The term digital transformation denotes the process of using digital technologies to improve, create and modify existing business processes with an aim to improve efficiency.
Digital transformation can be achieved by using a combined set of tools and technologies such as use of:
- AI - Artificial Intelligence
- Automation of repetitive tasks
- Use of cloud infrastructure
- Analytics and other data consumption methods that help inform the decision making process
Benefits of digital transformation
Digital transformation offers a myriad of benefits to the organization seeking to improve its business and decision making process. Through digital transformation, organisation’s are not only able to streamline the business processes but also achieve efficiency since bottle necks are identified and eliminated during the planning phase of migrating to the digital system. Organizations are also able to realise a reduction in expenses since less people are required to achieve a given task especially those that can be considered repetitive yet form a part of the business process. Also through the digitisation of records, there can be cost savings from the over reliance on paper and printing resources.
Decision making is also made more efficient since the data collected through the use of digital systems helps to inform key decisions that can help move the business forward based on patterns and client behaviour while interacting with the business. This is of major significance as the business can tailor its offering to fit a certain client profile thus maximising returns.
Company information can be stored in multiple servers thus making for an easier restoration process incase of unforeseen disasters such as extreme weather or fire which would have been harder if the information was centrally placed in file cabinets.
What to be aware of
Even though digital transformation is highly recommended and indeed does help to streamline business processes and efficiency, it does come with some few caveats:
Security: Since digital transformation entails moving to the digital space, security should be given priority to protect the business from malicious actors. This can be achieved by having a strong cyber security protocol in place and also ensuring proper employee training on identifying phishing attempts and other methods commonly used to gain unauthorised access to internal company systems.
Cost: Cloud technology whether hybrid (a mixture between in-house infrastructure and cloud providers) or from cloud providers such as Google cloud or Amazon web services comes with a certain cost to it. Depending on the cloud management team being used, these costs can be manageable or out of control. It is therefore recommended to consider the knowledge and experience that the cloud management team has with a certain cloud provider since this will help in the efficient utilisation of resources thus preventing shocking bills from the cloud provider due to an instance that was left running and unnecessarily consuming compute time that really doesn’t add any value to the organization.
Technical expertise: For the employees to be able to effectively interact with the new systems in place, they need proper training and know how for navigating the new systems. A basic knowledge of computer operation will be required. Though in current times, most people in the work place have interacted with a computer so this might not be a big problem.
Do I need digital transformation in my organization?
Based on the benefits that your organization and customers can get by transitioning to digital systems, the answer is a strong yes. Efficient systems not only save on expenses but also lead to more sales. This is because marketing is now guided by information obtained from the digital process. The organization is able to understand its clients better and tailor its business to their needs thus resulting in happier clients which in turn translates to increase in sales.