According to Dell’s 2020 Digital Transformation Index report , 80% of companies surveyed said they fast-tracked their digital transformation programs in 2020. Two years after that, many more companies are getting on the digital transformation train. It is now apparent that implementing digital transformation is more of a need than a choice.
This year, organizations all over the world have invested roughly $1.8 trillion in Digital Transformation . This figure is expected to rise to as much as $2.8 trillion by 2025. This just goes to show how much emphasis businesses across different industries are giving to enabling digital transformation.
To stay relevant in today's digital world, enterprises must find a way to keep up technologically. Digital transformation should be a top priority for every enterprise that wants to remain in business. Incorporating digital transformation contributes immensely to the survival of your business in the face of new emerging market trends and demands.
This article explains some of the major reasons why Digital Transformation is important for an enterprise.
1. To survive around digitally native companies
The world has grown increasingly digital over the past few decades. By being digitally native, companies have an edge over those that stick to manual processes or still rely on outdated software and hardware.
A good example of how digitally-native companies are better equipped to compete in today’s market is Uber’s disruption of the transportation sector. The company’s innovative product forced taxi companies, car rentals, and other players in the traditional sector to roll out digital initiatives to avoid being outcompeted.
The current digital wave is leaving a lasting impact on industries that would have been otherwise immune from it. The coming wave will be even bigger with newer technologies promising even bigger transformation. Companies that manage to stay on top of the latest technologies will be better positioned to survive going into the future.
Today, many traditional businesses are adopting Uber’s disruptive model to stay ahead of the curve in their respective industries. For instance, to keep up with a new wave of virtual diners and online food vendors, conventional restaurant chains are starting to experiment with new technology such as virtual assistants that can help facilitate customer orders. It’s the only way they can manage to stay competitive in a world that’s being quickly run over by new tech-savvy brands.
2. Meet customer expectations
One of the ultimate goals of digital transformation is to deliver a seamless experience to your customers. Successful companies understand that they’re in business not just because they sell great products or services but because they deliver a more seamless experience to their customers.
We live in a digital world where everything is on demand. Digital transformation empowers your team to work more effectively and efficiently by leveraging new technologies. Technology changes the way they work and this ultimately results in better services for customers and an improved experience from top to bottom. By streamlining your operations and automating tasks, you transform how you deliver services to customers.
Businesses that are winning in their digital transformation journey understand that the journey begins and ends with the customers. One real-life example of a company that’s getting it right in this area is Porsche. The company’s digital strategy is fully hinged on delivering a unique customer experience. Understanding the everyday Porsche driver is central to the company’s digital transformation strategy.
To achieve this, the company collects customer data in a central data center and records every interaction with customers. Analyzing this data makes it easier for them to understand why exactly anyone is interested in purchasing a Porsche. This way, they’re able to deliver a tailored experience that optimizes conversion.
3. Need to adopt technology
Technology can change the course of an entire industry, transforming how things are done from top to bottom. When adopted right, technology will eliminate inefficiency, reduce operational costs and increase revenue streams.
The need to adopt new technology is a major factor that motivates digital transformation. The concept in itself involves using digital technology to modify or create new business processes, cultures, and customer experiences. To adopt digital transformation is to reimagine how your business operates.
The logistics industry is a classic example of how an industry can undergo so much change by simply embracing the evolution of digital technologies. UPS, one of the key players in the industry, decided to kickstart a digital transformation program that would impact its logistics and operations in 2012. The program sped up the delivery process and made it possible to track packages in real time.
UPS built a fleet management tool and introduced multiple systems to automate key internal operations. Thanks to the drive to achieve digital transformation, the company was able to adopt new technologies that yielded benefits on multiple fronts in line with the initial goals set out at the onset of its digital transformation journey.
4. Employees need it to be efficient
We are now in the middle of a digital workplace revolution all thanks to the rising trends of digital transformation. Digital transformation is helping organizations reimagine how they work individually and with multiple teams. Getting their employees to deliver optimally is probably a top priority for any enterprise today.
