A significant portion of the business sector has jumped into the digital bandwagon. Many of these companies recognize the advantages of using a digital platform for managing their daily business activities. However, not all of these enterprises really understand the meaning of digital transformation.
Why Businesses Are Going Digital
So, why are businesses switching to digital systems if there are still a lot of things they need to comprehend about the whole concept?
One of the first things that draw businesses to digital transformation is the promise of real change within organizations. Digital transformation places more value on the customer experience. It allows businesses to connect with their customers, as well as to establish their brands. By analyzing customer data, businesses are able to create programs that are customer-centered, while also improving the effectiveness and efficiency of their products and services.
Thus, companies embrace digital transformation because it provides them opportunities to improve customer experience and increase business value.
For other companies, the need for change is the only thing they want to hear to convince them to join the digital transformation bandwagon.
Understanding the Digital Transformation Mystery
In an interview with Information Week, Cisco Director for Enterprise Networks and Mobility, Prashanth Shenoy, helps us gain a better understanding of the mysteries of digital transformation.
According to him, there are three ways to consider when trying to understand digital transformation:
- determining the factors that push businesses to transform to the digital system,
- determining the major areas of focus and
- valuing your network.
Understanding Why Companies Transform to Digital Systems or Platforms
Four of the biggest and most popular tech trends related to digital transformation are mobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and Big Data.
Mobility pertains to the mobile devices that you use to get things – or tasks – done. This includes your smartphone, your laptop and your tablets.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects that can send and receive data via network connectivity without the need for human-to-computer and human-to-human interactions.
Data is all the information you’ve gathered from different sources. You can use your mobile devices in gathering data. The Internet of Things is likewise capable of providing you with information you previously did not know about.
Big Data, however, is more than just your ordinary data. Rather, it pertains to massive amounts of structured and unstructured data that cannot be stored in ordinary or traditional databases. You will need a vast storage system to keep Big Data safe and secure. This is why we have cloud computing.
When you talk about cloud computing, you are actually referring to a vast data storage system that can be accessed only over the Internet. In other words, it has no physical address or location. It is capable of storing large amounts of data, the ones that you cannot simply save on your hard drive or any other traditional storage system.
All these factors, especially when combined, are able to restructure the most essential business processes. They’re also capable of refining revenue models and determining competitive strategies. Once these factors get into action, companies are assured of a more reliable and effective system of serving and satisfying customers.
Determining the Major Areas of Focus
Companies that make the switch to digital transformation are usually the ones that are confident about what they are. These are the companies that are able to easily identify their major focus or priorities, so they know and understand the competition. These businesses also have a good grasp of the industry they’re into.
Knowing what a company needs in order to effect change (the positive kind), and successfully identify priorities, are helpful in determining whether a business is ready for digital transformation or not.
Business leaders know that embracing digital change is what will help make their organizations more efficient, more technologically advanced, and more customer-friendly. With a good digital system in place, companies are able to provide more quality products and services.
Valuing Your Network
Digital transformation is the anchor with which you put your trust on for your business. Therefore, if you know the key elements that are needed to make your anchor stronger, you will be able to protect your network.
A good digital platform is able to improve, simplify and speed up processes, especially those that are IT-related. In addition, the network should be completely and meticulously secure.
Finally, with a reliable digital platform, it will be easy to encourage company employees and leaders to test their creative juices and become more productive.
Basically, all these are what make up the mystery behind digital transformation. The next step is to learn how to apply it to your organization.
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Making the Digital Switch
Companies that have been in business for years are the ones that often have a difficult time switching to a digital platform or system. These companies have functioned for so long using their traditional systems, so much so that digital transformation becomes quite a challenge for them.
According to Effective Leadership in the Digital Age, a report carried out by Econsultancy back in November 2015, a company’s digital priority relies on its senior management. This includes issues like budget.
Meanwhile, a separate research done by Organic revealed that employees and staff believe that the transformation is only possible if there is a leadership mandate.
As such, the change should be coming not only from the IT department or the IT experts, but also from the company executives. First off, however, they need to be educated about every basic aspect of digital transformation. This will help them fully understand why there is a need to make the change.
Digital transformation may be a new concept, but it’s not a complicated one. It is all about businesses embracing a new culture that will enable them to function better with the help of new technology. What should be foremost in the minds of business owners is the fact that digital transformation is focused on the customers. It should not only make things easier for the enterprise, but also for the consumers.
Photo courtesy of Kristie Tuthill.