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An innovative guide to digital transformation

by Casey Schmidt  |  November 7, 2019

4 min. read
A finger pressing a digital transformation key on a keyboard.

Chances are you already use plenty of new technology in your everyday business processes. It’s also just as likely that you’re a long way off from satisfied with the state of your company’s digital outlook. When this is the case, it’s time to look for ways to move from older, physical formats into digital ones – it’s time to undergo a digital transformation.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the overhaul of existing business procedures and elements into new digital technologies. It is a company change from physical formats into digital. Digital transformation introduces digital technology into all areas of a company, including how the business communicates with customers.

To help you get a firm grasp of digital transformation in action, here’s an example of how a company might undertake one. Let’s say a security company stores information on pen and paper inside a locked cabinet. They also use walkie talkies to communicate with one another. Digital transformation for this particular company would look like the following:

  1. Transfer the records and information from paper onto a computer system
  2. Upgrade from walkie talkies to smart phones
A group of coworkers surrounded by computer data.
There are basic physical upgrades in each transformation.

Though each company’s transformation looks differently, this is a good example to get you thinking about the process. Here’s a guide to help with your own digital transformation:

Why is it important?

There are a lot of conveniences that come along with new technology. However, more importantly is the fact that without an automated overhaul, companies fall behind. Essentially, digital transformations are no longer a choice but a requirement. This is especially true for businesses that are failing and need to evolve. It has become the status quo, which has required companies to follow suit in order to not fall behind.

One vital aspect of technology is data, which is a rapidly growing element. Companies now have large quantities of data. They therefore need technology to store and analyze this information. With a digital transformation, they’re able to make the best out of all the data they’ve gathered over the years.

A space reprensentation of data.
Growing data lets companies analyze more situations and come up with more solutions.

Basic elements of a transformation

Note first that all digital transformations are specific and different from company to company. However, there are some basic elements to each that lay a foundation for each enterprise to follow. Here are the three factors of the process that seem to be universal:

1. Workplace implementation and involvement

A digital transformation should aim to create a larger involvement among an entire company from department to department. As the process begins to take place, team members should get a chance to collaborate further than previously possible. This change is exponential and shows through in many areas of a business.

2. Customer participation

Digital inventions and evolution have revolutionized the customer experience. A digital transformation aspires to give customers the best possible encounter with a company. Technology, for example, is capable of gathering large amounts of data on each customer, letting businesses cater to them directly.

3. Products

As companies shift their operations in-house to digital, their products typically follow suit. An example is a pair of sunglasses that can record audio and video or a mirror that tells the weather. This is not only a convenience for customers, it also allows companies to stay connected to sales and continually suggest further products.

A woman wearing smart glasses.
Products like smart glasses are perfect examples of the new digital landscape.

How to implement your own digital transformation

The very first step in this process is creating a digital transformation strategy to lay out the details of what ways you’re planning on shifting to digital. After this is done, you’ll want to study the ways to best incorporate new technology into your products, customer services and workflow.

Once you have a firm grasp of the ways in which you want to update, it’s time to ensure full awareness at all times. This is best accomplished through meetings, newsletters and other ways to spread the word. The more people informed within your company, the better.

Identify the different ways a digital transformation could benefit your company. You’ll be surprised at how many areas need a technological upgrade. Finally, you’ll see how powerful this upgrade can be.