Digital transformation has become something of a buzzword in the IT industry, and for
good reason. It stands to revolutionize practically every aspect of almost every industry
today. The companies quick and agile enough to ride the latest wave of innovations
stand to gain big in the next economy—while those slow and tech-inept are almost
certainly doomed to failure.
Basically, digital transformation is nothing more than embracing the best and most
effective technology available on the market today. It’s embracing a way of thinking
about business that’s based around continual progress—an ongoing state of
Practically every business has sat down at some point to have a conversation about
technology and how it’s going to play a role in their particular corner of the economy.
There’s no room for traditionalists anymore. You embrace the digital and everything that
comes with it, or you risk being left behind.
But how are you supposed to do all this? What does it really mean to embrace digital
transformation? And what’s to gain?
With the help of an MIT report, we’ll be breaking the process of digital transformation
down into just nine parts—the nine components of complete digital transformation.
They’ve been broken down into three core areas: operational processes, business
processes, and customer experience. Have a look at how these three aspects are
broken down to optimize digital transformation.
Transformation of Operational Processes
Part 1: Process Digitization
A big part of remaining or becoming a major player in the modern economy is digitizing
your entire process. Automation has more or less rendered repetitive, tedious tasks
obsolete. If you don’t need to think about it much, that means a computer or a machine
could probably take over—no matter what it is.
This isn’t to say that humans are becoming obsolete in the workforce like some more
reactionary headlines might suggest. Instead, it means that humans are free to stop
acting like computers, and start acting like, well, humans! Process digitization means
freeing up your employees to focus on the things computers can’t do—things like
innovation and creativity. It also means lower operating costs.
Part 2: Performance Management
Another big way businesses stand to gain from the digital revolution is through
performance management. Technology gives us the ability to take practically all of the
guesswork out of business. You’re no longer limited to just making assumptions about
who’s buying what products and where.
With performance management, you can see things in greater detail than ever before,
including the performance of your employees. Again, there’s still a good amount of
human touch to marketing, but it can now be based on more complete and accurate
Part 3: Worker Enablement
All this digitization also means greater flexibility when it comes to the way your
employees themselves think about work. With the internet, the “place” in “workplace”
becomes a far more flexible term. While physical office spaces still have their place, a
lot of the time there’s no reason to limit your employees as to where they can work.
As long as they have steady internet access and can be productive, some of them can
work remotely, which they may prefer. For some businesses, digital transformation can
mean opening up the possibility of working from home. 70% of professionals are
already doing so to some degree. It is the way of the future, so no company should
count out the possibility of allowing their workers to operate remotely.
Transformation of Business Processes
Part 4: Digitally Modified Businesses
In addition to freeing up the way you think about operational processes, digitization can
also open new horizons for the way you think about your business itself. A lot of the
time, businesses stand to gain quite a bit from investing in online platforms. People
spend a huge chunk of their lives using the internet in some form or another, and by
opening yourself up to the digital world, you can tap into that rapidly expanding
marketplace. Many Fortune 500 companies are already deep in the process of taking
full advantage of the internet as an integral part of their daily operations, at every level.
Part 5: New Digital Businesses
Some businesses can even take this one step further. Instead of just offering digital
ways to engage with people, you can also diversify their digital presence—finding ways
that digital products might complement their traditional products, and capitalizing on
them. “Digital” and “physical” don’t have to be mutually exclusive. There’s often a great
deal of profit to be made at the intersection of the two!
Part 6: Digital Globalization
Digital transformation can also open companies up to the possibilities of globalization.
We’re in a truly global economy, and embracing the latest technology can give
businesses the ability to expand their reach further abroad while still maintaining a local
operation. Digitization allows businesses far greater flexibility when it comes to where
they are active and where they can make a profit. Shift where you manage everything
from finance to design to manufacturing based on wherever the market takes you.
Transformation of Customer Experience
Part 7: Customer Touch Points
The digital world also opens up businesses to the possibility of interacting with their
customers in entirely new ways. By expanding your online presence, you can open
yourself up to direct, 24/7 customer communication. People want to have instant
answers to their questions and requests, and through digitization, you can help make
that possible. This allows for both greater connectivity with your customer base and
improved customer satisfaction.
Part 8: Customer-Oriented Social Media
Social media offers another way for businesses to interact with and learn from their
customer base. Not only do social media platforms offer more direct communication
with customers, but they also provide a space for online communities and content
generation. Many companies have found that social media can vastly improve visibility
and customer loyalty. In addition, social media has been proven to increase sales.
Part 9: Top-Line Growth
Technology also offers the possibility of having even more personalized conversations
with customers both at your home-base and around the world. There’s really no limit to
what you can do. Digital plugins and apps can do a lot to streamline customer
experiences, while more creative uses of video and real-time website features can help
you interact with your user base in a whole new way.
While digital transformation might sometimes seem like just another buzzword, it’s really
at the heart of modern industry growth. Digitization can improve all kinds of business at
every level. Innovation has always been the road to the future. The digital world is just
the next step!