There have been plenty of great examples of Digital Transformation projects in recent years. Take investment bank JPMorgan for example, they implemented a software program that does in seconds what traditionally took 360,000 hours of lawyers’ time annually. Or how about logistics firm DHL which implemented the use of ‘smart’ glasses to help warehouse staff improve their accuracy and efficiency.
But what exactly is digital transformation? And do you and your company really need to focus on it? Put simply, it’s the use of digital technology to transform the systems, processes and activities of a business or organisation. While what is actually involved in the ‘transformation’ varies in size and complexity from project to project, the overriding aim is the use of technology to improve the performance of the organisation.
But why 'transform' if you already have a successful business with working systems?
Ignoring digital transformation means you not only miss out on the benefits on offer but also run the risk of ultimately having outdated and incompatible systems. This could have a negative effect on your business, both in terms of internal operations and overall business performance, as your company falls behind its competitors.
But what exactly are these benefits? And, more importantly, how do they relate to your business? Let’s take a look…
Enhancing the customer experience
“Customer experience is the one thing that separates you from the competition”
Digital transformation is about making the experience of engaging with your organisation as seamless and efficient as possible (and, hey, why not enjoyable too?).
Enhancing this experience is one of the core pillars of digital transformation. Digital tools enable businesses to provide personalised experiences, relevant information and real-time feedback. Not in a creepy, stalkerish way, but in a way that says “We understand what you are looking for and we want to help you”. As Accenture found, 75% of customers admit that they are more likely to buy from a company that recognises them by name, knows what they’ve bought before and recommends a product or service to them.
Think about your own online activity - the companies you interact with, the things you buy – the power to choose what you want, and when, is all yours. And if you don’t enjoy the experience of interacting with a company, are you likely to buy from it again?
It’s the same with your business or organisation, whatever sector or type of business you’re in. Your customers need to enjoy the experience of engaging with your company or they’ll look elsewhere.
Customers are not the only people that matter though. Making your employees part of the digital transformation process is essential, and along with that (when done well, at least) comes higher staff satisfaction and the creation of a more forward-thinking culture.
For people, digitisation and automation sound like a threat. Inevitably human roles will change in the digital world, but for the better; it’s about innovation rather than replacement. Machines and processes will no longer simply be operated by people but designed and enhanced by them. Make your staff see themselves as part of, and benefitting from, the change and they will feel more fulfilled.
With digital transformation’s ever-changing nature comes constant learning and growth. Take the opportunity of the new to engage and train together. Think of your staff as your customers; you’re investing in their journey too and it should ultimately benefit both them and the company.
Streamlining for simpler workflows
In the digital space, data is a huge asset – in fact, it’s the asset. In all areas of your business, it can help you understand what’s going on and therefore help you make better, more informed, decisions. But all of this is only possible with the right tools in place to gather, sort and make sense of the data.
Digital transformation helps a business develop from individual silos of information that can’t communicate to a new, centralised operation.
Take sales lead generation as an example. Tracking software can understand structured data (names, addresses) and unstructured data (social media feedback, emails) together. By creating central profiles, sales teams can see a list of potential customers while marketing can draw insights on their audience to help make better decisions on who they’re targeting, and how.
We appreciate that cost is a massive consideration for digital transformation projects. It’s what holds many companies back when thinking about making these huge changes. The challenge is to see digitisation as a smart investment that ultimately will lead to significant cost savings through improved efficiencies and streamlining of operations.
Cost savings need to be understood as long-term gains. It’s about skilling your business and people for AI, augmented reality, cloud computing and machine learning – to name a few. See it as an investment in staying relevant and ahead of the game, generating competitive advantage and grabbing the customers’ business before your competitors do.
Digital transformation solutions for continuous improvement
Digital transformation projects, radical processes and new technology are by their nature disruptive, and to some extent, they should be. Being at the forefront of innovation and its possibilities requires us to question old and new and to constantly adapt. Proper handling of these changes is essential.
As a Digital Transformation Consultancy, Full Fat Things is here to help you manage that transition. We work with ambitious businesses on the things that matter. We’re not here to change your business, but to make it work better for you so that you can learn from every interaction.
Find out more about how digital transformation could benefit your business, speak to the Full Fat Things team today.