11 May Digital Transformation: 5 Ways to Stay Ahead of Your Competition
The term “digital transformation” is being bandied around a lot these days, especially as the globe continues to adjust to post-COVID-19 era at various workplaces.
Commentators warn that if you don’t adapt, you’ll die. ‘If you don’t change digitally, your competitors will react faster, give better service, and, as a result, become a more appealing option for potential customers.’
But if everyone is driving digital business transformation as a survival tactic, is there any way to accomplish it uniquely?
The answer is a resounding ‘yes,’ because, while analysts and CEOs around the world seem to be enamored with the concept of digital business transformation, few organizations accomplish it well.
According to online publication by Forbes, approximately 70% of digital transformation projects fail. That means that $900 billion of the $1.3 trillion invested on digital transformation in 2018 was spent with no immediate return on investment (ROI).
Taking a distinctive strategy is our passport to standing out from your rivals – and not spending valuable funds on initiatives that produce mediocre results. Rather than focusing on specific technology, a goal-first approach to digitalization is required for effective, long-term digital transformation. It also entails cultivating a company culture that values fresh ideas and innovation.
Don’t worry if it sounds easier said than done; this guide is here to help.
- What is the definition of digital transformation?
- Why can digital transformation help you get ahead of the competition?
- Setting the correct objectives for a successful digital transformation
- Creating a culture that supports digital transformation
What is Digital Transformation
It’s a good idea to start with a definition. Enterprise Projects appeals to us because of its simplicity, emphasis on comprehensive organizational change, and customer-driven definition of success:
It can be simply put as “the integration of digital technology into all elements of a business, profoundly transforming how you operate and give value to customers.”
Every aspect of your business is affected by digital change. Here are a few examples of what it might entail:
- Automation of duties throughout operations to free up employee time for value-added activities – this is what digital process transformation is all about.
- Design and production processes are being digitalized with the help of new augmented reality technology.
- Using Big Data analytics and BI tools, financial forecasting has improved.
- Customer-facing technology, such as e-commerce platforms, has improved.
Because digital transformation affects every aspect of your business, we believe it’s better to conceive of it as a continuous process rather than a one-time event.
You won’t be able to alter your organization in one go unless you’re a very early-stage startup, so don’t start with that goal in mind. Choose areas of the business where you believe you can make improvements and proceed from there.
Understanding the Differences Between Digitization and Digitalization in the Context of Digital Business Transformation
When discussing digital transformation, the terms ‘digitization’ and ‘digitalization’ are frequently used. These aren’t the same thing, yet they’re both important steps in the digital transformation process.
The digitization is the process of converting analog data into a digital representation. You may digitize sales data, customer complaint forms, or vacation entitlements for employees.
On the other hand, the use of digitized data and new digital technology to modify how you work is known as digitalization (with the extra syllable). This is an example of digitalization: you digitize your customer complaint records using a customer experience (CX) tool to find trends in the data using keyword analysis.
In other words, digitization provides you with data to act on, whereas digitalization is the process of getting insights from that data using new technology. Digitalization is a component of the larger process of digital transformation, which is an enterprise-wide initiative.
For instance, let examine a case of a warehouse:
- The warehouse maps are digitized by the operations team so that the location of merchandise in the warehouse may be viewed digitally.
- As a result, they will be able to invest in warehouse automation. This is a case of digitalization in action.
- This shift occurs as part of a larger drive to adopt new technology across the organization (better BI, route optimization software for deliveries etc). As a result, it’s an element of the company’s broader digital transformation.
How will Investing in Digital Technology Help You Gain a Competitive Edge in 2022?
When it comes to digitizing elements of their business, decision-makers are increasingly paying attention to cutting-edge technologies such as:
- Data processing and analytics technology: analyzing large amounts of data to make better business decisions.
- Cloud computing provides improved IT flexibility by utilizing third-party data centers located offsite.
- Process automation refers to the use of robotics technology to automate formerly manual activities.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are methods for processing jobs and data more quickly and effectively.
- Augmented reality (AR) is a method of enhancing real-world objects or situations by integrating video and computer-generated visuals.
But why not keep your current tech stack? After all, it’s worked so far.
It all boils down to how capable these technologies are. These innovative technologies boost workplace efficiency, consumer engagement, and forecasting accuracy, among other things. They improve it so dramatically that businesses that do not adopt it will simply be unable to stay up.
Could you react to opportunities faster than a competitor that can instantly convert all transactional data into real-time analytics reports?
How might you supply things faster than your competitors, whose automated warehouses are running at maximum efficiency 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
When your competitors’ product teams employ AR and virtual design environments to develop faster, more accurate prototypes at a fraction of the cost, how can you design and build goods that are as excellent as theirs?
To stay ahead of the curve and outperform your competition in these areas, you must invest in better, faster, and more up-to-date digital solutions than they do. By doing so, you set customer expectations rather than chasing them down, and you establish a standard that others will find difficult to match.
Impact of COVID-19
Much of this technology was previously thought to be ‘ahead of the curve,’ something to plan future investment around rather than a pressing worry.
The global COVID-19 pandemic, however, radically altered how we work, live, and conduct business in 2020. As a result of the ensuing hurry to respond, adoption of the technologies listed above has soared.
Since last March, for example, the need to shop online has advanced e-commerce developments by five to ten years. Meanwhile, over 75% of respondents to PEGA’s 2020 Future of Work research stated they planned to increase investment in AI and automation as a result of the pandemic’s impact on their workforces.
This indicates that we are rapidly nearing a fork in the road. It’s critical that you get on the right side of the situation.
