Speaking about digital transformation refers to the cultural, organizational, and operational change of an organization, industry, or sector. In search of creating systems for the intelligent integration of technologies, processes, and digital skills at all levels and functions.
This integration must be done strategically and in stages. Transcending traditional sales, marketing, and customer service roles. It starts with an empathic mindset to connect with stakeholders. It is the opening to a reinvention of how to do business, with the help of technology as a facilitator to achieve it.
Digital transformation is not only based on disruptive technology and applications. It focuses on value, people, optimization, and the ability to adapt quickly with the ideal tools to make it easy. It is a process that takes time, to be deeply embedded in the activities, processes, competencies, and business models to flow towards change and take advantage of new opportunities over time.
A vision towards digital transformation: Facts and examples
We are facing the push of companies of all sizes, which are committed to including technology in a sustainable way for them. Success stories are gradually appearing worldwide and, in all sectors, advancing towards this new era and taking advantage of new technological developments. Let’s see some global facts and examples:
- During 2019, companies that prioritize digital were 64% more likely than their peers to have exceeded their top 2018 business goal. (Fuente: Adobe y Econsultancy)
- 45% of companies that reported a positive business impact from digital transformation also reported higher net revenue growth. (Fuente: Deloitte)
- 76% of executives agree that organizations need to dramatically redesign the experiences that bring technology and people together in a more people-centric way. (Fuente: Accenture)
- 52% of companies plan to cut or defer investments due to COVID-19, only 9% will make those cuts in digital transformation. (Fuente: PwC)
Companies commitment to digital transformation
- Most companies use technology to modernize their existing business model rather than transform it. (Forrester)
- The digital transformation market is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 22.7% from 2019 to $ 3.294 billion by 2025. (Research and Markets)
- 70% of organizations have a digital transformation strategy or are working on one.
- It is considered that industrial companies are the ones that have benefited most from digital transformations. (Fuente: PTC)
- 60% of executives say the Internet of Things will play a critical role in their digital business strategy. (Fuente: PTC)
- 55% of startups and 38% of traditional companies have already adopted a digital business strategy.
- 89% of companies plan to adopt or have already adopted a digital business strategy.
- The top adopters of digital business strategies include Services (95%), Financial Services (93%), and Healthcare (92%).
- 39% of executives expect to benefit from their digital transformation initiatives in 3 to 5 years. https://sloanreview.mit.edu/projects/coming-of-age-digitally/
- 51% of digital transformation efforts come from growth opportunities. https://insights.prophet.com/the-state-of-digital-transformation-2018-2019
Technologies and benefits of digital transformation
- Top five technologies already in place include: big data / data analytics (59%), mobile technology (59%), and APIs and embeddable technologies (40%) https://resources.idg.com/download/white-paper/2018-digital-business
- Executives say the top benefits of digital transformation include improved operational efficiency (40%), faster time to market (36%), and meeting customer expectations (35%). (Source: PTC) https://www.ptc.com/en/technologies/plm/digital-transformation-report)
The value of small victories: Initiatives towards digital transformation
Under Armor: Smart Sportswear
During their quest to become much more than a sportswear company by leveraging technology they were inclined to follow the trend towards “connected fitness.” Creating a platform to track, analyze and share personal health data directly on clients’ phones. This new application provides an information flow to the company that allows to immediately identify health and fitness trends.
Under Armor, a US-based company, could immediately recognize the love for walking trend that started in Australia. This allowed them to deploy localized marketing and distribution efforts long before their competitors knew what was happening.
Walgreens. Adopt a mobile, people-centric mindset
The Walgreens pharmacy chain operates as the second largest pharmacy network in the United States, but they have still managed to stay on the cutting edge of digital innovation. They have embraced a mobile mindset that also drives store traffic and helps build customer loyalty.
Differentiated and personalized, that is the customer experience Walgreens aims to deliver. This approach works especially well for beauty and skincare products that are inherently personalized.
Among other things, in the app, users can refill prescriptions by scanning a barcode. Users can also use the app to host a video chat with an online doctor or set pill reminders to administer medications on their Apple watches.
Walgreens’ digital transformation was also driven by a new intranet and collaboration strategy that fostered recognition and increased communication and employee engagement.
Howden. After-sales service transformation.
Howden, industrial compressors manufacturer, uses a data-centric digital solution at the center of its growth initiatives. This solution is based on the PTC company solution “Vuforia” and the use of Microsoft’s augmented reality lenses “Hololens”.
The goal was to create a long-term relationship with their customers. For achieving this purpose, they focused on differentiate their product offering through their after-sales services.
They concentrate on two critical touchpoints to develop this transformation initiative. The first focused on collecting information about their equipment throughout its life cycle and the second, delivering that information to the customer in a visual and understandable way.
Along these two lines, Howden was able to implement an augmented reality solution that provided customers with the necessary IoT insights that could be used to improve the team’s performance and operational efficiency.
With this innovation, customers avoid the challenges and costs associated with unplanned downtime, due to malfunction or breakdown, and better align overall maintenance strategies.
Plant operators, who are not compressor experts, now have 160 years of compressor knowledge at their fingertips through this experience. From Howden’s service perspective, the customer can now easily handle a situation that previously took a minimum of one to two hours to resolve and perhaps required travel time and expense to dispatch an expert technician.
End-to-end customer experience optimization, flexibility of operating systems, and innovation are often key drivers for digital transformation. Also, important, the intelligent use of information, for the development of new sources of income and the creation of valuable ecosystems. To get here, the first step is solving internal challenges, such as legacy systems and the disconnect between internal company processes, so-called information short circuit.
Business processes must be continuous, jump over departmental barriers that are often information silos. Information does not flow, so it must be entered many times. The first step in any digital transformation process is to generate this unique, reliable data that flows through all business processes, without disconnections.
In this way, it is possible to create flows that transcend and connect all systems within companies and the possibility of organically being able to adapt to changes over time.
The challenge is here, the companies that do not get onboard on the digital transformation train will cease to be competitive, and in a short time, they will cease to exist.