Digital business transformation is the process of adapting a business model and infrastructure to our increasingly digital world. High-speed internet, smartphones, and other advanced information technologies have changed the way we interact with the world around us. Businesses that want to succeed need to stay on top of these developments.
It’s not just a matter of staying afloat. There are many digital transformation benefits: faster communication, more efficiency, greater flexibility, and a much better user experience, to name a few. Digital services can be more intuitive, intelligent, and adaptive to the needs of both employees and customers.
So how does a business plan its digital transformation strategy? The first step is to recognize the importance of the role of IT in the digital transformation framework.
What Is the Role of IT in Digital Business Transformation?
With business management becoming more complex and reliant on technology, IT professionals need to take a more central role in business planning and development. This is especially true when it comes to the implementation of a digital transformation model. A few reasons why:
- The proliferation of mobile devices and apps, and their increased presence in the workplace
- The use of cloud computing for storing data and collaboration
- The increasing role of Internet of Things devices
Any digital transformation framework must address these issues. You need a talented IT team to take on any digital transformation challenges and help the company transition into a digital-friendly enterprise.
Digital Transformation Best Practices
Successful digital business transformation requires more than just a few small changes to your operations. It requires a change in mindset. Here are some digital transformation best practices to keep in mind:
Focus on User Experience
Today’s users expect a fast, easy, and personalized experience - and they have access to many more choices than they have in the past. To stay relevant, a company needs to offer its users a sleek, friendly interface that allows them to accomplish their goals with minimum time and effort invested. Any digital transformation strategy should focus on offering its users an optimum experience.
Practically speaking, this means you need to research what your target audience needs and figure out how to meet those needs in a way that is convenient, smooth, and efficient at every step. Think about how your audience is accessing your product or service. What could make it easier for them? What challenges do they face when using your app, and what features could you add to help them overcome those challenges? How can you augment their experience? What might give you a leg up over competitors offering a similar product? These are some of the most important questions to address when planning your digital transformation strategy.
Artificial intelligence is key to crafting an automated, personalized experience for your users and gathering the data you need to improve your product. Using pattern recognition and data correlation, you can make predictions about the success of your marketing campaigns. As a result, you’ll make better decisions about development and investment.
Many online retailers have internalized this. They use AI to analyze a user’s purchase patterns and suggest products to the user that they are most likely to want to buy. These suggestions not only save the user time - they also significantly increase overall sales.
These benefits, among others, make AI an essential component of a digital transformation model.
Embrace Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has completely revolutionized information technology. Thanks to high-speed internet and the exponentially growing space on internet servers, companies no longer need to rely on transporting physical folders, CDs or USB drives to transfer large files. Cloud computing makes it possible to access vital information and materials from anywhere in the world at any time. This makes remote collaboration much easier and affords employees greater flexibility and freedom.
Moving your data to the cloud as part of your digital business transformation will streamline business processes and improve the company’s productivity.
If you truly want your digital transformation strategy to be successful, it’s not enough to develop your own mobile app, website, or e-commerce platform. Customers now expect a seamless experience that integrates with the platforms they are already familiar with. Establishing API platforms that developers can build into their services makes your product much more accessible to your users.
Let’s say, for example, that your company sells a type of software that helps medical staff manage their appointments. An API platform might make it possible for users to integrate the appointment system with Google Calendar, making it easier for patients to record and remember their appointments.
Have IT and Business Teams Join Forces
Because of the prominent role of IT in digital business transformation as described above, your IT personnel must be involved in the decision-making processes. Business development teams need input from IT teams to determine what the company needs, and IT needs input from business development to zero in on the solutions that will best meet the company’s requirements.
This is part of the IT modernization process required for a successful digital transformation framework.
Stay Open to New Business Models
This is the common thread that connects all the above digital transformation best practices: a successful digital business transformation requires shifting paradigms and challenging the status quo. The digital world is changing rapidly and these exciting changes can bring new opportunities for companies that are willing to think outside the box.
Don’t Forget Security
While digital business transformation has numerous benefits, it also presents some new challenges and risks. One of those challenges is a greater need for data security. Businesses used to protect their products and data with locks and keys. Today they need software licensing solutions that prevent security breaches and ensure that their sensitive data is safe.
Keeping these digital transformation best practices in mind as you make the transition will help your business grow and prosper in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of digital technology.
We've developed a free Business Value Calculator which, using your actual data, can show you what sort of gains you can see from your digital business transformation. If you're ready to see the impact this can have on your bottom line, try our Business Value Calculator now.