Adopting digital transformation will play a vital role in making this happen. Even at the lowest level, digital transformation encourages a transition from manual, paper-based processes to automated ones. This makes it possible to introduce automation into key areas of business such as finance, payroll management, human resources, and so on.
Digital tools allow your staff to work smarter. They also facilitate cross-border collaboration, allowing teams from different locations all over the world to work together in real time and collaborate seamlessly on projects.
5. Five times (5X) revenue growth achievement
Revenue growth is one of the inevitable consequences of investing in digital transformation. You don’t even have to start with the motive of growing profits. 56% of CEOs  say digital improvements have increased their revenue.
The improvement in collaboration and efficiency that comes from streamlining work and automating processes allows workers to do more. Less time is spent on mundane and unproductive activities. Focusing on the tasks that really matter inevitably helps to boost an enterprise’s productivity.
Then there’s the fact that new technology gives adopters an edge over the competition. The improved service delivery and better customer experience that follows allow you to grab a bigger chunk of the overall market share.
A good example that illustrates this is Home Depot’s digital transformation journey in the past few years. The popular hardware store started taking digital transformation more seriously in 2017. Home Depot announced that it would be investing $11 billion to boost shopping experiences for customers.
A major part of that investment went into hiring IT and user experience professionals to transform its processes. The goal was to move its services towards selling predominantly online while customers could pick up their orders in-store.
Home Depot also invested in transforming its distribution channels and leveraged data to better understand customers. So far, the efforts have been yielding positive results. Not only did Home Depot’s stock jump from $135 in early 2017 to $215 two years after, but the company’s revenue also grew by more than $16 billion within the same period.
6. Operating expenses
According to one report by McKinsey , if you digitize information-intensive processes, the cost can be cut up to 90%, thereby reducing overall operational costs.
Your enterprise can benefit immensely from using digital tools to analyze and streamline work as this is the most efficient way to save resources. This allows you to focus on your main business goals, driving growth for your organization at a fraction of the cost.
Think about how many companies are now pushing to host many of their operations in the Cloud instead of the traditional means of storing data on paper. At the very least, companies that do this will save a lot of money that would have been spent on office supplies. That’s not to mention the fact that adopting cloud storage solutions can reduce stress and greatly enhance the productivity of employees.
The traditional workforce is too costly to be tied up with doing mundane and repetitive tasks. Digital transformation can allow you to create automated systems that take over these mundane tasks traditionally carried out by employees.
Contrary to common myths, this is not the equivalence of machines taking over people’s jobs. The purpose of automation is to free up professionals to focus on more challenging tasks. This way, you’re not only spending less, but your operating expenses are working even better for you.
7. Operational efficiency
Digital transformation is all about improving operational efficiency and connectedness. Businesses taking digital transformation strategy seriously often see positive gains in terms of the overall efficiency of their operations. That’s because digital transformation reimagines how you work.
Communication and collaboration are key ingredients to efficiency in the workplace and they’re among the major elements of digital transformation. Adopting the right digital tools to promote these two qualities across internal departments within your organization can help you achieve major milestones.
Ditching the legacy systems for the appropriate digital platforms helps eliminate redundancy and enhance how you work. The healthcare industry is a classic example of how digital transformation impacts operational efficiency.
The adoption of technological advancements such as electronic health records, online appointments, telemedicine, and so on is changing how patients receive care in medical facilities. This also makes life easier for health service providers. This is just one of several industries where operational efficiency is being driven by the adoption of modern technology.
In today’s business world, digital transformation platform has now become an inevitability. You either do it or get left behind. In the past, adopting technology used to be conceived as a way to gain an edge over competitors. While this is still valid, digital transformation is more about reinventing your processes for the benefit of your customers.
Customers are now more forward-thinking and have higher expectations. Only organizations that can run their operation effectively will be able to keep up with the unique demands of running a business that meets the needs of this new generation of customers.
Keeping all of these reasons in mind, it shouldn't be difficult to convince you to give digital transformation a shot.