Digital Transformation: A Complete Journey

07 October11 min read
Digital Transformation: A Complete Journey

We're changing the world with technology. We are in the throes of a transition where every publication has to think of its digital strategy. “Bill Gates”

When you say “Digital”, a lot of people think about paperless solutions, another might think of Data Analytics or some might think of Artificial Intelligence too. 

We all talk and are fascinated about digital transformation whenever we encounter the digital solutions around us. But very few of us know exactly what is Digital Transformation?

In simple words, the digital modification in existing classic solutions such as Business Processes, Customer Experience and Business Culture by latest technologies is known as Digital Transformation. 

Digital Transformation is imperative from small businesses to large firms. But does Digital Transformation revolve only around migrating everything to the cloud? Or is it digitizing your classical jobs to a digital solution? 

Digital Transformation can be different to different business processes. It might include switching from a manual to online booking solution, or seeing your doctor in a physical appointment to live video appointments. Hence it's not the same for all the business, it fits in different shoes in different ways. But the process remains the same, in terms of opting a digital solution for your classic tasks. Apart from that it is also a cultural change, businesses adapt it and deliver to clients in better ways. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be successful, it might be a failure too, if not used in the right direction.

Then how do we decide the importance of Digital Transformation and where it is applicable?

Digital Transformation is a survival need more than a necessity these days because of the growing remote and technological culture. But is it relevant to every business, or is it just the competition with business growth? Of course, it’s a need. Moreover, competition is also a part of it. Improving customer experience is the agenda of all businesses, and it’s not hard for a customer to find an alternative in case of an inaccurate experience in the business. Hence the relevance of Digital Transformation in every business is the key to success if invested in the right direction.

The salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff also quotes

“Every digital transformation is going to begin and end with the customer, and I can see that in the minds of every CEO I talk to.”

Digital Transformation keeps up with very parameters you look forward in your business:

1. Highly Scalable an Stable

2. Enhanced Customer Experience

3. Reduced Operational Cost

4. Better and improved productivity

5. Smarter Solutions

A History of Digital Transformation

The history of digital transformation starts from the 1940s, however it took an ample amount of time for individuals to understand DT till 1990s, and in the 2000s the digital products and services came into the picture to make a special appearance. 

Later in 2000s mobile devices and social media came into the picture, for once it was fascinating and a golden opportunity for the businesses to connect with the customer in more mobile and dynamic ways. Businesses understood the relevance of digitalization and started migrating classical processes to digital and optimized solutions, making manual work lesser. 

With the rise in the digital era, businesses got more ease, when digital payment methods came into the picture. It gave the authority to customers and the businesses to be more validated. The trust and credibility rose up more, giving the business industry a different level of stability. And E-commerce took the good fortune of it and made excellent channels for customers and by which they won our hearts. 

Gradually, it all became even more intelligent and advanced with cutting-edge technologies and gave even better experience to customers, for example, the use of AI became extensive in everything. Now, Alexa operates your home more than you can. 

And the best is yet to come!

As it has become the need of hour to tailor the industry, products and services. And the impact as always is huge, and it's affecting global businesses massively and more is on the way.

Impact of Covid-19 on Digital Transformation

Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on DT or Impact of DT on Covid-19 pandemic? Hard to tell right! 

Until February 2020, we were all working from office in a conventional manner for years but Covid-19 pandemic changed everything. Suddenly we all migrated to work from home. It took us only a few days to adapt to this massive change, although it was very tough. But would it have been possible if we all were back in the 2000s. No right? Of course not!

That’s the impact and significance of the Digital Era, no matter the worst situation, where we had to switch from on site to remote locations, and we did it. 

Although Digital Transformation was geared up, Covid-19 gave it an acceleration, although a few conventional businesses synced in loss and had a very negative impact of pandemic. But most of the businesses dived into the lap of technology and tried to be stable after a while. 

