Currently, almost every business on Earth is ruminating on how to withstand the ongoing development of the COVID-19 crisis and, at the same time, remain relevant as the situation continues to unfold. Obviously, companies that wish to stand out must integrate the technological and digital tools necessary to remain in business and serve their customers. However, to truly lead during this crisis, each company must undertake the great and constant changes integral to a full digital transformation.
Until the past decade or so, companies often seemed to consider “going digital” a kind of an afterthought and not worth their full attention or any significant resources. Typical investments in the process rarely went beyond asking someone in IT to set up a basic website or an intern to handle all the firm’s social media. Many businesses rebuffed any real effort toward digital transformation. They could not have predicted the swift shift in demand and interest that has been witnessed in the past few years.
Many people confuse “digital transformation” with “digital marketing,” and an assessment of recent trends shows that many companies that are currently entertaining the idea of digital transformation will succumb within a year. But, let us be absolutely clear—incorporating new tech into your business just for following the latest digital trend does not constitute digital transformation.
Committing to true digital transformation is daunting. Forbes reports that “digital-first companies are 64% more likely to achieve their business goals than their peers” and that “70% of digital transformations fail.” Traditional industries that have been digitally agnostic or ignorant are beginning to adapt to the changing economic situation. The COVID-19 pandemic has made absolutely clear the merits of business models that incorporate digitalization into their DNA.
The Eminent Challenges of Digital Transformation
Companies are often unable to comprehend the purposes and end goals of digital transformation, and this lack of understanding limits their effectiveness in achieving it. If done correctly, digital transformation can elevate the customer experience and make one’s marketing more fruitful. According to Forbes, “Digital transformation and a focus on customer experience can generate a 20–30% increase in customer satisfaction and economic gains of 20–50%.”
Although generating multiple business models to address digital transformation needs might be tempting, this approach can create turmoil for your employees trying to serve your customers. Abrupt changes in your customers’ experience with your firm can cause inconvenience and confusion. It can hamper your company’s overall growth. Companies should, therefore, make digital transformation a gradual and systemic process as they change their operational framework.
Before adopting a digital transformation strategy and onboarding new technologies, a business must do its due diligence and fully research the requirements and benefits. Developing a vision and mission tailored for your business is the key. The process of planning and incorporating new technology should be strategic, with acknowledgment of both its strengths and its limitations.
Planted seeds take time to grow, and digital transformation is similar as it will help your company reach its objectives bit by bit. Patience and forethought are paramount; improvement will not come overnight. Consider your options with a clear mind (and plenty of research) before deciding what your organization needs.
Which Industries Are Flourishing with Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is not limited to any particular industry. Almost any business can adopt it as both practice and strategy—the automobile industry, service-driven sectors, financial sectors, health care, and so on. Technology is a valuable asset to achieve objectives more quickly and effectively for all businesses, though some adapt to digital transformation better than others.
IT, as an industry, is rapidly expanding. In politics, health care, education, and other areas, having access to the right information helps companies meet the challenges of our changing world. Advances in technology can, for example, accelerate the process of developing new facilities and providing services to customers. Tech companies, as part of digital transformation, invest heavily in digital tools, such as the following:
- Cloud computing
- Flexible consumption
- Edge computing
- Artificial intelligence
- Machine learning
- Big data
- Cognitive computing
These tools help the firms to stand out, allowing many to garner immense growth in a surprisingly short amount of time.
Hospitals are driven by their human resources but can benefit greatly from adopting digital transformation policies and technologies. The most obvious example in health care is the now-ubiquitous online doctor consultation. Artificial intelligence and other advanced tech are leading forces in the digitalization of the medical industry. Notable advantages to digital transformation in health care include the following:
- Electronic data management and electronic health records provide overall information about a patient’s medical history, including prior diagnoses, treatments, and surgeries.
- Institutions and medical staff can access patient records quickly and then easily sync them among different locations and providers accordingly.
- If applied on a large scale (e.g., hospital chains, research institutions), digital transformation greatly increases cost efficiency.
- Customization and dynamic presentation become more affordable for specialists, doctors, and hospital groups.
- Data and evidence-based tools can help institutions make more appropriate treatment decisions for patients.
- Chatbots and other such automated services that patients can use to contact a hospital or navigate its website can make customer service more efficient and less costly.
Digital transformation is already quite strong in the financial sector. In fact, an avalanche of recent changes in tech, such as the emergence of cloud computing, analytics, and robotics, is remodeling the financial sector at an accelerating rate. The industry is shifting towards a no-error zone, where humans could be replaced entirely by technology and automation.
A recent study by Accenture revealed that almost 80% of financiers believe that progress in artificial intelligence technology will enable banks to offer a “human-like customer experience.” And 76% think that automation will break new ground in customer interaction within the next few years.
Complete, authentic digital transformation will only be achieved once individuals and companies “get it” beyond the level of a basic concept. The benefits of digital transformation are far-reaching, and it can provide a wide range of opportunities for the betterment of almost every business in every sector and industry.
Sameer Somal is the CEO of Blue Ocean Global Technology. He is an internationally recognized speaker and a subject matter expert witness. His passion for learning and sharing information underpins how he helps people make more informed decisions.
Website: https://sameersomal.com, Twitter: @blueoceangt, Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sameersomal/