Digital transformation means implementing digital technology in a way that transforms human life. The phrase 'digital transformation' is most often used in a business context. It means the process whereby businesses develop new digital strategies that help to move their operations in a whole new direction.
Transformation through digital strategies: statistics and trends
A recent study suggested that just 3% of managers had implemented transformation through digital strategies in a successful way in the past year. Moreover, just 10% of companies studied described themselves as businesses that were 'fully digital'. Nevertheless, the implementation of transformative digital and online strategies is accelerating as we speak. Recent statistics show that more and more companies are recognising the importance of the digital for their continued survival and business success. Around two-thirds of businesses are ready to implement a transformative digital strategy, or are considering doing so in the future. Moreover, the same study shows that between 80% and 90% of businesses will be using a third party provider to roll out their transformations. It is clear that firms are firmly wedded to the idea of bringing in digital experts to ensure the high quality of something so crucial to their operations.
What are the benefits of digital transformation?
The benefits of these types of transformation are multifarious, and will, of course, be different for different companies. Nevertheless, there are three main benefits that are common to all types of transformative digital strategy. Firstly, these strategies accelerate a business's operations, enabling them to deliver more products and experiences to their clients more quickly. Secondly, transformed digital operations unleash a huge amount of creativity and are vital for enabling employees and company directors to innovate and think outside the box. Thirdly and finally, these transformations offer a high degree of automation, freeing up personnel to work on other projects that are of use to the company. The result? A business that works more efficiently and (crucially) provides the optimum experience for its customers. Studies have shown time and time again that transforming the digital aspects of a business is the best way to positively transform every aspect of that business.
Three tips for smoothing the transitions as your company transforms
Any new strategy needs to be thoroughly tested, and during the testing period, it is common for an IT system to experience glitches and periods of downtime. This can be very disruptive for your clients, and so the first tip is that it is a good idea to run a dual IT system during the rollout period for a new digital strategy. Keep your existing IT infrastructure running and at the same time have another IT system in place which you can use to test out your transformed digital strategy. When the new strategy is ready, you can switch over from the first system to the second system without a hitch. The second tip is to transform the customer-facing aspects of your digital strategy before anything else. This will give your customers a quicker reward and help to boost your revenue from the outset, as well as to get a strong momentum going for the rest of the future transformations. Thirdly, it is a good idea to (as, as we have seen, most companies are already doing) try and attract the best digital talent to your company so that these experts can work on optimally transforming the digital side of your business.
The time for transformative digital strategies is now
2017 is already looking likely to be the year of digital and online transformations in the business world. Companies that do not get on board with these types of transformation now run the risk of being severely left behind.