The use of digital technology to improve a business or service by enhancing existing digital methods or replacing the conventional methods by cutting edge digital variants can be termed as ‘digital transformation’. Digital technologies have evolved to such an extent that the businesses are almost forced to adopt them on every stage of their execution to play the game ahead of their competitors. Though the sudden transition might pose challenges, they have proven to improve the business drastically.
According to the projection data of 2020 by Forbes, 70% of the companies have a digital transformation strategy in place and are working on achieving it 21% have already undergone digital transformation. About 1.3 trillion US dollars spent on it and there is 10.4 % growth year on year.
How to incorporate digital technology into business?
The first and foremost thing to do is to underline the business objective and then to research for the digital means to achieve the same. It is important not to lose the business goal in an attempt to reorganize the business.
Below are some pointers which weigh while restructuring your business-
All the members or blocks of your enterprise, from higher-level management to an employee, should be willing to do the transition.
The research and development team should have members from all departments so as to converge at an appropriate digital solution that exactly satisfies the business need.
The new methods have to be strictly implemented so as not to circle back to the previous methods through proper monitoring and periodical reminders or campaigns about the long term goal to be achieved.
The transformation should be modular and not to be implemented on a whole. If there are many areas where there is a scope for digital transformation or improvements, the marketing wing should be the first one to be started with rather than the product.
Research and development should continue as an ongoing process to further digitalize recognized areas of improvement.
After rolling out, a phase of user testing or third-party feedback is essential to make sure that the solution is actually effective and any modifications if needed should be immediately deployed.
Automation of workflows at every phase though essential should be carefully judged before implementing so as not to leave out critical pointers and essence as there are certain things which "humans only" can do.
Digital transformation can be broadly implemented as the below streams-
- Digitalization at the product level
- Digitalization in the process
- Digitalization to market the product, so-called Digital marketing.
Digitalization at the product level
Digitalization at the product level usually employs methods to improve the product using techniques like Artificial intelligence, Internet of things, data analytics and migration to the cloud.
Migration to cloud
Migration to cloud though time taking and difficult to achieve relieves business of tedious tasks such as infrastructure management, software management etc, consequently enabling them to concentrate more on the business.
Example use cases that use AI:
Amazon recommendation system adopted a complex algorithm to find out similar products in the interest of the user that he/she searches thereby improving their sales.
Example use case of IoT:
Google uses thousands of sensors at its data centres which have hundreds of processors 24 by 7.The data from these sensors is used by the cooling system to turn on and off whenever required, providing an efficient means of achieving the goal effectively along with power saving.
Digitalization at the process level
It involves using various project management tools that keep track of things for the business. These tools are used across all the domains with inbuilt handover and handshake mechanisms. Communication and data sharing tools like teams, Skype etc.
In one word, it reflects the online presence of the business .It is now a days, a primary means to reach the customers. The business can start by building their own website to market their product. The other possible solutions include posting advertisements on popular websites, social platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
HR digital transformation is a way to enhance HR functions using data-driven digital techniques.
The transformation can be applied at every stage like Hiring activity, Payroll decisions, Benefits calculations, performance management systems, during appraisals, rewards and recognition activities.
The repetitive tasks like monthly salary distribution can be automated rather than maintaining traditional excel sheets. Employee performance factors and KPI’s can be made visible in a platform and the factual data can be made available to the individual as well as his manager to be used while rating the employee. Hike cycle can be managed effectively to rollout individual hikes calculated based on one’s appraisal and the budget allocated for the activity. Reporting tools like tableau or business objects can be used to maintain statistics of data at every stage to make use of it later.
Tools developed with AI are available at every point to make connections or to find out employee subset which meets the specific needs. It will help them not only ease their work but for the overall business growth as the enhanced methods put them way ahead on the front lines as compared to the competitors.
It must be understood that the importance of digital transformation has immensely grown in the industry and the methods have proven effective to reach the masses, thereby improving the business effectively at a rate that is impossible by conventional methods. The other weighing reason is that the end-users are attracted to use digitalized products or services to an extent that it became a viable factor to decide the business growth. Hence, all the corporate should adopt it immediately following “now or never” strategy and a scientific mind set to add the digitalization magic to their services.