Digital transformation: Keep up or miss out!

Digital transformation: Keep up or miss out!

Jul 29 2016 | by STEPH BELLIS

It is THE buzzword of 2016 - Digital Transformation. So I think it’s time we addressed it and answer a few important questions:

1) What is digital transformation?
2) Why is everyone talking about it?
3) Do you need to consider it for your business?

Let’s start at the beginning then.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is a business process whereby every activity, product, service and procedure is optimised to fully leverage the opportunities available with digital technology. It is, in essence, a journey that every business should go on in order to provide a complete digital offering internally and to its customers.

A digital transformation programme should touch every area of a business from R&D to marketing, operations, human resources and more. Every functional area should each be reviewed to identify improvements that can be made using digital technology. Not only that, to be truly transformed, a business should consider future technology and how what you implement today can be further enhanced as those technologies become more widely accepted in society.

So why is everyone talking about digital transformation?

Well, this one is quite easy to answer too. Think about everything you have done so far today and how that has been influenced by digital technology. Let’s be honest, you probably got up a immediately checked your emails or social profiles on your smartphone. Then perhaps you turned on the TV or digital radio while you got ready for work. Next, you drove to work listening to music streamed from your smartphone. Then you got to work and (depending on your profession) probably logged onto a digital device of some form. You go out with a colleague for lunch and pay using contactless, or perhaps Apple pay? After lunch, it’s raining and you’re 10 mins walk from the office, don’t worry though because you can grab an Uber. Don’t forget you need to be home by 6pm to receive the food shop you ordered online. It was quite cold today so maybe you should set your heating to come on before you get home - you’ve got an app for that now right? And you can’t believe you missed the football last night, you'll have to get it on iPlayer later! But only do it after you’ve booked your holiday - you know that amazing place is still available on AirBnb and you don’t want to miss out.

Basically, digital is TAKING OVER THE WORLD! It won’t be long before we can effectively manage our entire lives from the touch of a Smart Device. Wearables, Smart Home, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, On demand, Robots, Chatbots, Eye tracking, Drones,  - these things are all happening right now guys - Are you keeping up?

And finally, the big one:

Should you consider a digital transformation programme for your business?

Well, in short, Yes! (Wow, that was easy to answer too)

Yes, we are in the digital age but there is no need to panic! A digital transformation programme is designed to aid you in the process. By reviewing each business area and identifying digital opportunities, you might come across some surprises! There may even be areas where you are already digitally advanced, and if not there could be a number of quick wins that help you at least get started on the journey. 

An easy place to start is your product/service. Ask yourself how this could be improved using digital technology. What are your competitors doing? What are other brands doing well that you could adapt to suit your industry? 

Don’t stop there though. What are the pain points in your business operations and how could these be improved using digital? Perhaps you know that replacement parts ordering is slow, do you need an app for that? What about your customer support team - are they easy to contact? Should they be using social media and live chat to communicate with your customers? Do your engineers find it difficult to diagnose a fault? Would an augmented reality help guide be beneficial?

You will know you are fully transformed when digital becomes engrained in your company culture, and in every part of your work. This may involve establishing ‘digital champions’ within each business area, who are responsible for ensuring that digital technology is considered from the very beginning of a project. But it shouldn’t stop there, digital innovation is also a growing topic, where businesses are using advancements in digital to challenge the norm and make a change to the user experiences that we are used to in order to make them even better. Exciting stuff! 

At AlphaQuad we are a digital marketing agency, but that’s not really a true description of our business. We help our clients in all manner of digital projects that are nothing to do with marketing. We’ve been involved in e-learning systems, staff holiday booking systems, internal intranet systems, international reporting and measurement systems to name a few! 

We help our clients use digital to improve their business, be it internally or for their customers. We help clients use digital to make lives easier. We help clients with digital transformation. 

Steph Bellis

Digital transformation: Keep up or miss out!