Digital transformation is more than a buzzword touted by businesses beginning to take their website seriously. Properly planned and managed, digital transformation can dramatically change how all elements of a business, internal and external, operate through the use of technology. From operations to customer experience, every aspect of an organisation is “alive” and subject to constant improvements as digital capabilities advance and new objectives are set.
According to Forrester, 4 out of 5 companies believe they don’t currently have the necessary skills to implement this transformation, and only 19% of managers are confident they have the right technology to properly execute their digital strategy. On the same note, 46% of businesses understand that over half of their sales will come from digital in the next five years. So, while companies understand the need for a digital transformation, it’s clear that many don’t know where to start.
And the process of implementing a full digital transformation first time can be challenging for some companies. It requires investment in strategy, hires, training and, of course, tech. A change in culture is also necessary, as every level of the organisation needs to continually evolve and become comfortable with experimenting and learning.
Sleek websites, engaging marketing and social media, great mobile apps – it all falls short is the team isn’t ready to embrace the idea of constant innovation and the need for personalisation. In this scenario, the goal of a real digital transformation is to implement all these processes connectively across the business. And, for that, there isn’t a better ally than data.
In-depth digital data analysis is imperative to know where a business is, where it is heading and how it can be improved, as well as how customers are engaging with its brand or reacting to its products and services. Once this digital due diligence is complete, the company can move to the second stage: implementing and monitoring its digital strategy.
More than turning analogue information into digital form, digital transformation is disrupting both product and relationship with customers. Companies and investors need to look beyond the basics. Retail has been hit by technological innovations for years, but now every sector – from hospitality to finance, education to healthcare – needs to catch up.
Even if companies are not proactively managing their digital presence, consumers will be talking about and rating them via social media, forums and review platforms – whether they choose to be or not, every business is now a digital business. The transformation is happening, driven by consumer demand and efficiency of digital-first competitors, but the winners are likely to be those who manage their own roadmap.