You may not believe in hype-infused IoT, Blockchain, Machine Learning, and BigData technologies. But Digital Transformation is something different. Believe it or not, but this transformation is happening in every industry, right here, right now.
Back in 2008 people were a little skeptical whether we are getting into something new or just adapting to the pace. Now it is obvious that changes took part in fundamental things like assessing competition, industry boundaries, products development, etc.
Even the evaluation of companies has changed. How would you value Uber with the kind of asset base they have? Or how would you categorize a typical e-commerce marketplace based on the SIC classification? Is it a software company, or a retailer, or maybe a wholesaler?
Michael Porter pushed forward a very clear view that there are two ways you can get a competitive advantage: either low-cost distribution/manufacturing or differentiation. This is not the case today. There are a lot of newcomers who have both low-costs and very differentiated offers, but no viable advantage.
In 2011, Marc Andresen, the co-founder of Netscape, wrote, “Software is eating the world”. Today, digital technologies are eating the physical industrial world. And we’re not talking about actual devices, but also the way we’re using products.
But let’s take a short brief about the basics of digital transformation to get a notion of how it could serve your business.
Digital Transformation definition – it is a change in a way how companies built their business model, manage operational processes and enhance customer experience. The matter of fact that transformation is not necessarily required for the company to solve their traditional objectives. It is often driven by customers who no longer want to do things in an old way and prefer digital solutions.
One more hint: ‘Digital’ is not necessarily about the internet. Digital is about human needs that have enormously changed since 2010. Customers are bored with the old ways services were provided. They eager for change and businesses are pushed to adopt.
On the bright side, digital transformation brings new technologies for companies, optimize their processes, and provide new competitive advantages. This is the complex activity that could improve your stagnating figures and help you achieve business growth.
Summing up, digital transformation is technological advancement each business is faced with and required to go through in order to stay in tune with its clients. Starting with new communication channels, and ending with inner operations.
There are two key dimensions that should be considered in order to undergo digital transformation successfully.
Digital Capability – This is the “what” of transformation. You need to prioritize which technologies to invest in first. Customer experience, operational process, business models? This is what Skoda asked us to implement to refine its internal operational process.
But if it was so easy than the companies with the deepest pockets would win. Hopefully, there is a second dimension.
Leadership Capability – This is the “how” dimension. It’s all about the vision, corporate culture, and readiness of employees to embrace new technology.
There are several pre-requirements for the company in order to maximize opportunities the digital brings.
Firstly, there is a customer experience. If you haven’t managed to renovate and assess your business from this standpoint – you’re probably lagging behind. This is what companies were doing since the proliferation of smartphones has started.
To date, thanks for a high demand, there are numerous software development companies that specialize on such kind of services. Therefore, the price tag for such services have been lowering, which is great for you.
The easiest and most affordable ways to digitize your customer experience are:
On the other hand, the digitalization of business operations is the most challenging part. Over and over we face clients that rely on outdated technologies and has a vast legacy code base. Hopefully, we can overcome most of the problems thanks to our vast technology stack.
As we mentioned earlier, the digitization of business should be performed with a great care and clear goals in mind. Transformation of customer experience is not an exception.
Nowadays, the control over customer experience is a shared. It is neither in hands of a firm (which now should adapt to the wants of people) nor in the customer’s hands.
The customer experience now is a two-sided substance, that is formed by the business but with a great input from the customer side. Because hey, your clients now have so many ways to asses and share their thought about your product via social media! And they also have so many options to choose from! The supply side is oversaturated now.
The digital transformation allows better interaction between business and clients, which results in unbeatable customer experience.
Probably the most obvious and easiest part of digital transformation. To date, there is only a short number of companies left that have not undergone digitization of their paperwork activities. Primarily, those are governmental institutions and non-profits.
For instance, we were developing a cross-platform app for International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation that would consolidate their activities in a digital world. The interesting part about this project was the requirement to create an app with only one page.
This requirement was due to the nature of the sports itself. All participants of bobsleigh events are always in gloves, and having one-screen app is crucial from the customer experience point of view. Hopefully, we managed to design app’s UI to make it easy and self-sufficient, so the federation no longer needs any other paper or digital information source.
You may face such inner nuances in every industry. For example, construction, traveling. Under such condition, it is crucial having a goal-oriented team that can overcome constraints and thing out of the box.
If you take into the logistics side, there is a great example of how UPS transformed their service. They cracked very problematic thing: customer wanted to know exactly when their parcel will be delivered. UPS used call center to answer that question, which in truth couldn’t.
But the answer was in the geolocation system, by using which UPS could know exactly what time the van would come to the client’s door. They just shared this internal information and it worked out perfectly. Such a two-sided experience exchange.
Finally, there are business processes and constant value exchange going inside your company. Recently we have cracked a few problems working with Skoda factories.
We’ve developed a web application for online reporting that allows to input sensitive data via the user-friendly UI. It allows workers to avoid errors when performing tests for machines and thus speed up their production rate, on the other side management get while comprehensive reporting system, that is non-destructive for workers.
From the first glance, digital transformation could be an easy task. Take some money and gadgets and you’ll digitize your business. But if you take a closer look there are a lot of nuances you need to crack in order to make transformation really successful.
Over the last few years, we’ve helped dozens of companies to go through digitalization and get the real return of their investments. If you have such need, we’ll be happy to help you to find the right solution for your business
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