Digital Transformation is the gradual progress of organizations, businesses, communities and individuals steadily shifting towards wholly digitalized processes and environments – with the aim of leveraging digital technologies – in a strategic manner that takes into consideration and answers to past, present and the future concerns of that entity.
Digital Transformation takes into play the use of technology to radically improve performance and reach of enterprises to take advantage of cloud computing and the connected Internet of Things. Quite usually the objective is to seamlessly communicate across devices, audiences, time zones and geographical boundaries.
According to Sloan Review, the three major areas organizations focus on to achieve digital transformation are;
- Transforming customer experiences
- Transforming operational processes
- Transforming business models
This is noted in major consumer facing industries such as banking, e-Commerce and entertainment, where digital customers and the widespread use of connected devices across operations allow companies to access and monitor customer experiences, employee performances, sales performances, and delivery of globally uninterrupted services around the clock.
Digital Transformation across an organization requires strong leadership and projection of vision  across all teams and departments. Given that it is a challenge even for the best of organizations to fully implement a digital strategy across all operations, the best managed firms are constantly identifying newer and improved ways to redefine the way they work.
It all begins with asking ‘what problem do we want to be good at solving, in the future?’ and working backwards from there on. This sort of experimental, bleeding edge thinking will result in a slightly shaky footing for research & development teams mostly due to the large amounts of uncertainty the future can hold. But it also moves towards creating more agile thinking, allowing teams to make decisions on the move and deal with crises before they are born. This is where the benefits of digital transformation really stand out.
Digital Transformations of companies bring about critical benefits to management teams and decision makers as they sift through data with the idea of continuous improvement and increasing customer bases in mind. Some of them are:
- Improved efficiencies – processes that are connected allow for elimination of task redundancies and overlapping data fields.
- Informed decision making – with data from connected processes and devices readily available, decision makers are able to make better informed decisions in less time.
- Improved reach – connected devices allow for organizations to instantaneously reach out and communicate with customers, audiences and employees.
- Increased collaboration – teams connected to the Internet of Things are able to rapidly mobilize and collaborate on assignments in real time across geographical boundaries.
- Increased market awareness – companies that transform towards a digital strategy are able to read customer behavior off the Internet of Things and make better decisions on how to best position themselves for rapid customer acquisitions.
Once organizations have initiated their drive towards digital transformation, the very nature of the matter delimits the horizon of the task. The last mile is a never ending one. As technology costs keep reducing and solutions evolve constantly; and organizations identify newer problems to tackle everyday, the path to wholly digital is an endless game of leap frogging where enterprises cannot afford to be left behind.
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