As time moves on and technology evolves, the digital landscape is transforming business into a different beast, making us to ask what does Digital Transformation mean. Simple websites with subpar UX aren’t enough anymore. Standalone transactions without added value pale in comparison to digital experiences that are tailored to customer-specific needs. Fast-changing markets and industries, demanding and empowered audiences, and fearless emergent competitors are challenging every single business and organization to evolve and go digital in order to survive – let alone thrive.
The way we respond to these challenges speaks to our abilities and skills as business people and as teams. For those choosing a Digital Transformation process as their solution, sometimes the journey can be even richer than the goal.
When we say digital transformation journey, we are talking about the process ofcreating a mature digital environment for your business – one that is serving and attending to customers, users, and different types of stakeholders along the way. Businesses and organizations in the insurance, education, banking, restaurant, logistics, healthcare, CPG industries, and even government, are now actively trying to strengthen their relationships with stakeholders through digital skills and technologies.
Let’s talk about what this journey means and what you can achieve through it.
What does this mean to an enterprise organization?
The thing with digital transformation is that it seems to start with operations and daily processes, but in the mid-term, it impacts every single component of a business or organization’s culture.
Let’s start with communication. One of the principles of digital transformation is that information must be available anywhere and everywhere. Information delay is an issue that affects employees, customers, suppliers, and users, so access to it should be seamless and easily accessible. Eventually, the company itself defends transparency and clarity as standards of its services and vows to serve customers and users. And vice versa, under the eye of empowered audiences, being able to communicate appropriately becomes key.
Equally important are the day-to-day business relationships necessary for an effective business. These relationships can be drilled down into one word: connectivity. Specifically, connectivity with customers, suppliers, and employees. These relationships must abound with seamless connectivity. As a principle, connectivity encourages us to nurture and open our dialogue with the stakeholders, business network, supply chain, peers, and even sometimes directly address competitors, delivering key messages through both words and experiences.
Another important feature of the mature digital organization is automation. Automation related to processes and activities leads to reduced costs, time, and redundancies. This principle is an easy entry point for a digital transformation journey: documenting and identifying processes that are not optimized and might even block business growth makes sense as a great place to start. It also helps to envision a series of “quick wins”, a pragmatic approach that can be used to diminish indirect expenditures and “hidden” costs, thus building up ROI.
Understanding the value of digital transformation growth leads to innovation. Whether products, business models, or operating models, innovation breeds where efficiencies are created and sought. It may be a new-ish realm – the digital world has been present for 30 years now, so we may as well start getting used to it –, but the nature of business is to take what we do well and reach out further.
This is probably one of the most interesting things about digital transformation: once you see your business’ possibilities through this new lens, there’s no turning back and even if there was you wouldn’t want to.
What are some benefits to an enterprise digital transformation?
Even with this in mind, changing the way business works elicits thoughts of danger and uncertainty for some. After all, working in a specific way has taken you to where you currently are. Why risk it?
In a sense, digital transformation delivers benefits for both businesses and customers/users. An organization leveraging all of its digital capabilities will offer better service to the end customer through efficiency. Customers can receive products and services more specific to their needs, without sacrificing time – on demand.
Moreover, with every step, there is a footprint. With the information gained from customers and user’s behavior in our digital platforms, a business can gain insightful data for how to enhance and grow their product or services through new and richer experiences – relevancy.
Employees also benefit because they can interact with and access the right information and insights about what they do easier. This means more efficient employees, and a more positive company atmosphere – information ad hoc.
Benefits don’t stop at employees, but rather, they extend to suppliers. Supply chains can now operate in tune with market fluctuations affecting pricing and downstream logistics – in real time.
Of course, customers, employees, and suppliers aren’t the only ones to benefit from a mature digital organization. Stakeholders will be able to access information, applications, and services quickly, and on their own terms – when, where and how they choose.
Overall, businesses and organizations benefit from targeting and leveraging growth potential. By making efficient processes that operate via automation, the business runs itself. Peaks on online purchases are only limited by stock items and probably far-fetched infrastructure capacities, but not time, extended labor hours and/or emotional investment – scalability.
How can your company become a truly digital business?
At first this process can appear intimidating, but with the right partner, and the right tools, all it takes is a little time. To break this down the specifics, your company needs to go through the following enterprise growth exercises:
- Create a flexible and open digital infrastructure
- Embrace web standards to encourage the effective exchange of information
- Find where the value of digital exists (sales, marketing, operations, service, etc)
- Build digital skills
- Build plug-and-play enterprise systems constructed on modular components
- Reinvent the customer experience
Develop integrated end-to-end processes across the company and with key partners, suppliers and customers
This is how we do it at Base22. At the end of the digital transformation journey, your company functions like an intelligent organism with all parts able to communicate and understand each other more efficiently. With productivity that pays for the process itself, and gained business capabilities to respond more quickly, to understand more, and to drive our core business to new limits, there’s only question remaining: When do you want to start?
At Base22 we specialize in guiding companies down the path of becoming a digital business. We know leaders need all the inside knowledge they can get to prepare their business for the future. Join Liferay and Base22 for the webinar “The 5 Keys to making Digital Transformation a Reality”. October 29th, 2019. More information here.