The four main areas in digital transformation are: technology, process, data, and organizational changes.
Technology: Technology can improve productivity by making many task processes more efficient. In some cases technology is automating tasks and processes through software programs like CRM systems or customer service chatbots. This allows businesses to digitize their workflows and provides time saving through automation that can be forecasted and controlled. Many of these automated workflows provide quiet support that will improve customer relationships and increase customer satisfaction.
Data: Data transformation includes moving information out of spreadsheets into databases or capturing data real-time with sensors attached to equipment. Data assists with process transformation and improvement by increasing the visibility into business performance. Data helps companies change and improve processes and procedures throughout the organization by providing an understanding their employee base, employee needs, products and services, competitors, changes in the market and customer needs and wants.
Process: Process transformation is about changing how workflows happen and how operations are managed. How technology, data, and people work together to complete business processes impacts areas like training, human resources, marketing and sales. Process improvement through digital transformation helps businesses become more efficient and lets them adapt swiftly to changes in the market.
Organizational Changes: Organization change includes a change in the corporate culture. This change in perspective allows companies to focus on getting digital right and keeping pace with changing customer and employee expectations. Organizational change is critical during a digital transformation to ensure that company culture and business processes are adapted to meet the new business challenges and overall changes in corporate strategies.
The Pandemics Effects on Digital Transformation
Since the beginning of the public health crisis, companies say that digitization and automation technologies have increased. Companies are utilizing different technologies and changing the way they operate. This is especially true in the number of people working from home. A recent McKinsey survey identified that 85% of respondents said COVID increased the implementation of digital technologies used by employees so they could be efficient in their daily work routines.
Historically as companies have tried to implement digital transformation into their operations, less than 30% have succeeded, and only 16% have adopted long-term changes. During the pandemic the adoption of digital transformation increased to 62% in 2021. The digital transformation companies have implemented are social media, online/digital marketing, IT & process automation and digital technologies for virtual training and collaboration.
Digital transformation is most helpful to companies in data analytics, cloud services, and collaborative tools. While companies did not prioritize these technologies as much in 2021 as compared to 2020, the use of these continued or increased. This increased need for digital data and analytics has come from a rise in remote work.
According to a report on the future of work, 10% of companies expect to go completely remote after the pandemic, and 30% are predicted to return to fully in-office. This means that many could continue to offer hybrid work options for employees, continuing the need for digital technologies to ensure smooth and efficient operations.
During 2020, the pandemic initiated a dramatic increase in companies accelerating their digital technology plans by months or even years. This led to a 74% increase in the digitization of operations and the creation of next-generation operation models. Utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning technologies and other technologies, companies are recreating themselves to meet the changing markets. The digital transformation process has created a 70% growth in digital business models and increased revenue streams for companies meeting the digital challenge.
As companies continue to adopt digital technologies, 66% are implementing an augmented workforce model that allows companies to use technology such as automation and artificial intelligence to help human workers complete their tasks more efficiently. A successful augmented workforce model through digital transformation is Target. The company uses data science to determine which items are the most popular and displays them in prime spots for customers to see. Automation and artificial intelligence help workers complete their tasks more efficiently. And, they developed a digital loyalty rewards program called Circle. This program connects its e-commerce business to over 100 million customers. A digital transformation can help companies improve efficiency and make it more agile in its operations. Companies can measure the ROI on their digital transformation by looking at the business’s bottom line. Revenues will increase, operating costs will decrease, and it targeted to be the first to market with a new service or product. Digital transformation implementation includes creating mobile-friendly websites, utilizing data for better decision making, leveraging social media to connect with customers, and implementing analytics software.