Let’s dive in and see how Covid-19 impacted Digital Transformation:

1) Increased speed of Deployment of Digital Transformation System: 

The firms very rapidly that recognized it's a long term change, and moved to remote work culture. Moreover, there were many consequences. But thanks to the global workforce, IT Project Managers, Technical staff paced up the deployment of digital transformation resources such as supply chain, advanced E-commerce platforms etc.

They all had the leverage to do so, but some of the business performed exceptionally well, in spite of not having a backup of this situation, and we must appreciate them. One of the biggest examples is Healthcare Services, they managed to cope up with Covid-19 pandemic worst conditions, a little by the technologies and a lot by their personalized efforts.

2) Increased rate of User Friendly Solutions for enhanced Customer Experience: 

Covid-19 pandemic was a blessing in disguise for Digital Transformation and Digitalization. The IT & business industry buckled up and started producing even more customized and better solutions and applications for customers. A very good example of this can be: Creating a single stop for all the E-commerce platforms, or to choose the right team for your Project Requirements. 

3) Increased Security for Remote Workers:

With the dramatic change in work style, security of the projects also became vulnerable, with a number of cyber attacks. The vulnerability was even more for the employees who were working from their personal or non-office devices. Hence, the industry had to come up with a better Virtual Machine’s solution to maintain the security for them and their clients.

4) Increased use of AI: 

AI has always been into actions and discussions with the rapid digitization. But during Covid-19 pandemic, it got a new direction and a raise. Solutions like advanced ability to analyze the data and provide better and customized experience to customers.

5) Increased rate of collaboration in HR and IT employees:

The remote culture was for each and every department. Eventually HR and the workforce made a great collaboration to come up with new ideas and communication channels to make this transition smooth.

Framework of Digital Transformation and How does it look like?

The digital transformation framework is the draft designed of how any organization is moving through a significant technological change for a long term to evolve current business situations and lead with the digitalization. 

The digital transformation in  any industry focuses on a few key points:

  1. Enhanced Customer Experience
  2. Cultural and Leadership Transformation
  3. Workforce Enablement and Improvement
  4. Technological Integrations
  5. Agility of Operations

The Impact of Digital Transformation on Organizational Culture

The adoption and acceptance are two different terms, similarly Digital Solutions were adopted by the workforce growing with the time, but it’s not always about the acceptance. As it’s not in everyone’s favor in spite of being a win-win situation. But with time it happened, for the good and some unfavorable changes. But everyone had to make peace with it, along with paced up digitalization.

Although, Studies say that Digital Transformation market size was 738.88 Billion USD until 2020, which is projected to reach 3546.80 Billion USD by 2023, at a CAGR of 21%.

When the Covid-19 pandemic happened, it tested the employer and worker relationship beyond the imaginations. 

In a Deloitte survey, it came out that 86% of the executives believe that they will have better influence and independence with their employers as compared to before. 

But DT impacted the organizational culture in many ways, which cannot be neglected:

  • Challenges to adapt to Digital Culture: Changes are difficult, especially when you are used to a process. Hence, employee reluctance to shift from one framework to another is justified. But Digital Transformation and Organizational Culture is affected and growth can be compromised in the worst conditions.
  • Being Cautious about Automation: Automation has its own flaws, it makes people doubt their skills and their insecurities take a toll on their skills. But adapting the automation turns out to be the best decision for a longer run.
  • Lack of Leadership and DX strategies: The organizational culture is the foundation of their leaders, and if the leaders don’t have a clear vision about the new strategies, then the Digital Transformation might result in failure.

How to accelerate DT with employees satisfaction:

Employee satisfaction ≡ Customer Satisfaction 

Most organizations don’t realize the importance of that. Although customer satisfaction is more crucial for the organization, the workforce to create that satisfaction, should be considered enough as well. Let’s see how we can ensure that DT is accelerating in a good pace:

1. Explain Digital Transformation:  Situations go haywire when employees are not aware of a change. Workforce should be involved, when goals have been set for a new process. When a leader defines their vision to the team, they understand the criticality and personal touch in the decision, which is very important when you are transforming your business digitally. And that’s when customer satisfaction can be achieved as well.

