Summary: Digital transformation–the reinvention of an organization through the use of digital technology to improve performance–is a priority for many businesses these days. Why is it so important to the modern business? In this article, we answer that question and explain a few benefits that digital transformation can offer to your business.
Digital Transformation is a hot topic these days. We see it all over the press, and there’s no shortage of articles on the subject. Talk to most analysts, and they’ll tell you it’s a top CIO priority.
Why is digital transformation so important right now?
The fact is, the world is going digital…yet many businesses are unprepared. The technologies, skills, and processes they have in place do not translate to a digital world. The modern company must transform itself to adapt to the technology and processes needed in today’s digital world.
Now, as explained in this article, this process is no small undertaking. You’ll encounter roadblocks along the path to digital transformation.
The big question: What will my business get out of digital transformation? Do the benefits outweigh the time and effort needed to complete the project?
The short answer: Absolutely. Today, let’s explore some of these benefits in more detail. While the list could certainly be much longer, here are 5 huge benefits of digital transformation.
1. Improved efficiency
Let me ask you a question: What slows your business down? What roadblocks exist in your current processes that harm efficiency?
For some, it’s manual data entry. Their systems don’t communicate with each other, so they must manually enter data into different areas.
For others, it’s a process bottleneck. One process goes through a single department, and creates a bottleneck. For instance, reporting still goes through the IT department in many businesses, creating delays.
I could go on, as there are any number of areas that could slow a business down. The good news: Digital transformation eliminates many of these bottlenecks. When you replace legacy processes with automated workflows, and truly examine your current processes, you reduce friction in your business.
“While the true objective of digital enterprise transformation is clear – the ability to deliver a unified, omni-channel and, ideally, extraordinary customer experience – the goal is to attain frictionless enterprise,” explains Lynn Scheurell, Director of Content Marketing at Jahia. “In the past, friction was caused by time, distance and lack of information; technology has resolved that friction. To become frictionless today means disrupting the status quo, eliminating what exists ‘because it’s the way it’s always been done’, fostering a corporate culture that is aligned with customer-centric focus and core values, and possibly even redefining business models to adapt to the changing marketplace.”
2. Improved decision making
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a data explosion. As a business, you have access to more data than ever before, and data volumes are only increasing.
However, very few businesses actually capitalize on this data. Many lack the tools and processes needed to turn it into meaningful management information.
This is where a digitally-driven company has the upper hand. Using modern BI tools, they can take this flow of data and gain insights immediately. This lets them react far faster (and more accurately) than businesses who lack these capabilities.
“Today’s cutting-edge software feeds off digital data the way fire consumes fuel: more data means better decision making in essential functions like ad spend optimization, sales lead prioritization, customer communications, and even employee performance,” says Matt Bentley, Founder of CanIRank. “Digital transformation is a necessary prerequisite to taking advantage of all the benefits that artificial intelligence will bring. Businesses want to be able to make decisions using data in order to provide a better service or product for their customers. Thanks to social media, mobile, credit cards, and ubiquitous online connectivity, there is an abundance of information to help companies improve their processes.”
3. Improved reach
A while back, I explained how mobile makes 24/7 even longer. In short, it puts your product or service at your potential customer’s fingertips at any time.
Think about it: What if your customers/prospects could learn about your business and make a purchase at any time, and from anywhere? Or, on the other hand, what if they wanted to make a purchase…but your company had no mobile presence?
Part of the digital transformation process involves making your business available to your customers/prospects, from anywhere. When your business website and applications adapt to any device, you’re in front of your prospects and customers all the time.
“The top trend in digital transformation is about enabling anytime, anywhere transacting,” says Michael Laurie, Vice President Product Strategy, eSignLive by VASCO. “That’s the goal of every company so it can minimize drop off during a transaction, meet customer expectations and deliver exceptional service on any device.”
4. Improved customer satisfaction
“Customers now expect to have what they want,when they want it, with supreme value from any device,” says Scheurell. “The technology that makes that possible should be invisible to the customer; the focus is solely on solving their need or problem in the moment.”
It’s true. With the rise of mobile and technology advancements, we’ve seen customer expectations change. The modern customer expects simplicity.
What happens if you can’t provide the simplicity they expect? What happens if you make them jump through hoops, or provide an outdated experience? They’ll likely move on.
On the flip side, the opposite is also true. As explained below, you can actually improve customer satisfaction through your digital transformation efforts.
“If you can break away from the status quo and imagine a better platform, tool or strategy that will improve your perception with customers, it’s worth the effort,” says Jason Brewer, CEO, Brolik. “By investing in a digital transformation, customers will notice and appreciate that you are focused on their needs and experience. By transforming for the digital age, companies are saying, ‘we value your time and want to make your life easier.’ Customer will respond positively to that.”
5. Improved Profitability
Finally, what happens when you work more efficiently, make better decisions, and improve your customer’s perception of your business? How will that impact your bottom line?
The fact is, digital transformation will transform your entire business. As explained below, when done correctly, it will significantly improve your overall profitability.
“Companies that intensely embrace digital within their systems and business models can significantly increase revenue and company valuation, but those who do so without effective change management will risk profitability,” says Elliott King, MD of MintTwist. “Digital transformation projects that drive digital initiatives with real commitment to all encompassing change management will reach even greater improvements in profitability.”
While the list could certainly be longer, these are just 5 benefits of digital transformation. Would you add anything to this list? If you would like to add anything to this list, I’d love to hear it. Feel free to share in the comments.