Digital Transformation is often misunderstood as equivalent for technology adoption. Digital Transformation has a much bigger and broader purpose for any organization embarking on it. It is a multi-year journey and often continues even beyond the decade as the change in technology landscape continues to evolve itself rapidly.
It has become a necessity for all organizations to ensure they are continually digitally transforming as a large percentage of customers and consumers are digitally savvy and have a much more powerful mobile computer (mobile phone) in their hands. Generation X, Y and Z are comfortable using internet for searching and finding solutions and services online as their first and most important step.
The key purpose for Digital transformation is meet the need of customers and consumers, allowing them to find organizations solutions and services when they want and wherever they want it. Allowing them full flexibility of time and device and giving them ability to find, compare and choose the solutions and services that will best meet their needs.
Digital transformation impacts the very fabric of an organization by seamlessly and securely connecting all stakeholders with each other and automating various touchpoints of all stakeholders both internal and external. It needs a complete change in organization’s culture, thinking and ways of working where entire organization has to think and do things online digitally. It creates an entire digital ecosystem where organization, its supplier and customers of all types able to interact and do business using digital technology solutions and services.
The focus is largely on the outcome of all this for customers and consumers. The focus is on improving productivity, making the processes easier, seamless & automated, increasing time to market, increasing accuracy and ensuring full compliance across the end-to-end process of innovation, design, build, test, deploy, market, sell and support lifecycle of solutions and services offered by the organization.
Digital transformation in general has large benefits across the entire ecosystem for all involved stakeholders. Important is to understand that it is not a small undertaking of only some areas or divisions. It is certainly not about technology adoption. It is about bringing an end-to-end change on how any organization is designed to operate digitally and organization’s ability to adapt to the changing world of technology.
Digital transformation requires organizations to create new business models, new operating models and relook at upskilling employees or bringing new talent with desired new skills to operate the new business and operating models. The change starts from top and it requires the board of management to think and live digital. All the important organization metrics must be made digital and as real time as possible. It requires full commitment from all tiers of management staff to ensure they walk to talk of becoming digital.
Digital Transformation applies to all industries. Every industry and business sector need digital transformation. Here are some names Banking, Consumer Goods, FMCG, Healthcare, Investment, Insurance, Manufacturing, Logistics, Retail, Tours and Travel, Utilities etc. The list is long and digital transformation has been even adopted by governments to have better reach, communication and delivery of services for their citizens, business, employees and people.
Digital transformation means digital landscape and digital landscape means underlying new technology platforms, systems and gadgets that enable to seamless automation and user experience. Here are some of the new technologies used to build the digital landscape for the organization.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)– AI and ML systems are of many types where the systems handle complex set of data and help to get predictions and insights.
2. Big Data and Analytics – Big Data and Analytics systems are meant to collect the data, clean it, structure it and feed it to create analytics for timely and meaningful decision making.
3. Cloud Computing – Cloud computing platforms are generally used to deploy systems, store data and securely access them online from anywhere at any time. These are highly scalable and flexible pay per use platforms ensuring high reliability and speed.
4. Internet of Things (IoT) – These are generally sensors and gadgets attached to product, machines and packages for tracking certain aspects and insights like usage, temperatures, date and time stamps, pictures, scanning etc.
5. Robotics – Robotics are largely used in manufacturing and industry 4.0 digital transformation initiatives to automate production lines. Robotics are also used now a days in restaurants, food courts, warehouses, air ports and ports for automating food making, product handling (pick, pack, ships) etc.
6. Robotics Process Automation (RPA) – Robotics process automation is used for automating business process execution. The entire process is handled by computer systems instead of any human interventions ensuring speed, scalability and accuracy.
7. Social media and Digital marketing – Social media platforms and digital gamification are used for reaching customers through online campaigns, digital platforms and online shopping malls and hubs. It involves use of Metaverse and other gamification techniques to engage customers and sell their desirable products.
8. Blockchain and Digital Currency – Blockchain is used in fintech for digital assets and digital currency management. Blockchain also have possible use cases in logistics, healthcare industries, and online auctions tracking and maintaining of records. Digital currency will open a lot of new opportunities for all. There is a need to move in this direction as our customers and we ourselves have been using less and less of physical currency. Everywhere we are able to pay online. Governments and monetary authorities are looking into this as it will ease the burden of printing and maintaining so much of physical currency across the world.
9. Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality – Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality solutions open new doors for gaming, online training and learning, online try (visualize) and buy solutions. It helps create a virtual world which feels like real experience with real to life digital environments.
Digital Transformation as the name suggests is a transformation of an organization, its entire ecosystem and it’s a portfolio of offerings (products, solutions and services) using digital new technology solutions.
Many organizations have gone through digital transformation and some think it’s over for them but its far from over. It’s just the beginning and the transformation must continue as the world evolves and as the customer needs change.