2. Cultivate Leadership in employees: You can be the jack of all trades when it comes to digital transformation. It requires a collective and individual level of leadership to understand the benefits of the process. When you leave them in charge of it, the best outcomes appear and they feel more involved. 

3. Tweak the operations: On the lighter note, you must have heard, if nothing goes right, go left. Similarly, when there is a change in a process, it’s not easy for the workforce to accept. But what are the leaders for anyway? They ought to make sure the best operations mechanism should be involved in the DX process. Hence taking feedback, working on business loopholes helps the employees and the employers as well.

4. Adopt Agile Approach: Agility is the key to smooth transformation. The slow and steady change helps employees to work in continuous deployments, which also gives a better vision to the scope and goals.

After the Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on day to day life, Digital Transformation paced up gradually in the last two years. From embracing the remote culture to accept the new normal, a lot changed. It was always and still has been an On and Off situation in terms of going back to conventional work culture.

Where the industry has accepted a few key trends in 2022:

  • Focus on flexibility and sustainability
  • Emphasis on using or migrating to cloud and enable innovation
  • AI powered automated business process
  • Acceptance of remote work culture
  • Prioritizing governance and security
  • Increased use to AI and ML in day to day life
  • Special focus to manage the data for the whole lifecycle
  • 5G connectivity to boost IoT industry

Now let’s dive into the most interesting part of this article, some real life and fascinating examples of Digital Transformation. 

#1 Deloitte started an awesome and innovative initiative, Deloitte Digital, to bring all kinds of talents together, be it creative, technical or digital. The initiative was to get the talent pool together in a very innovative way, and serve the clients in the best possible ways, especially to let them feel more involved like a team. Building customer strategies, developing customer engagements by creative marketing strategies, and different offerings to give a new direction to Digital Transformation.

Basically, they conveyed “Digital Transformation without even telling Digital Transformation.” 

#2 Ford, to keep up with the Digital Transformation, Material Flows Wireless Parts System, when their production started failing. After all, customer satisfaction was the focus, and they kept up really well with that. This system could track the quantity of different parts and make sure that it was enough in numbers. This definitely helped workers to fasten up the production process in a more ambitious way, which supported a great coordination among all production teams.   

Later in 2016, they also launched the application FordPass which allowed their customers to control their vehicle remotely, by having the insights on Fuel, Battery level etc.

#3 SAP’s, intelligent solutions drove the Digital Transformation in industry, they built brilliant solutions for almost all the domains including ERP and Finance, Analytics, Database Management, CRM, Human Capital Management, Digital Supply Chain etc..More than 22000 companies partnered with SAP in this digital journey.

Like these amazing industry leaders, many firms initiated their innovative initiatives to bring their customers and workforce hand in hand, sustaining the Digital Transformation process. 

Final Thoughts

Unlike other topics, Digital Transformation always makes a list of hot topics around the industry. Well, digital transformation isn’t a thing to get over. It is an ongoing and continuous process of transforming the current solutions to enhanced digital solutions. There is a lot in the process for the upcoming future. Digital Transformation has been revolutionary for more than 30 years now. And it influenced almost every industry, like Automobiles, Retails, Businesses, Healthcare and of course an immense amount of hike in Information Technology.

Although it comes with the potential risk to the data, and to minimize them is also a hideous task. But none can deny the ease it brings to life, hence even after all the complications DT can never stop. The revolution of Digital Transformation changed the world and made it a better place to live. 

Digital evolution is important to accelerate your business with the world. The customers’ needs enhance everyday and so should their solutions and to keep up with that, digital transformation always comes in the  process. In order to make your solutions smarter and faster, organizations have to be careful about their strategies, technology involved and the right team to transform your journey