Keeping Up with Continuous Digital Transformation

In this article, we’ll explore a bit more about digital transformation than the basic understanding and talk about which segments of your organization can pick up by adapting to the changing trends.

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By DHEERAJ GUDURI

There’s no doubt that your company needs to embrace digital transformation if you wish to stay afloat in this fast changing world. Oftentimes, it is easy to get puzzled over the various many ways in which the digital shift can do good to your organization.

Digital transformation is essentially utilizing the exponentially growing digital ethos in your various business segments to bring in significant improvements. It’s all about continuously capitalizing on the opportunities present to transform your existing businesses and technologies.

“90% of CEOs believe the digital economy will impact their industry, but less than 15% are executing on a digital strategy.”
 — MIT SLOAN AND CAPGEMINI

Where to transform?

Oftentimes, it can get confusing as to where one must look. To solve this problem, let’s take a look at how digital transformation generally reforms and repositions businesses. Going digital has its strengths and one of the most common ways where it is utilized are:

  1. Operational efficiency
  2. Innovation of products & services
  3. Workplace agility
  4. A more personalized customer experience
  5. New sources of growth and revenue models

Operational Efficiency

Digital transformation helps achieve more operational efficiencies, and companies in general do this by focusing on 4 main routes:

  1. Cloud and DevOps: Infrastructure modernization: Cloud has been there for a while now and has helped companies build a resilient system that helps companies offer continuous support services with little to no downtime. 

  2. Data Analytics: Performance Improvement: The exploding world of data now helps build meaningful insights, through emerging technologies accompanied by machine learning as well. This helps get a better understanding for improving decision making and creating efficiencies in various operational procedures.

  3. Process Improvement through Digitization: Any decision within a company can now follow a certain set of processes that are supported by digitized checks and balances, which ensure smoother operations.

  4. Worker enablement and empowerment: Workers are no longer constrained or restricted to only one environment, they are encouraged and empowered to learn new technologies through certifications, courses and knowledge sharing sessions. This helps in building overall productivity through more participation from the workforce.

Innovation of Products and Services

Digital transformation helps bring in and make possible what is called ‘agile innovation’. In short, agile innovation is all about starting with small problems, innovating on them, testing them fast and taking them forward if there is enough promise. This is made possible by the forces of digitalization. 

Digital not only helps innovation happen faster, but also helps put companies out there on the winning side through better strategies and quick testing and validation of any particular idea, concept or feature in the form of ‘prototypes’.

Based on these prototypes, they are put together faster as mini-products, which together combine and form the final product. Each step is made faster and more efficient with the use of different digital technologies.

Workplace Agility

Agile as a framework in development is nothing new. It boosts workplace agility (hence the name) in two significant ways:

  1. Rapid iterations based on customer feedback: This is quite important since the costs of changing something after the whole product is built are exponential, not just in terms of money but also time and effort. Agile also helps customers focus better on each feature in a particular week in which they give feedback, which is taken into account and allows for iterations. This also helps the company build the product faster and bring it to the market quicker.

  2. Broad cultural shift: Team members are now more empowered and held accountable for each of the tasks, which are transparent to everyone within the team. This builds a stronger network based on trust and enables them to work together better.

A More Personalized Customer Experience

The ever-increasing digital consciousness within customers today has made it very important for businesses to focus on providing a good enough customer experience and match the ever-increasing expectations and live up to the ever-changing needs of their customers.

From mobile devices to wearables, smart TVs to voice user interfaces, digitalization has changed the way customers interact with brands and get what they want in the shortest times possible.

Digital transformation is most effective in the areas of 

  1. Sales
  2. Marketing
  3. Customer Service

Overall, this helps companies to build personalized customer experiences which helps them build a brand image that sustains over time.

New Sources of Revenue and Growth Models

Lastly, digital transformation has boosted the possibilities of innovation,  experimentation and creation of business models that have disrupted the market.

Here are 7 common such types:

  1. The experience model: These companies give a very unique experience, like Tesla and Apple. The success in such models is through how innovative and experience-driven these models are.


  2. The subscription model: A monthly or yearly subscription gives people continuous access to a specific product or service. Netflix, Hulu are prime examples that have benefited from this model.


  3. The free model: Here the user becomes the product, and in return the user gets to use the services offered. Most social media networking sites work this way, including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Search engines like Google also work this way.

     

  4. Access-over-ownership model: In this kind, there is the prevalence of a “sharing” philosophy. Here the product can be accessed and used by the customer, but does not become their own. AirBnb is a good example for this model.

     

  5. Ecosystem model: This model ensures that an interdependent suite of products are sold to users, which increases in value based on how many one owns. Google and Apple run based on this model at large.

     

  6. On-demand model: Lyft and Uber are the prime examples of this model, and digital transformation is the prime differentiating factor here. Users pay for a service and can avail them on-demand.

     

  7. Freemium model: Digital transformation allows for this major model, where access is safeguarded for an upgraded version of a software, while the basic version is free of cost. This allows customers to enjoy free trials that do bring more customers over time.