How digital transformation can change your business
Digital transformation is a buzzword that’s become increasingly popular in recent times. Amidst all the global white noise about companies investing significant time, effort, and capital into digital transformation, let’s just take a step back and answer the most basic question: ‘What does digitally transforming your business really mean?’
Is it simply about keeping up with the latest gadgets and software? Or is there a deeper meaning that connects the transformation to how consumers want to interact with your brand? In this blog post, we explore what digitally transforming your business looks like, and how it can contribute to the growth of your business — and the diversification of your customer offerings.
What is digital transformation?
Biological evolution makes sure that a species survives the many changing conditions in the world. Digital transformation ensures a business can thrive and grow in the midst of the many technological changes happening across the globe.
Simply put, digital transformation is the process of using up and coming digital technologies to either modify or create new business processes, and deliver digital-first products and services to your customers.
Digital transformation transcends traditional roles like sales or marketing.It goes beyond businesses trying to meet the changing needs of the market and stay ahead of the competition. Digital transformation begins and ends with only one factor — customer centricity.
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What does it mean to be a digital first business?
To go digital first means approaching any new opportunity or strategy with the aim that the solution should be as digital as possible. It is to imagine as much of the service being created as possible being used by customers in digital form. Digital first refers to the practice of putting emphasis on a business model that prioritises digital processes internally and digital offerings externally.
Software is the engine room of much of today’s business. For customers, software is the way they engage with a company: to place orders, request help, apply for credit, view accounts, troubleshoot their problems, and more. A new opportunity exists for companies to update their business model by leveraging software as a strategy. Enabled by innovative solutions, it will enable enterprises to remain competitive — crucial in times of unforeseen crises — lower costs, drive value, and deliver genuine customer centricity.
How does digitalisation impact customer engagement?
There’s no doubt that digital transformation is changing how businesses work. As organisations move from traditional paper and spreadsheets to smart applications to manage their operations, they have a chance to reinterpret how they do their business — how they engage with their customers, with digital technology on their side.
More and more companies are now taking a step back and revisiting everything they do — from internal systems that they use on a daily basis to how they interact with their customers. Questions like, ‘How can I change my processes to add value to every customer interaction?’ and ‘Can my processes enable a better and more personalised customer experience’ are on the mind of pioneering business leaders looking to innovate.
Case study: Netflix
A classic example of digital transformation and customer engagement is Netflix. Netflix started as a simple mail-order service but ended up disrupting the entire brick-and-mortar video rental business. By taking advantage of digital innovation, Netflix made wide-scale video streaming possible. Today, Netflix has almost replaced the traditional broadcast and cable television networks by simply offering a growing library of on-demand content at extremely competitive prices.
Digitalisation allowed Netflix to stream video content directly to their customers on their laptop screens and mobile phones. They also gained an unparalleled insight into the viewing habits and preferences of each user. The amount of massive data collected helped Netflix design a better user experience, and understand the shows and movies that the majority of their audience is interested in. By implementing digital transformation, Netflix made a net income of over 1.86 billion U.S. dollars in 2019! (Yes, you read that right!)
In fact, one of our partners — Hesus — reached out to us because their existing systems were old, laborious, and obsolete. They wanted to digitally transform their business to streamline their processes and increase overall efficiency. Something that was successfully achieved with a dedicated team built in Bangalore.
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How can digital transformation benefit your business?
1. Streamlines existing processes
If you’ve been running a successful business for a couple of years now, then you know that executing any operational process is extremely time-consuming. In a world where time is a luxury, you just cannot afford to spend precious time on redundant processes — operational or otherwise. By using digitalisation and cutting edge, new-age technology, business operations such as communication, data storage, and analytics can become more adaptable and collaborative, in turn, maximising results.
2. Increases overall efficiency
Because all your processes are now streamlined, thanks to digitalisation, you no longer have to worry about unexpected bottlenecks. Digital processes allow the quick flow of inter-departmental information, eliminates redundant tasks, and improves the overall efficiency of the business.
This, in turn, also helps reduce the operational costs that are associated with complex, time-consuming workflows. The digital transformation of business prevents the bottleneck of data and information. Also, streamlined processes and increased efficiency means that the workflows can be adjusted quickly and easily, based on the changing priorities and goals of your business.
