Digital transformation is the term given to the transformation of business activities, processes and models to fully leverage the opportunities of new digital technologies. The aim of integrating digital technology into all areas of a business is to improve operations and how they deliver value to customers, employees, suppliers, partners and stakeholders. This necessitates a cultural and leadership change to encourage innovation and new business models.
One of the most important and substantive technology changes driving digital transformation is the focus on solutions designed to work the way employees do, rather than forcing users to change. The “force fit” method was common in the past, as the people using the apps had little choice but to convert their processes to match the technology. Those days are over, and organizations that cannot provide a user-centric experience will be left behind.
People-centric computing, defined as digital workspaces that are designed around the end user’s workflow, is today’s reality. And organizations that don’t adopt this approach will have numerous problems, including an inability to attract talented employees, lost productivity and far higher costs. As your organization deploys new digital business platforms, it’s essential to provide the flexibility and interoperability that supports business stakeholders and delivers an improved user experience without compromising security. It is also important to note that maintaining security is not an excuse for disrupting the user, either. The focus should be on digital workspace platforms that let organizations manage and aggregate different apps, databases and other resources that enable employee productivity―all while managing the security issues and system complexity behind the scenes and improving the experience for the end user.
Because digital transformation will look different for every company, it can be hard to pinpoint a definition that applies to all. However, in general terms, we define digital transformation as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers. Beyond that, it’s a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often, and get comfortable with failure. This sometimes means walking away from long-standing business processes that companies were built upon in favor of relatively new practices that are still being defined.
Employee productivity. For 52 percent of executives, “becoming a digital business means enabling worker productivity through tools such as mobile, data access and AI-assisted processes.”
Data-driven business performance. Close to half, 49 percent, also see digital transformation as “the ability to better manage business performance through data availability and visibility.”
Customer experience. “For 46 percent of decision-makers, digital transformation “means meeting customer experience expectations, while 44 percent see it as “understanding customer needs through data collection and analysis.”
Mobile capabilities. Another 46 percent see digital transformation as “providing secure, optimized anywhere/anytime access to assets.”
Process automaton. At least 37 percent say digital transformation means “digitally modifying business and/or processes .”
Revenue streams. One-third, 33 percent, say digital transformation means developing new digital business/revenue streams.
Product innovation. Another 31 percent see digital transformation as achieving top-line growth through digital product enhancements/new digital products or services.
Supply chain optimization. For more than a quarter of companies surveyed (27 percent), digital transformation means digitizing “the flow of data and information worldwide which enables the movement of goods, services, finance and people.”
What should you do next if you do believe in digital transformation?
1. Regardless of your level in the company, talk to people and convince them that change is coming and action is needed.
2. Get enough support to start with a Digital Transformation Modeling exercise as this will give your stakeholders a first insight on the digital impact, possible futures and activities you can roll-out.
3. The next step is to understand how ready your company is for the digital future. The impact analysis from the Digital Transformation Modeling approach is a first step in a much wider audit of the digital readiness of your entire company and the people that work for it.
4. This must lead to a concrete plan for setting up your Digital Transformation Team with their Digital Agenda.
You start from a strategic model (insights, impact, future) to build an organizational model that is able to run the on-going operational reality of digital transformation.