Digital Transformation (DX) refers to implementing digital technologies to unlock the full value of technology investments by either creating new or modifying existing business processes. DX can also lead to new business models and revenue streams for companies.WalkMe on DX
The driver for digital transformation
Digital adoption and innovation are driven by customer experience. Customers want faster, more responsive, and increasingly interactive experiences, but they also want accessibility and availability.
Digital transformation helps your organization provide a consistent, efficient, consumer-centered experience throughout the customer journey.
Digital transformation strategy
Typically, the enterprise or corporate digital transformation projects are initiated by the CEO, led in partnership with CIOs and other senior leaders. It requires collaboration across departments to align business objectives and application development models.
What is a CIO?
Chief information officer, chief digital information officer or information technology director, is a job title commonly given to the most senior executive in an enterprise who works with information technology and computer systems, in order to support enterprise goals..
What is a CTO?
A chief technology officer, also known as a chief technical officer or chief technologist, is an executive-level position in a company or other entity whose occupation is focused on the scientific and technological issues within an organization. A CTO is very similar to a chief information officer.
What is a CEO?
A chief executive officer, also known as a central executive officer, chief administrator officer or just chief executive, is one of a number of corporate executives charged with the management of an organization – especially an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution.
What is a Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the adoption of digital technology by an organization to digitize non-digital products, services or operations. The goal for its implementation is to increase value through innovation, invention, customer experience or efficiency.
In a report by Constellation Research surveying 100 Fortune 500 CIOs, 77% of the respondents named digital transformation as their top priority for 2021.
A Digital Transformation strategy involves innovation, changing operation and business models, and taking advantage of emerging technologies. It’s more than finding and adopting new technology to help your business become more efficient – it is the reshaping of a business as a whole.
According to Richard Rumelt (who McKinsey calls “Strategy’s Strategist”), Emeritus Professor of Business and Society at UCLA Anderson School of Management, a good transformation strategy contains the following:
- Diagnosis. The definition or explanation of the nature of the challenge. A good diagnosis helps simplify the problem by identifying certain pieces of the situation as critical.
- Guiding policy. A policy for dealing with the challenge. This is the overall approach that will be taken to overcome the obstacles defined in the diagnosis.
- Coherent actions. This set of actions are designed to carry out the guiding policy. They are steps that are coordinated with one another to collaborate in accomplishing the guiding policy.
Without a diagnosis, teams might take unnecessary actions that result in mayhem and uncertainty. It can likely lead to disjointed projects and random tech infusions that don’t add value or make sense.
The guiding policy answers the question: How do you want to do that, exactly?
If the guiding policy can be applied to any organization at any time, it won’t be very helpful in guiding your business’ digital transformation. And of course, nothing is accomplished without a set of coherent actions. If there isn’t a clear path with specific actions to take, resources will be wasted.
Simply having a to-do list is not a strategy, though. Data enables companies to find new opportunities easily. Leveraging new technologies and launching new opportunities requires a transformed way of working.
In developing your digital transformation strategy, consider the 5 Building Blocks of Digital Transformation:
- Operational backbone – A set of integrated, standardized systems, processes, and data that support a company’s core operations.
- Shared Customer Insights – Organizational-wide knowledge of what customers will pay for and how digital tech can meet their demands.
- Digital Platform – A repository of business, technology, and data aspects that facilitate fast innovation of new offerings and improvements.
- Accountability Framework – Clear distribution and ownership of a growing set of digital offerings and components, balancing autonomy and alignment.
- External Developer Platform – A repository of digital components that’s open to external partners who can contribute to and use the platform.
Ultimately, understanding both what you can do and what customers want will help evolve your strategy.
4 types of digital business transformation
So how does digital transformation come into play in business? It’s not just about adding technology. In fact, it’s more about organizational change and learning how to use technology to improve performance. The use of AMPs (analytical, mobile tools and applications, and platforms) has exploded and is completely changing business as well as competitive dynamics within many industries.
When it comes to digital business transformation, there are 4 types:
- Process Transformation – This involves reworking processes, using APIs, data, analytics, machine learning, and other technologies to reinvent corporate processes. The goals being: lower costs, reduced cycle times, and increased quality. Consider Domino’s Pizza and their AnyWare ordering; this innovation of making ordering available from every device increased customer convenience so much that it overtook Pizza Hut in sales. Other companies are utilizing robotic process automation to streamline back-office processes such as accounting and legal.
- Business Model Transformation – As mentioned, the available technology allows companies to pivot on their traditional business models. This type of transformation is aimed at the basic building blocks of how value is created and delivered in a given industry. Think again of Netflix and how they delivered video content in an entirely new way, or Uber’s reinvention of taxi service. Insurance companies are using data and analytics to unbundle services and charge customers solely for what they actually use. By rethinking business models and how value is provided, there’s a whole world of opportunity.
- Domain Transformation – While there’s not much focus here, there’s abundant opportunity. Evolving technologies are redefining services and products, blurring boundaries between industries, and creating new non-traditional competitors. Take Amazon for example; they started AWS and entered an entirely new domain for them that had been previously dominated by Microsoft, IBM, and other giants. A huge part of their ability to enter this market was their digital technology and capabilities. AWS is unique from Amazon. It’s not unobtainable either—today’s digital world no longer consists of technology gaps as a barrier for businesses.
- Cultural/Organizational Transformation – Complete, long-term digital transformation requires reworking organizational mindsets, processes, talent, and capabilities. Digital culture requires agile workflows, more testing and learning, decentralized decision-making, and more dependency on business ecosystems. Consumer credit agency, Experian, is a success story for digital transformation. They adopted agile workflows, development, and collaboration and changed the employee focus from equipment to data. While consumers and tech might be the driving forces behind digital transformation, company culture and organizational change is a fundamental requirement for long-term digital business transformation success.
Digital transformation by industry
Digital transformation in banking
Digital transformation in banking has been slow to evolve due to a combination of factors, namely security concerns and a deep integration of systems. However, this is changing thanks to the abundance of cloud-based technologies and accompanying innovations. Banking will continue to transform, albeit at a slower pace than some other industries.
Digital transformation in professional services
The progress of digital transformation in the professional services industry has been slow to evolve. An old-fashioned industry, professional services places a high emphasis on personal expertise, billable hours, and personal business relationships. However, no industry is immune to the demand for digital transformation. In the areas of auditing, accounting, tax, and advisory, technology has, and is continuing to, evolve. However, those who don’t implement it into their business operations will be harming customer experience – and their bottom line.
Digital transformation in insurance
Like banking and professional services, insurance is a more traditional industry and is slow to adopt change. That means that digital transformation is a rather new venture for the insurance companies, having only kicked off in the past couple of years. According to Gartner, CIOs in the insurance industry invest 56% of their budgets on modernizing legacy applications, reflecting the industry’s preference for upgrading rather than replacing legacy systems.
Digital transformation in healthcare
Digital transformation in healthcare has revolutionized hospitals and patient care alike, from AI-based and VR-enabled technologies to the ability to receive healthcare from anywhere. It has also created commercial opportunities for the wearable devices market which has skyrocketed in recent years.