Not too long ago, we covered the differences between digitization, digitalization and digital transformation.
In this piece, we’ll be doing a deeper dive on the last of the three — recapping what digital transformation really is, examples to inspire you, and why now is the time to invest in innovation.
What We'll Cover:
- What is digital transformation?
- Inspirational examples of digital transformation.
- Why now is the time to invest in a digital transformation initiative for you and your business.
What is a Digital Transformation? (Really.)
Digital transformation is a broad term, and, as we covered in our previous post debating the differences between it vs. digitization and digitalization, it can and should encompass both — and much more.
“Digital transformation can refer to anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models. Digital business transformation [refers to the specific] process of exploiting digital technologies and supporting capabilities to create a robust new digital business model.” (Gartner)
Gartner does a good job dissecting the duality of both digital transformation and digital business transformation, both of which refer to large-scale initiatives to innovate within an organization, but with outcomes that may differ.
So, what’s the answer? For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to treat the term digital transformation as the umbrella term for both: you transform your business through technology, and that transformation has a desired outcome, whether that’s a bottom-line business result like increased revenue, or a more internal-focused initiative like process optimization or efficiency.
At the end of the day, both create sustainable impact.
“Digital transformation is not just about disruption or technology. It’s about value, people, optimization and the capability to rapidly adapt when such is needed through an intelligent use of technologies and information." (i-SCOOP)
Digital Transformation Examples to Inspire Your Technology Strategy
Investing in digital transformation can be daunting, but it’s also a key to tenable growth. In addition to those we’ve previously highlighted, here are a few more prime examples of organizations who undertook digital transformations — with varying goals and objectives — and saw resounding success:
One digital transformation effort close to home includes that of CSG, who Aviture partnered with on the development of their cloud-based Ascendon software, which provides innovative customer engagement solutions that help businesses acquire, monetize, engage, and retain customers. Through digitization of data and system integrations, the solution helps reduce expenses and streamline operations for companies across all industries. In fact, the platform was awarded Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant” in 2019.
"Aviture provided us with quality engineering talent who were able to implement scalable and flexible web applications for our cloud-based Ascendon platform." — Geoff Preston, Vice President of Application Development, CSG International
After kicking off a digital transformation in 2017, Home Depot invested in the buildout of a robust IT team and internal infrastructure, which allowed them to utilize their customer’s data to great effect. With that data, they were able to optimize both their in-store and online customer experiences, as well as improve their logistics strategy by monitoring individual store trends and adjusting their inventory much more efficiently, saving time and money. As a result, the company saw their revenue surge to $17 billion and their stock value rise from $135 to $215 in just two years.
Despite being a household name with a suite of successful (to put it mildly) products and services, back in 2014, Microsoft faced stagnation and pressure from external competitors like Apple, Amazon and other up-and-coming tech giants. So, they shifted their strategy away from trying to capture a piece of the mobile market and began to invest in the Cloud… and the rest is history. After years invigorating their cloud services, Microsoft now boasts a market cap of $1 trillion and saw shares shoot up from $38 to $136 — with no signs of slowing down.
Well before COVID-19, Nike embarked on a digital transformation focused on improving their customer experience, starting with an audit of their supply chain, brand and overall internal culture. After identifying all of the opportunities available through keen analysis, they began leveraging their consumer data to drive their strategic initiatives, including introducing membership opportunities for their customers and rolling out improvements in-store, online, via mobile and within their retail stores.
The outcome of their efforts doesn’t disappoint — they were able to create a streamlined and more personalized product development cycle, delighting customers and driving up their stock price from $52 to $88 in less than two years. Just do it, indeed!
Why Now is the Time to Embark on a Digital Transformation
Business innovation is bigger than a trend right now; in fact, it’s a necessity for many companies facing sweeping change in the wake of COVID-19. The pandemic has thrown the customer experience into sharp relief, exposing the need for optimization at multiple points in the customer journey — especially from a digital standpoint.
In fact, in a recent study, McKinsey found that COVID-19 has overwhelmingly “speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years—and that many of these changes could be here for the long haul.”
From remote work all the way to IT infrastructure, it’s no surprise that companies still recovering from the shockwave of the pandemic are turning toward digital transformation as a means to survive and, in the not too far-off future, thrive.
“Worldwide spending on the technologies and services that enable the digital transformation (DX) of business practices, products, and organizations is forecast to reach $2.3 trillion in 2023.” (International Data Corporation)
Future-Proof Your Business with a Technology Strategy
Whether your organization is in need of digitalization or a full digital transformation, we can help.
If you’re ready to take the next step with your technology and discover what’s possible, let’s start talking strategy. We’ll get to know your organization, your goals, and your existing tech infrastructure before mapping the journey to your moonshot so you can reach your greatest potential.