What is Digital Transformation?
These days, everyone seems to be somewhere in the process of digital transformation. When the Corona crisis changed life for everyone, the need for digital transformation became even more apparent as having more automated processes and work from home became even more important.
If you’re interested in digital transformation, then you might have heard a lot of buzz about it. Some equate it to ‘going paperless.’ Others think of automation, while some think of it as incorporating analytics.
My personal goal for digital transformation is to eliminate the need for a physical office, remove the need for many full-time employees, and rely on fewer providers for services or materials.
In other words – my goal for digital transformation is to automate as much as possible, delegate more to external people, and keep the most profitable process that can be done from anywhere in the world.
So, what is digital transformation?
As Bonfour writes, “Digital transformation involves redesigning business practices to incorporate digital technology within all facets of the business [S1].”
That might seem vague at first, and it should. Digital transformation will mean and require different things depending on the business. For some, this can mean how you change business processes. For others, it’s about the change in customer relations. Simply put – Digital transformation [DT] will look different for every company and enterprise.
What’s important to understand is that DT is more than changing processes. We can view it as a twofold process. First, there’s the integration of digital technologies into the actual work process. The other aspect is changing the actual culture of the workplace to something more streamlined and dynamic.
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All this makes us ask why. What’s the good in digital transformation?
Some benefits of digital transformation are and self-explanatory, while others require more consideration. When things go digital, you have a lot more data to look at. This means you can clearly see what works and what doesn’t with a strategy or idea. As such, digital transformation gives you a chance to course-correct quickly and adjusts strategies as needed.
Other major benefits include:
- Improving efficiency and productivity
- Improve customer services relations
- Lead to data-driven decisions
- Eliminate redundancy
- Save costs of processes
Digital Transformation is a Process
It’s best not to think of digital transformation as an either-or process. Digital transformation offers loads of possibilities for those who want to optimize. DT can be partial, or it can change every aspect of a business.
When it comes to digital transformation, there is no one set path. You can adapt technologies as they best fit the needs of your enterprise. That means you can go all the way with digital transformation, or you can transform some parts and processes and leave others the same.
Remember that digital transformation is itself a process.
It’s not a button you push that suddenly streamlines everything. Digital transformation proves more effective when the process is gradual and ongoing. That means that once some processes have been made digital, they may still need small tweaks and improvements afterward.
Taking Digital Transformation as a Whole
Now that you’ve gotten a clearer idea of digital transformation, you can understand what it could do for your business. It comes with a wealth of benefits like streamlining processes and using data to improve processes. You can integrate the transformation in many ways, incorporating digitalization as much or as little as you need. Remember to take into account how digital transformation requires different considerations and upkeep.
For me, the big question is, what is your goal for DT? Do you want to save on expenses, improve productivity, or automate processes? Your goal will tell you what you should do next.
You can find many resources about this topic and learn yourself or hire a specialist or coach to help you understand and do this process more properly.