If you invest today, you’ll be ahead of the game. Despite the fact that usage of new digital technologies has increased dramatically, many traditional businesses that have been forced online are still finding their feet. There are substantial benefits to be enjoyed while they do so. If you wait until later to invest, you’ll be playing catch-up.
How to Plan a Successful Digital Transformation
Taking a plunge into the latest case studies on technology AI or Big Data applications in your sector requires serious planning, it is important to figure out what you are after as an organization. A tier-one technology company is best for this.
Never Focus on the Technology, Start with the Problem.
One of the key reasons why so many digital transformations fail is that firms become overly focused on a single technology.
For example, a corporation may develop an “AI strategy” before determining where it will be used. This can lead to wasted time, money, and inefficiencies in moving your company ahead.
With our collective fixation with where technology is headed next, this is an easy mistake to make.
Instead, think about how emerging and on-the-horizon digital technologies might help you reach your primary business goals, just like you would for any other business endeavor.
This idea is well illustrated by a case study of global supply chain management company Li and Fung, which was featured in a recent Harvard Business Review article.
Li & Fung wanted to devise a marketing plan for a market where mobile apps were as crucial as physical stores. Instead of focusing on technology initially, they decided to focus on three key areas: speed, innovation, and digitalization. These objectives were further subdivided into:
- Production lead times are being minimized.
- Improved time to market
- Improving the utilization of data throughout its global supply chain
They only began to focus on technology after they had established these precise goals. Virtual design technologies (which decreased design to sample time by 50%) and real-time customer and vendor analytics (which helped enhance working capital efficiency by $200 million) were among them.
Organizational Culture Fosters Digital Transformation
It’s just as important to create the right environment as it is to pick the correct tools for a successful digital business transformation.
Investing in the most cutting-edge customer-facing AR systems opens up a world of possibilities. Those potential are meaningless if your employees regard digital transformation as an undesirable mandate from on high.
Is your organization’s culture innovative?
This simply implies:
- Do you encourage all employees, regardless of position or seniority, to think creatively and solve problems?
- Do you accept failure as a natural part of the process rather than treating it as a punishable offense?
- Undertake you encourage internal employees to participate in digital business transformation rather than engaging short-term consultants to do the work?
In the end, everything comes down to employee involvement and accountability.
Your team will not be interested in the outcome if you do not involve them in identifying areas for digital transformation and implementing those changes.
They’re also less likely to participate if they’re worried about the consequences if their efforts fail in the first place.
You may have to engage a consultant to some extent—for example, if you need a custom web app, outsourcing is significantly faster and less hazardous than hiring an in-house development team and grappling with an unusual development process.
The difficulty is that if outsourced consultants take precedence over internal expertise, you’ll miss out on possibilities while also alienating your employees. Your internal team knows your company better than anyone else, so they’re in a great position to spot areas where digital solutions may help you stand out. Keep them on the sidelines.
To avoid these traps and foster a culture that encourages new ideas, follow these steps:
- Recognize and reward novel ideas.
- Conduct periodic stand-ups across the company so that everyone is aware of and involved in digital transformation efforts.
- Conduct brainstorming sessions with teams in areas where new technologies are affecting them.
- Seek out to them for recommendations, seek feedback on suggested changes, and transparently address any worries about change.
- To collect employee input and ideas about digital transformation projects, create discussion threads.
- Recognize landmark milestones (such as a quality software implementation) and recognize your workers for their contributions.
- Regularly organize drop-ins and joint planning meetings when bringing in outside help so that your internal team sees it as a cooperation rather than an imposition.
Look to the future
Businesses that plan for growth are more successful than those that stand still. Keep up with developments in your sector, invest in new technology. Have a clear idea of where you want to be in one, three- and five-years’ time. Other businesses will be continually improving what they offer. You need to do the same if you are going to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Digital Transformation Requires a Customer-Centric Approach
At the end of the day, digital business transformation is all about gaining and keeping consumers.
It can be done in a very straightforward manner — for example, by offering them powerful augmented reality, AR systems that allow them to see significant purchases in real time – or it can be done in a less obvious way. Consider process automation: by automating time-consuming manual operations, your sales team can devote more time to creating relationships with clients, leading in increased sales, higher average spends, and improved customer retention.
The end goal in either case is a customer who is much more eager to commit time, emotion, and money in your items. To get there, the latter, process-driven approach just requires more steps.
It’s easy to lose sight of the customer because of these extra stages. As a result, businesses end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on digital transformation projects without knowing whether they improve the consumer experience.
Before you begin and end with the impact of digital transformation on your client base to stand out from the competition. Consider the following:
- What are the difficulties that our customers are now facing?
- What kind of solutions do our customers want to see for these challenges?
- How have our customers responded to our efforts now that we’ve put them in place?
The great news is that, in this day and era of social media, online review sites, and 24-hour customer care, you’ll already have enough of data to work with. Use these resources to look for common problems and new features or services.
Do not even stop there, however. Once you’ve identified some essential areas to concentrate on, enlist the help of your customers as beta testers or members of a user panel, and ask for more feedback via a customer survey.
If you’re conducting digital business transformation correctly, you should see an increasing trend in whatever customer experience metrics you track. If it isn’t, it may be time to make some changes.
Looking for Leading Digital Transformation Partners
Giving a better consideration to how your own company could benefit from digital transformation now that you have a thorough grasp of what it is and the benefits it can provide isn’t a bad idea.
That’s where we come in if you want to get ahead of the game but don’t know where to start. At Wragby Business Solutions and Technologies Limited, we specialize in developing powerful digital solutions that enable your company to provide unrivaled value to customers.
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