The Definition of Digital Transformation
McKinsey defines digital transformation as “an effort to enable existing business models by integrating advanced technologies.”
CIO.com quotes George Westerman, MIT principal research scientist and author of Leading Digital: Turning Technology Into Business Transformation; “Digital transformation marks a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people and processes to fundamentally change business performance”
Salesforce.com argues that “Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.”
Often, digital transformation begins with the introduction of technology or software to solve a business problem. It’s where most people start – because it boils things down to individual issues. However, complete digital transformation goes much deeper.
At Olive, we define digital transformation as adopting the right technologies and processes that transform companies’ internal and external-facing operations to achieve an overarching business goal. Our definition examines entire departments and systems and reimagines them by infusing technology in place of inefficiency.
The Benefits of Digital Transformation Come With High User Adoption.
An example of for a retailer could mean the global introduction of a BOPIS (buy online pick up in-store) system that integrates with the current POS (Point of Sale) system to speed up sales, with the overarching goal of optimizing the customer experience.
For the healthcare industry, it could be leveraging Artificial Intelligence to help cut costs of ongoing health operations and impact the quality of care for patients.
In manufacturing, it may include stripping down entire systems to eliminate redundancies with the use of technology. For many verticals right now, CEOs are asking CIOs about their cloud migration strategy.
The most critical word in Olive’s definition of digital transformation is the word adoption.
A successful digital transformation will see game-changing digital solutions used with high adoption rates from your organization to solve business problems. Solutions either replace outdated and inefficient technology or processes or restructure entirely how crucial business results are achieved. But if your end-users are not bought into the technology, there’s a high chance they will reject it. Poorly adapted technology, no matter how renowned it is, is the wrong technology.
The key metric to measure the success of digital transformation is user adoption. Ensuring that you take your time to figure out who needs to be heard and include these stakeholders in the process will lead to high user adoption later. In addition, valuing the right voices creates a compounding benefit throughout the software buying process. With the correct input and validation, you guarantee a seamless implementation and high user adoption.
Top 10 Benefits of Digital Transformation
Digital answers to traditional problems are borderline mandatory for many businesses. Either customers’ expectations make old-school methods redundant, or competitors are getting ahead with new digital solutions.
Despite being buzzwordy, digital transformation comes with some eye-watering benefits. Here are Olive’s top 10;
1. Improved customer experiences
E-commerce and digital sales mean customers no longer have to talk to people to buy products and services. Streamlined digital funnels bring more revenue with a lower cost per unit of sale for the business.
‘Leading in the Digital Era’ from Harvard Business School revealed the objectives of digital transformation based on responses from senior executives and customer experience came out as number one followed by technology infrastructure.
2. Boosted efficiency
Digital transformations pride themselves on dissolving bottlenecks, communication blockages, and inefficiencies. Automating redundant tasks and leveraging data to make better decisions faster results in time and money saved.
3. Advanced marketing efforts
Data collection and analytics are changing how marketing works. For example, campaigns can now be adjusted based on the preferences customers have previously expressed down to the individual level.
4. Increased productivity
Automation is replacing human effort with software that frees up hours per day. Staff can shed costly responsibilities and focus on income-generating work.
5. Enhanced agility
Back in 2020, nobody was perfectly ready when the pandemic hit, but those with better digital capabilities responded best. Incorporating agile software means companies are quicker to shift to market changes.
6. Employee engagement growth
Monotony, repetition, and redundancy are the parts of the jobs that employees hate, yet they are perfect fodder for automation and software. Introducing solutions that make employee lives easier contributes to staff retention, productivity, and morale.
7. Supply chain management improvement
ERPs and other management packages drastically improve the transparency of your supply chain. They allow systems, suppliers, and departments to communicate and iron out the kinks in your processes.
8. Competitive advantage
Every improvement you make to the customer experience that your competitors don’t make is a huge advantage. Customers judge providers based on how easy it is to navigate to the solution they are looking for. If your platform is cheaper and comparatively easier to use, you become the benchmark.
9. Greater profitability
Digital transformation is about making processes cheaper, faster, and more productive using technology. Reducing the cost of resources, improving productivity and growing revenue, and increased profitability is an assured result.
10. Data-driven insights
One of the great benefits of digital transformation is the ability to track metrics and analyze the data. Using these insights allows businesses to optimize their strategies and processes for even better results and ultimately make better decisions. Feeding data-driven insights back into business strategy enables hyper-personalization, relevancy, real-time feedback, and agility.
Businesses are challenged to use both structured and unstructured data—pulling information from all sides of the business—to help drive their transformation journey.
The importance of data in decision-making should not be underestimated. With the right leadership to encourage this attitude throughout an organization, the road to a higher ROI will become much easier.
Collaborate With Your Organization and Reap the Benefits of Digital Transformation
Transformation happens when companies find best-fit solutions that drive value and solve problems. There are a few things you can do to accelerate this!
1. Build a successful digital transformation strategy
A digital transformation is not simply about adding software and hardware to your tech-stack to make efficiency improvements. It is an all encompassing vision for the future, a ’how to’ approach digital change and an understanding of which business problems are best solved using the right tech.
Start by setting clear goals and objectives with the input of your businesses’ relevant stakeholders. Involve those who will be impacted by the changes as their participation will matter most in the implementation. Listening to their needs lets the team feel heard.
Gather and rank your priority requirements with any future technologies. Seek out vendors who satisfy your most pressing needs and ensure that you run a rigorous demo where stakeholders are encouraged to ask important questions. Collective buy-in is crucial throughout and including the team makes the implementation phase much more manageable.
2. Streamline your technology evaluation process with Olive
Olive is a specifically designed technology evaluation platform that can help retailers get aligned to find solutions that bring about transformation. Our team has helped A&W, Freddy’s Frozen Custard, Tentree and more reconfigure their operations to maximize revenue and reduce inefficiencies across the board. Using Olive, A&W have managed to cut 6000 hours of wasted employee time out of their operations through automation and digital transformation.
Olive does the heavy lifting making your digital transformation far more exciting than scary. We listen to your pain points, help you get the input and buy-in of your stakeholders, guide your requirements gathering and vet all potential vendors on the market with zero bias.
Our goal is to help our customers find the right technologies that push them into successful digital transformation.