‘Tis the Season to Evolve | Digital Business Transformation Explained

December 17, 2019

‘Tis the Season to Evolve | Digital Business Transformation Explained

As we reach the end of 2019, employers and employees alike are probably already in vacation mode. Being productive can be challenging during the holiday season, but while some are focusing on their leave days coming up, we’re focusing on the fact that 2020 is only a few weeks away. With the speed at which technology is evolving, companies need to have a stellar plan of action to incorporate these emerging digital solutions into their business plan. According to The IDC, 55% of companies will be digitally determined by 2020, reinforcing the fact that the next decade will be a case of “evolve or dissolve” for organisations suffering from digital inertia.

What is Digital Business Transformation?

Digital business transformation (DBT) refers to the process of incorporating digital tools and solutions into your company’s everyday business processes in order to achieve specific goals more strategically. The digital sphere is merging with our everyday lives and in some facets of society, the two seems identical. As consumers become more digitally-dependent, naturally organisations will need to adopt digital processes in order to stay competitive and relevant.

I Want It, and I Want It NOW

The digital realm has completely changed how consumers go about completing everyday tasks; from ordering food to obtaining advice. Everyday, numerous companies around the globe are moving towards a digital-first strategy, but the majority of businesses are still stuck on the planning phases of (or worse yet, have not even considered) adopting digital processes. As the digital sphere expands, what had previously been considered a Unique Selling Point is now an expected quality from a consumer’s point of view, as they have become accustomed to a 24/7 digital world where everything is available on demand.

Is Digital Business Transformation a Quick Fix?

Unfortunately, DBT isn’t a once off quick fix, nor is it a quick process. DBT is an ongoing process that needs to be updated regularly as technology changes in order to reap all the benefits DBT has to offer. Although DBT can be achieved without the use of external companies, effective implementation of new technologies and implementing the right mix of new technologies are vital to the success of DBT initiatives - and for this process to occur optimally, the right expertise has to be available to understand business challenges through the lens of DBT.

Digital Transformation Steps

Digital transformation may seem like a scary and foreign concept, but it doesn’t need to happen overnight. Digital transformation can be implemented gradually over time to allow the steady improvement of business processes. Although this is not a complete and detailed list, below are a few steps you could follow to assist with DBT:

  • Change your mindset: The executive management team and board will have to change their mindset from incremental (focused on making something better) to exponential (focused on making something different).
  • Adapt infrastructure: Recruit new employees with skills such as machine learning and provide your current employees with the tools needed to simplify the digital transformation process. Don’t commit to a decade-long contract in any software - as technology changes fast and you don't want to be left behind!
  • Prioritise digital projects: Create a digital roadmap that is aligned with your new business model and make sure that all projects are aimed at digitally transforming your business, or at least adopt technologies that can be scaled to benefit the broader business.
  • Resource reallocation: Take the time to inventory all assets which align (or could potentially align) with your future digital strategy and reallocate resources used on uncertain projects to projects that will speed up the digital transformation process.
  • Design to reach the digital savvy: Adapt and tweak your digital business model to reach and meet the needs of the tech savvy customer segment. This will often not align with the luddites in the boardroom, but they aren’t your customers - and your customers need you!
  • Increase digital assets: Make a list of valuable digital assets and navigate between building, partnering or acquiring these assets.
  • Start small: Start making small changes and as these changes build momentum, start implementing bigger changes. Iterative digital strategies build on successes, reduce the impact of failures, and allow the modern enterprise to be massively agile when adapting to a changing business environment.

Advantages of Digital Transformation

Increased Competitiveness

Implementing a digital first strategy will make your business more competitive. According to IDG’s 2018 Digital Business research, more than 44% of companies have already implemented a digital first strategy. Digital transformation also allows your company to operate more efficiently, and increases productivity and flexibility, which will ultimately contribute towards increasing ROI and competitiveness.

Increased Employee Productivity

Digital transformation also has internal advantages that will ripple through to your target audience. Successful DBT strategy adoption should improve employee performance which will allow for overall enterprise improvement. By automating simple business processes, employees are able to improve productivity and fulfill their potential. Simple communication platforms like, for example, Slack or Hive, has been shown to increase average employee productivity by 25%, purely by facilitating access to information and upgrading internal communication channels. 

Increased Reach

According to We Are Social’s 2019 Digital Report, there are currently more than 4.39 billion internet users across the globe, all of which spend an average of 6.5 hours online everyday. In order to reach your clients, your company needs to be accessible and readily available in the digital sphere. DBT allows companies to reach their clients and fulfill their needs quicker and more productively through the use of technology. 

Swipe iX has assisted numerous clients with identifying which technological solutions would benefit their companies as well as developing these solutions. If you’re ready to embark on the DBT journey, get in touch - after all, obsolescence should not be an option.

Hendri Lategan

CEO

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