Digital transformation – part 1 – basics

Dileep Marway

Posted On: December 9, 2022

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Digital transformation - part 1 - basics

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is using technology to create new or modify existing business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.

It can be summarized as the reimagining of the business for the digital age.

Why should companies consider digital transformation?

Personally, I have seen the power of digital transformation and it really sets you up for working in an agile, collaborative way which pushes a company towards a journey of growth.

It also allows a value-add to every customer interaction and can give a better customer experience.

In most cases, companies push towards digital transformation as it helps to stand out against their competitors and ultimately move ahead.

The big value add for me is the fact that data collected via a digital transformation has meant that companies can make more informed decisions, and at the same time they can understand more about their customers.

One brand that comes to mind is Tesco, and their use of the Clubcard – this allowed them to recommend offers to customers based on what they generally buy and it has enticed customers to come back from competitors and shop in their stores.

Examples of digital transformation

  1. In covid times a large amount of doctor appointments became virtual appointments – this is an example of using technology to meet changing requirements. This meant that customers and doctors were safer, at the same time it has helped where people are struggling to get appointments. This for many has been a game changer.
  2. When taking a flight there has been a move towards online check in, which has enhanced the experience. This has saved time on the long airport check-in lines and as a bonus lets people book in their seats before they even reach the airport.

The biggest example of digital transformation that has come to mind though is the monster brand ‘Netflix’.

This started as a mail order service and it completely disrupted the bricks-and-mortar video rental business.

Digital innovation made wide scale streaming video possible. Digitisation also gave insights into viewing habits and preferences. The data was also used to inform decisions on everything, from design of user experiences, to development processes to actually watching the films.

To become successful Netflix digitally transformed the following areas:

  1. Process Transformation
  2. Business Model Transformation
  3. Domain Transformation
  4. Cultural Transformation.

In this case for Netflix digital transformation was a massive win!

How to go about your transformation?

Digital transformation can look different in each company, though the thought process on achieving this can be similar.

Firstly start with the problem statement and see whether there is a clear opportunity for development.

Then ask for feedback from different members, this will allow for diverse thoughts and it may also mean opportunities in areas not previously thought about.

The last step should be to plan out the transformation, and track the success via measurable metrics. This is essential as if the transformation is not giving the reward you would expect, then having data allows you to correct ahead of time.

Tips from the industry

Based on my research some key findings:

  1. Understand what is possible with digital transformation before you start to plan.
  2. Design customer experiences from the outside in and see what problem you are trying to solve.
  3. Recognise employees’ fear of being replaced – this is not what digital transformation is.
  4. Review the capacity and acknowledgement for change within your organisation.

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Closing

Digital transformation when aligned to business goals is really powerful and it has made many businesses more successful, also adding that customers have reaped the rewards.

Most of the digital products we use have certainly been achieved via digital transformations of their brands. We as the customer have certainly reaped the rewards.

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Author’s Profile

Dileep Marway

Founder of Be More Meerkat (https://bemoremeerkat.com/), where I write blogs on leadership and I provide technology consultancy. I am passionate about the use of technology and innovation to create change, deliver value and solve complex problems whilst improving the lives of users, by using the most effective technology stack. A commercially focused, results driven executive level technology leader with over 15 years experience: leading strategy development and execution, successful digital transformation and delivering organisational, IT change alongside cost effectiveness (to budget), secure and high availability operational IT. Extensive experience of outsourcing and managing IT delivery in multi-site environments. Strongly focused on partner selection and management, actively managing IT and change risk with an emphasis on quality assurance (QA), and full review of technology and engineering effectiveness. I create, scale and optimise business portfolios that bring customer success and better service. To accomplish this, I focus on delivering key outcomes and building “high performing” teams. I act as a bridge between the C-suite and the technology technical teams.

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