Over the last two years, we have seen a large global corporate shift towards digital transformation; every industry has been affected. Well-established companies and new innovators are all making substantial leaps and bounds in information technology (IT), simply to remain relevant. Digital transformation is changing the way businesses embrace IT. If businesses do not adapt and digitally renovate their infrastructure, they will face disruption.

So how does your business manage digital transformation? We understand how your business can use IT to develop and enhance your business strategy to keep ahead of your competition. This article provides insights into the emerging trends of digital transformation and provides tips and techniques for how to be a part of digital disruption.

What is the role of IT in digital transformation?

Traditionally, digital transformation is viewed as the process of transforming material to digital devices. However, in 2017, the modern perception of digital transformation has transcended far beyond this.

So what does digital transformation look like now? There are four main elements of digital transformation in business strategy and they all rely heavily on IT. No longer are digital devices, softwares and networks seen as the troubleshooters in a business, they have become “change agents”.

1. Enhancing the online experience

The first element of digital transformation is focusing on how you can enhance the online experience for your customers. In what ways can you invest in technology and align your business strategy to successfully engage customers at every step of the business process? Business strategy must now what digital leadership does SMACIT technologies into its critical thinking:

  • Social
  • Mobile
  • Analytics
  • Cloud
  • Internet of Things (IoT)

The essential characteristic of these technologies is their ability to access potential customers and open up the market. They are the gateway to creating opportunities for innovation and causing disruption in your industry. Digital transformation and the effective use of IT has become a very real source of competitive advantage for businesses.

A good place to start is looking at how technology leaders use IT to improve customer experience. Starbucks is a great example of enhancing the online experience for customers. They were early industry adapters by offering free Wi-FI across all their stores. This allowed them to collect critical data about their customers. From this position they could target social and mobile campaigns that allowed them to implement an app for easy payments and ordering online ahead of time. Furthermore, their analytics allowed them to split their target market geographically, using successful geo-fencing techniques.

2. Product or service digitalisation

The second element of digital transformation is product or service digitalisation. Instead of focusing on the customer experience, it looks at how IT can transform your business product or service. Airbnb and Uber are fantastic examples of service digitalisation. They completely disrupted their relative industries by changing the way their service is offered. Their service digitalisation provided a better source of convenience, better accessibility, and better delivery for their target market.

3. Process optimisation

The third element of digital transformation is process optimisation. This involves the implementation of internal checks and balances that monitor change. Digital transformation is constantly associated with buzzwords such as disruption, agility, unpredictability and a certain aspect of chaos. However, projects are successfully delivered and problems are solved when there is quality assurance and controls from the outset.

They provide a solid foundation of efficiency and simplification and open communication channels across decision makers and the IT department. From this stable platform, IT teams can develop and innovate, to a plan, and create a recipe for ongoing success.

4. Workforce engagement and empowerment

The final element of digital transformation is harder to identify but arguably the most important. The fourth element is workforce engagement and empowerment. Digital transformation begins with staff. They are responsible for enacting and monitoring change. The traditional work methods and structures are out the window. In some instances, digital transformation requires more involvement from employees in the IT sector.

Change agents now commonly need to be accessible 24/7. Because of this they need to be treated as the most important commodity in an organisation. A lot of professionals now value work flexibility as highly as compensation. The need for work-life balance has become increasingly important for the new generation of the labour force.

How does your business produce and implement digital transformation?

Digital transformation has now become an integral part of business strategy. Business leaders are now a huge part of decision-making when it comes to investing in technology. The implementation of digital transformation also requires a level of boldness from business leaders. There needs to be a flexibility from decision makers that allows businesses to respond to change.

The more a business strategy empowers IT managers to deliver projects through to customers, the bigger the wins. Subsequent transformations will become easier as the business becomes more adaptable, agile and responsive to the needs of the customer, and future projects will save time and money.

However, it is the role of IT managers to implement the digital transformation. They are the catalyst and change-agent for driving digital transformation programmes. Because of this fact, IT managers should also be heavily involved in the development of digital transformation strategy. The IT division has the ability, with a high level of skill and precision, to implement flexible projects that deliver to end-users.

What are the characteristics of a successful digital transformation strategy?

Digital transformation is no longer optional for flexible organisations. It has become a mandatory requirement for businesses to be able to change its approach to technology and its philosophy with speed and impact.

So what does successful digital transformation look like? A successful digital transformation strategy will give businesses the following characteristics:

  • Adaptability – A successful digital transformation strategy will allow businesses to familiarise easily to change. Initially, this can be a hard process, but the more change that occurs, the more fluid a business can become.
  • Agility – Speed has become a crucial characteristic of any successful digital transformation strategy. In many situations businesses simply must revolutionise with the change or become obsolete.
  • Long-term growth prospects – A successful digital transformation strategy will look ahead to see the business thriving into the future. Looking 18 to 24 months ahead into what the face of the business will look like is an important tool to guide digital strategy.
  • Change is the only constant – Finally, businesses must have a strategy that expects the unexpected. Business leaders and team members must become used to operating in a certain level of chaos. Keeping calm and consistent with planning and structures will allow businesses to ride the waves of digital change effectively.

Are you looking to change the way your business approaches IT? To create a successful digital transformation strategy, speak to the team at TestPoint today and learn how our software solutions and testing can help you.


Author: TestPoint