So what exactly is digital transformation?
In the most general sense, “digital transformation” means that you incorporate digital approaches into the full ecosystem of your business. Typically this is going to mean some mix of using the cloud, using data better, using an element of AI and machine learning, and more. It takes your processes from “manual and on-site” to “automated and from-anywhere.” It allows for a true omnichannel experience for your end-users, whoever they may be.
Some believe there are four main areas of digital transformation:
- Business process
- Business model
Cultural/organizational – What that means is that when you digitally transform your business, you are shifting the processes (internal), the model (external), the domain (external, i.e. where you compete), and the culture (internal).
The last one is where a lot of organizations have problems, often because you have four or five different age generations in the workplace, and they will respond to technology and change differently. It can be hard to shift the culture to very technology and development-heavy.
If you consider the cloud to be the first brick in the digital transformation process, about 91% of all businesses and 94% of enterprises use some amount of cloud. So while it sometimes seems companies are lagging on these digital transformation efforts, many have at least begun the process.
The seven ways to consider digital transformation
You can also look at digital transformation through seven key areas:
- Data and analytics: Sensors, customer transactions, apps, AI platforms, or other sources of data. Data is the new oil. If you don’t have data, you cannot really compete in modern business.
- Customer experience: This means end-to-end, omnichannel CX. What are the different ways a customer can engage with you? What platforms? What channels? How are they treated on each channel? We’d also argue, as we did in this white paper, that a customer experience or support team needs to interact with the foundational silos of a business, i.e. product, marketing, and sales.
Innovation: This one goes without much discussion needed, except to say that post-COVID revenue model pivots will be interesting to observe from an innovation perspective.
- Tech Stack: What are you using internally and what are you using that faces customers? And who are you working with to make sure it’s being used right?
- Upgraded systems/processes: In order to “digitally transform” your business, your processes (internally, with employees and contractors) need to reflect a new way of doing business and an embrace of the tech stack. Externally, you need to make sure your systems are easy and intuitive to use.
- Up-skilling and reskilling: What do your workers need to know to remain relevant and competitive in terms of where your business is heading? Do you need to bring in outside expertise to buffer what you have among your employees? Where are the skill gaps and knowledge gaps? Does Martha in HR not know how to access the cloud?
- Leadership and culture: Sometimes companies try to “digitally transform,” but their culture remains very old-school and manual, and focused on seat time, and paper copies, and on-site storage, and all that. Your culture and how your leaders discuss the work need to change as you become more digitally-integrated.
Two of our longer-form bricks in the digital transformation wall for our clients include a focus on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and chatbots. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, and we’d love to help your business navigate what it needs in terms of end-user experience and moderation.