Why Embracing Digital Transformation is Saving Your Business

Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash

If there is anything philosophers could agree on when it comes to the question of life is the reality of change. Change in our own personal lives, but even more of a reality in business.

Disruption caused by rapid changes in the market, competition, technology and customer expectations are forcing companies to rethink their business models, internal capabilities, and customer experience. This is especially true for larger and older organizations.

In the current technological era, specifically within the app economy, consumers have more control in that they are interacting with organizations in creative, new and various ways. Consumer user interface and experience is paramount and ultimately influencing purchasing decisions.

As a result, businesses are realizing the significance to how new digital technologies can transform their existing legacy businesses, driving business growth to truly innovate for consumers and keeping ahead of the competition. Transforming business models from their legacy core business to more of a digital business is what is known as digital transformation.

This transformation is not only focused on present needs, but also directed towards a prioritization for future needs.

For larger companies, transforming their existing business models to become more digitized is a massive, yet underestimated endeavor, but boils down to three key factors:

  1. Innovative ideas
  2. Operational change
  3. Cultural shift

It is easy to understand and be aware of technological changes within the wider market, but implementing and embracing those changes? Not so easy, especially in the process of innovating new ideas that could be stifled by large organizational hierarchies.

When the time does come to embrace these changes, it is often too late.

The data is startling, in fact only 1 in 8 companies have managed to steer their organizations successfully through their digital transformation journey, according to a 2016 report by Forbes.

The retail, department store industry and Blockbuster video were the most notable examples of failing to transform to digitized business models that meet the convenience for their consumer base.

Think of what Uber has done in the transportation industry as well as what Air BnB is doing in the travel sector. Both firms capitalizing on digital and technological changes, disrupting older outdated industries.

5 Key Change Blocks to a Successful Digital Transformation

How can you ensure your business is managing and embracing the digital transformation journey?

5 key blocks:

1. Culture & Business Strategy

Culture in an organization is vital and fragile. If the overall organizational culture is resistant to change, whether it be failing to adapt to technological advances or towards change in consumer behavior — that existing business could be ripe for disruption by newer, more agile companies.

2. Staff & Consumer Engagement

Understanding staff and your customers is key. It is often said, but less often truly understood. Utilizing digital and newer technologies especially with the help of social media to encourage that engagement could be key and offer organizations more authentic feedback towards their business strategy.

3. Innovation

Innovation is a trendy word these days. A lot of organizations claim to embrace it, but only few truly are able to successfully innovate. Your business processes have to be agile and quick to incorporate a market need, to be right for true innovation. Moreover, genuinely embracing innovation as a core business practice is vital.

Disrupt your business before others do.

4. Technological Implementation

What good is digital transformation without the proper technology to truly implement it? This may cost an organization up front for the short-term, but keeping up with technological trends and incorporating that technology to meet consumer demands could pay off in the long-run.

It should always be thought of as an investment.

5. Data & Analytics

Successfully navigating the digital transformation journey should always be measured by not only consumer feedback, but especially data and analytics. Data that measures engagement, capability, and consumer behavior towards a business line or a product are very valuable. It could help generate newer revenue streams, business units and stand alone businesses.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 298,432+ people.

Subscribe to receive our top stories here.