Digital transformation is the next revolution in business, and businesses that embrace it will be in a position to thrive. The business case for digital transformation is compelling, particularly against a backdrop of disruption, though many businesses are still in the early stages of their journey towards digital transformation, with those businesses that have already started on their digital transformation journey reporting strong financial benefits.
Digital transformation is a global phenomenon.
It's not just an idea that companies should think about; it's happening all around us, from every industry and every corner of the world.
"In this new era, everything is digital and everywhere," says Tony Bishop, Vice President of Operations at SAP New Zealand (and a former Chief Digital Officer). "It's the next level of evolution in the way we do business."
This transformation is akin to a step up from the Industrial Revolution to the Information Age; it will allow companies to use technology to transform their business and position themselves for growth. It's a huge topic, but not one to be ignored or dismissed as hype--it affects everything from how you work with partners to how you engage customers online or offline.
The business case for digital transformation is compelling, particularly against a backdrop of disruption.
As the world becomes more connected and data-driven, there are many benefits that can be achieved through embracing digital transformation. The ability to gather and analyse data opens up new opportunities for companies to innovate in a way that was previously impossible or too expensive to do so. This can help drive productivity as well as competitiveness: companies will be able to make better decisions which will lead them towards greater success overall.
In addition, being able to deliver customer experiences at scale means that businesses can become truly global; reaching customers across borders without needing physical offices in each market. By designing products with this in mind from the start you can avoid building separate solutions for each region which would end up costing more money than necessary because they all need different features/functionality (eg language support).
Businesses who haven't started their digital transformation often don't know where to start and why it is important to their business.
If a company has not started their digital transformation, they’re likely asking themselves:
- What is digital transformation?
- Why is it important to our business?
- Where do I start with my digital transformation?
- How can I measure the success of my digital transformation?
The benefits of digital transformation are clear, but the question is how to get started with it. There are many benefits that come from digital transformation, including:
- Increased revenue and profitability
- Improved customer experience
- Reduced costs
With the earlier questions and these benefits in mind, it's important for businesses who haven't started their digital transformation journey to start asking themselves these questions: What is your business' current status quo with regards to technology? How will a lack of investment into technology affect your future success? Why do you need technology now? If you don't have those answers yet, now is the time to start thinking about them and answering them, and looking for help if needed.
Businesses that have already started on their digital transformation journey are reporting strong financial benefits.
The benefits of digital transformation are not just about technology. In fact, many businesses that have already started on their digital transformation journey are reporting strong financial benefits. This isn’t surprising: in a world where digital is the norm, we see an increase in productivity and efficiency, as well as improved customer experiences and brand loyalty.
We see these results because businesses that have successfully completed their digital transformations have made changes to the way they work; they have embraced new ways of collaborating with one another; and changed their culture so that people feel empowered to try new things without fear of failure or ridicule from colleagues or peers.
"If leveraged fully in the economy, by 2030, digital transformation could create an annual economic value of NZ$46.6 billion".
Report from AlphaBeta, Unlocking New Zealand's Digital Potential.
There's really no hiding from this digital transformation revolution, and unless businesses want to be left in the past with antiquated tools and lower productivity, then making a move to digital transformation is the only way forward to future proof your business and its continued success.
For help and guidance on this subject, The Icehouse has recently launched the Digital Transformation programme to help business owners and leaders of SMEs learn why it's important, and how and where to start the transformation within their own business.
For information on the Digital Transformation programme from The Icehouse, click here.
For more business ownership and leadership advice, check out more of our resources.
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