Today, the term Digital Transformation can arguably be viewed as a marketing term used for any ICT products and services. A review of websites suggest that Digital Transformation can comprise any of the following:
So what does Digital Transformation really mean?
From my experience working with Cyma’s customers, Digital Transformation is primarily about using technology to transform the business & organisational activities, competencies and models to fundamentally change how the business operates and deliver new value for its customers and employees.
In breaking Digital Transformation down further, I have experienced different variations of Digital Transformation which are led by the following transformation types::
Operations led digital transformations are about using technology to improve the organisation’s business operations and culture. Examples of digital technologies that enable this are; remote working, DevOps, collaboration platforms (e.g. Microsoft Office 365) and agile delivery processes. Transformation benefits include remote collaboration across the organisation's departments, fostering of a digital culture and consolidated organisation business processes and operations.
ICT Financial led digital transformations are focussed on reducing costs for the organisation’s technology, which can as an example, include minimising overheads of on-premise ICT hardware and software. Virtualisation, Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service are all examples of digital technologies used for this type of transformation. Other non-financial benefits include empowering employees to focus on strategic tasks by freeing them of menial tasks which can be automated by the virtualisation of work processes.
Customer Experience led digital transformations are about meeting the customer’s preferences to interact with an organisation online as opposed to using a physical retail store for example. Usually there will be a lot of investment in digital technologies like mobile applications, Customer Relationship Management Systems, payment services, social media, Big Data analytics and the development of APIs so information can be accessed not just by customers, but business partners as well, to facilitate the innovation of further customer experiences. Other benefits include; data driven insights to understand customers, new customer adoption and improved customer satisfaction.
There are many, many more digital transformation types but the above 3 generalisations are based upon working with some of Cyma’s customers, to provide some insights on what Digital Transformation can be.
In summary, Digital Transformation is not just about the integration of digital technology into areas of an organisation's business operations, it is also a cultural change - it’s a human transformation as well, which needs to embrace Digital Transformation. This type of transformation should be perceived as a journey, not a destination, as it is constantly reassessing ways to things better and faster - culture leads the adoption of technology.