One of the most mentioned concepts in modern businesses is the so-called digital transformation. It is widely regarded as something inevitable for a business to succeed. But, what exactly is it? Let’s begin by saying what it is not. It’s not about adding more fancy technology (like software with more attractive interfaces) to a business. That’s too simplistic. The concept encompasses more profound changes in the business structure.
So, what is digital transformation? It is the process during which a business changes fundamentally the way of operating by adopting digital technology. This adoption occurs at all levels, which results in the business becoming entirely connected. Thus, the business strategy shifts to an online one.
Coming up with a precise digital transformation definition is not easy. However, after stating what it is and what it is not, it’s clear it requires a business to change its approach to connecting with customers and partners. Thus, for a true transformation, acquiring technology is not enough. A total change of business mentality is needed. Software and hardware will bring just improvements. But without a deep change in the way of doing business, there is no digital transformation.
What Drives Digital Transformation?
This type of transformation is driven by customers. Nowadays, people are integrating technology into their daily lives. Practically anyone owns a smartphone with which they can connect to the world. What’s more, the Internet and supporting wireless technologies allow people to be mobile while being connected. Thus, customers expect businesses to interact in the same way and provide high-quality E-commerce services.
Thus, businesses must offer customers different methods of communication. Outdated technologies won’t help the business to keep up with customers’ expectations. For businesses that have relied on antiquated technology, ‘going digital’ would be a radical change. What is digital transformation without the customers’ demands and expectations? It is just empty words.
Therefore, businesses must rethink the way they do things. Old methods, even if they delivered good results for a long time, need to be uprooted to make room for modern ideas (it is especially important for digital marketing, which changes very quickly). But it is necessary. Otherwise, if a business fails to meet customers’ expectations, they will simply go away.
Recently, a new driver came on the scene. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to adopt digital transformation services to keep their operations afloat. For example, to comply with social distancing, businesses had to adopt cloud computing solutions and collaboration through video conferencing. Also, many retailers had to develop apps within a short time to interact with customers remotely. Rapid application development got a lot of sense after the COVID-19 pandemic begin.
Why Businesses Should Pursue This Transformation?
The population at large is becoming more dependent on digital technologies. People buy groceries online, watch movies on the Internet, and do many other things through electronic devices. For example, ordering food from your favorite restaurant has become easy with a mobile app; the payment is done in-app via a secure online payment system. This smartphone dependence can be leveraged to create targeted marketing strategies.
By tracking customer activities across platforms, a business can offer its products and/or services in the right moment and place. Thus, not only the customers benefit from the use of digital technologies, but also businesses. Offering digital transformation services not only will ensure that current customers remain, but will also attract new ones. In general digital transformation will greatly improve customer relationship management.
Where To Start?
Undertaking such a transformation can be difficult if a business has never used digital technologies. However, seeking help from a digital transformation agency will make the process easier and more streamlined. Before getting started, it is advisable to assess the current situation of the business. Determining what needs to be changed first will help to trace the most effective roadmap.
Most importantly, customer experience must be honestly evaluated. Are customers happy with the service they get? Or, do they find it too slow and cumbersome? Do the business’ products meet customers’ expectations? The interactions of the customer with the business from start to finish determine the overall customer experience. If something is lacking, it shall be addressed immediately.
If you aim at improving your business, identify the areas that would benefit from the adoption of digital technologies and improving current application software. Do it together with a digital transformation agency to ensure you address the most urgent needs first. The process won’t be easy. People who have been doing business in a specific way for a long time will not accept change easily. (Yet we think that agile software development may ease this process). However, in the long run, embracing the technological transformation will pay off.
The Main Digital Trends of 2021
The first quarter of 2020 showed the world that things can change unpredictably. Within the first half of that year, more businesses embraced digital technologies than in the previous decade. And now that they are adapted to operating online, it is only natural to continue investing in better technological solutions for their businesses. But, what are the digital transformation trends that will be convenient to embrace for the future? This is a list of technologies and trends to keep an eye on:
- 5G Mobile Communication Systems. The rollout of 5G systems has been delayed for some time. However, the current pandemic made evident the urgent need for more bandwidth to make connectivity more reliable. The integration of smartphones and tablets, sensors of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), and other electronic devices into a single communication platform is an urgent need. Being offline is something businesses cannot afford anymore. Hence, 5G will play a crucial role in solving the connectivity problems of customers and businesses alike;
- Cybersecurity. As more businesses went online because of the ongoing pandemic, cyber-attacks skyrocketed. More effective cybersecurity solutions must be deployed for corporate and home networks alike. Hence, a critical aspect to remain competitive in future markets is offering 100% secure online platforms for customers interacting from their computers and/or smartphones;
- Customer Data Platforms. Businesses will rely heavily on all types of data. Hence, platforms that concentrate and organize data from different sources will be vital for the digital way of doing business.
The opportunities are out there! Businesses cannot refrain from embracing digital technology anymore. Only those that accept change will prevail.