has enabled businesses to improve profitability, efficiency and employee engagement
How Digital Transformation Improves Business Processes
Relevance means little if your business can't function, however. One of the promises of digital transformation is that the introduction of appropriate digital technologies will improve business processes to the point when your business starts functioning better.
How do you improve business processes? For starters, you separate them into components. There are specific procedures and types of work that need to occur. They all need to have outcomes that are aligned toward contributing to defined goals. And because customer-centricity is such a useful and desirable trait in businesses, the needs and habits of your customers should at least inform the design of your business processes.
Let's see how digital transformation helps. Digitalisation and automation can quicken some procedures and make some types of work less expensive. When it comes to outcomes and goals, digital transformation can give you more data and better tracking, which will eventually lead to better decision-making. And because digital transformation goes hand in hand with greater data gathering and utilisation capabilities, you will have a better insight into what your customers want and when they want it.
All of this can improve the design and functioning of your business processes. Digital transformation should, in theory, help you do more with what you have. At the very least, it should get you to invest in the processes that affect your bottom line the most. Ask us about our IT Services in Perth for the latest technology that applies to your business and to improve it's efficiency.
How Is Staff Cooperation Changed by Digital Transformation?
One of the major changes digital transformation brings to the game is the support for geographically dispersed teams. The office, as it existed just a couple of decades ago, is being replaced by people working from home offices, co-working spaces, or even coffee-shops. This helps businesses keep the overhead in check and gives team members greater flexibility.
Cooperation itself doesn't have to suffer much because there are tools that enable dispersed teams to negate the effects of the distance. Tools like the very popular Slack or Microsoft Teams let teams communicate easily via text, voice, or video chat. Tools like Asana, Trello, and Basecamp are there to provide the proper scheduling and tracking of work. And tools like Google Docs and Office 365 are there to easily share and collaborate on work products.
It also doesn't hurt that digital transformation can open your business to a larger pool of international talent. Outsourcing is still popular but building international in-house teams can be an even better option. And again, the best way to make the most out of all these opportunities is to undergo a process of digital transformation in a way that makes the location of at least some of your teams and team members irrelevant.
It would be dishonest to say that digital transformation is an easy process or a process that guarantees results. But it would be even more dishonest to say that it's a needless process, or a process a business can afford to avoid. Digital transformation gets difficult, and it takes a lot of planning and strategising if you want to ensure successful implementation.
But managing to implement it will give your business a clear competitive edge over the businesses in your industry that are still too analog for their own good. And it might even help your business survive in situations where odds are against you like it did for many retail businesses who survived — and thrived — during the retail apocalypse. The bottom line is the age-old proverb that you'll either adapt to the new ways of doing business or die with the old ones.