3. Promotes an environment for growth
With digital transformation comes a strong customer base, increased customer engagement, efficient processes, and automated workflows. And that’s why it’s no surprise that companies that implement digitalisation find it easier to grow and expand.
For instance, an organisation that has no online presence whatsoever probably generates sales through retail stores and word of mouth. However, by building an optimised and robust website, the business will be able to attract more customers than before. This means that they now have more opportunities to promote their products, generate more sales, and in turn, reap profits. Further, by tracking the behavioural patterns and feedback of their existing customers, they can create more products that appeal to their clientele and scale their business accordingly.
4. Empowers the workforce
Technological advancements and innovations also empower the workforce to become more proficient and productive in their day-to-day tasks. Working with streamlined processes means that they can accomplish all their tasks quicker. Further, by learning and implementing digital transformation, engineers are exposed to the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Digitalisation allows them to capitalise on their efficiency by using AI-powered tools and getting the job done in lesser time. They also get to learn advanced skills, which can go a long way in boosting their personal growth as well.
5. Develop new and exciting digital products and services
While ecommerce has become the absolute normal in retail, where customers of all demographics often prefer to purchase a variety of different products and services completely online, no longer requiring brick and mortar stores — this hasn’t quite translated to things like cars, for example. But it’s changing. With an increase in omnichannel retail and a blurring of the physical and digital shopping experiences, businesses really have an enormous amount of room for new ideas and innovative sales models.
How can you build a digital transformation strategy?
1. Assess your industry
The first step to digitalise your business is to simply look at what your peers are doing. Start by assessing what strategic moves your competitors are making. What is their digital strategy like? Has digitalisation positively impacted their business? What are the customers’ expectations like? Will the industry be affected by sustained digitalisation? These are incredibly crucial questions that need to be answered before you can dip your toes in the world of digital transformation.
2. Define your path
Once you’ve done your research, based on the insights, it’s time to design your strategic path. This primarily means the kind of operational model you wish to implement to deliver the right products and services to your customers. Based on the operational model that you choose, assess all your internal operations, and chalk out a plan of action. Which operations must be prioritised first? What analytics need to be taken into consideration? All of this is the groundwork for the next step.
Once you have established a path and agenda, break it down to concrete and tactical moves. Consider all the resources and the timeline required, and plan your strategy. This step involves meeting with technology enablers who have the required domain expertise, studying the different digital environments that can work for your business, and filling all the missing technological gaps.
4. Making the transition
The transition from legacy IT to a new cloud-based ecosystem is a process that takes time. You must gradually move to the future infrastructure and platform while maintaining the existing ones to ensure that there is as little disruption as possible.
It doesn’t have to be a ‘rip up and replace’ situation. For example, imagine a business sets out to modernise its ERP — such a task can appear so daunting that they’re likely to keep putting it off. The execution has to be iterative, and when it is, the business gets value along the way.
5. Building a digital-first culture
Leadership is a cornerstone of the architecture of digital success. As businesses begin more and more to see themselves as technology companies with software as a central pillar, the role of CTOs and CIOs will change accordingly.
Driving innovation, identifying emerging technology, and managing and optimising the IT operation to meet strategic goals all fall under different remits. However, in digitally pioneering organisations the structure is more fluid, resulting in shared responsibility between IT decision makers — better helping to align strategic business priorities with technology.
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Do you have the talent in house to make it happen?
With businesses in leading markets putting software more centric to their strategic model, it’s key for them to get the right software talent in house. By outsourcing to an external third party, for example, you lose knowledge and expertise that could have been kept within the business.
But, there’s a talent shortage of elite developers in places like the US, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe. The engineers are there, but the top tech giants have a monopoly on them, creating a fierce battle for talent for everyone else. One way around this is by building a dedicated offshore development team in a tech hub like India. There are deep pools of highly talented engineers, and with the right offshore partner on the ground, you can tap into these pools and obtain and retain top talent. Talent that’s integrated completely into the wider organisation.
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Wrapping it up: digital transformation for your business
Digital transformation isn’t slowing down. If anything, the focus placed on it by business and technology leaders is only growing. To gain a competitive advantage and tap into talent you can’t find at home, offshore teams can give you the edge in the race to digital-first success.
If you’re looking to digitally transform your business and you want an A-team by your side, feel free to reach out to us by filling out the contact form. As experts in building the best engineering teams in India, we’re your ideal partner to provide ‘mission support’ on the ground.