Your organization can create endless PowerPoint presentations about "mission statements" fueled by Digital Transformation. However, a paradox sits at the heart of every executive's agenda: Does Digital Transformation leave traditional business models in the dust, or does it fortify them? Digital transformation is not about discarding traditional business models, but rather empowering them to thrive in the digital age. It provides organizations with the tools and strategies to evolve, adapt, and leverage digital technologies to strengthen their existing models and unlock new possibilities.
In this blog, we will delve into the top six benefits of Digital Transformation that are revolutionizing the way organizations operate. These benefits represent the transformative power of embracing digital technologies, reshaping industries, and enabling businesses to thrive in the digital age.
This is What Disruption Looks Like
Let us look at the conglomerates that have embraced the change in thinking from traditional business operations to a Digital Native Culture, shedding light on the quantifiable benefits that result from this seismic shift:
For the brick-and-mortar titan, embracing Digital Transformation was not strategic but existential. Walmart acquired Jet.com for $3.3 billion. The result was a 97% boost in online sales in Q2 2020.
Despite being top in Asia's finance sector – with FinTech startups shaking things up – DBS Bank had a tough choice: Go digital or become irrelevant. Going against its banking norms, the bank turned itself into a "22,000-person start-up". Now, DBS's customers are bringing in twice the income and costing 50% less to acquire.
We cannot talk about the symbol of the industrial age without General Electric. In 2015, it deployed 'Predix,' an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform, to shift from selling products to providing digital solutions. As of 2020, GE had amassed 20,000+ developers and 270+ Predix-based apps, breaking its legacy business model.
Faced with the e-commerce surge, Nike's Consumer Direct Offense strategy unveiled SNKRS, an app-based store with data analytics to create personalized consumer experiences. The outcome? Nike's digital sales shot up by 82% in Q1 2021 alone, shifting from a challenging sales route towards a digital-first model for Gen-Z.
Facing disruption from agile yet cloud-first competitors, Adobe confronted a problem head-on and launched its Creative Cloud platform in 2013, going against its established software licensing model. The payoff was huge. By Q1 2021, subscription revenue comprised 90% of Adobe's total, starkly contrasting to just 28% in 2013.
Finally, let us look at how a pizza company reshaped itself into an "e-commerce company that sells pizza," as CEO Ritch Allison put it. Dominos plunged into chatbots, drone deliveries, and data-driven personalization to yield impressive results, with digital sales accounting for 70% of total sales in the US.
So, What Can We Learn from Such Market Disruptors?
Such disruptors serve as the backdrop for the benefits of Digital Transformation. It is a pivot, a strategic realignment of business processes, culture, and customer experiences, fueled by iterative technologies. IDC predicts global spending of $2.3 trillion on Digital Transformation by 2023, indicating its escalating importance.
Efficient Operations Yet Humanized Touchpoints: While increased efficiency is a benefit, it is often incorrectly assumed that Digital Transformation leads to robotic systems, but this is not absolute. Automation frees workers from mundane tasks, enabling enhanced human interactions – a decidedly 'soft' benefit from a 'hard' transition. An example of this benefit is the implementation of chatbots in customer service. While chatbots automate certain tasks and provide efficient responses to customer inquiries, they can also be programmed to offer personalized and empathetic interactions. For instance, a chatbot can gather relevant information about a customer's issue and provide tailored recommendations or connect the customer to a live agent when needed, ensuring a human touchpoint throughout the interaction.
Complex Systems Yielding Simplified Processes: The complexity of digital systems does not always mean intricate processes. Instead, it simplifies workflows with a 19.63% growth for companies leveraging cloud technology. When your complex systems hum like a well-tuned engine, the symphony of complexity becomes a driver of results. The adoption of cloud-based project management software is a perfect example of this benefit. Instead of managing complex projects through multiple spreadsheets, emails, and documents, teams can utilize a centralized cloud platform that simplifies collaboration, task management, and document sharing. This simplification of processes leads to increased efficiency, streamlined workflows, and improved project outcomes.
Monetizing Data with Personalized Experience: Often an intangible business asset, data becomes a gold mine in Digital Transformation. With an average person interacting with data every 18 seconds, digital businesses can harness the data deluge, driving profits by personalizing experiences and optimizing business decisions. An example of this benefit is the use of data analytics in the retail industry. Retailers can gather and evaluate customer data, such as shopping history, browsing habits, and demographic details to create tailored shopping experiences. By leveraging this data, retailers can send targeted promotions, recommendations, and offers to individual customers, enhancing their overall shopping experience and driving sales.
Global Mobility Despite Localized Operations: Digital Transformation fosters the coexistence of global outreach and localized operations, reduces geographical barriers, and enables businesses to reach a global audience while maintaining local relevance. Therefore, leading e-commerce sales have risen to $6.54 trillion by 2023. The use of video conferencing and collaboration tools to connect employees across various locations is an example of this benefit. These digital tools enable teams to collaborate in real-time, regardless of their physical location. This allows companies to leverage global talent, reduce travel costs, and ensure effective communication and collaboration between teams working in different time zones or regions.
Strengthened Security in the Cybernetic Realms: Contrary to the fears of Digital Transformation making business data vulnerable, it can actually elevate the security. Sophisticated cybersecurity measures, AI-powered threat detection, and encrypted data storage build an unassailable fortress, emphasizing trust in digital security. The implementation of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in online banking is an apt example of this benefit. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple credentials, such as a password, a fingerprint, or a unique code sent to their mobile devices, to access their accounts. This enhances security and mitigates the risk of unauthorized access, ensuring the protection of sensitive financial information.
Reduced Carbon Footprint via Virtual Solutions: There is also a Green Advantage to Digital Transformation. As sustainability becomes a critical business performance indicator, Digital Transformation offers a path to achieve green objectives. It marries profit with planetary responsibility, with the possibility of cutting global CO2 emissions by 20%. An example of this benefit is the adoption of remote work and virtual meetings. By allowing employees to work from home and conducting meetings through video conferencing, companies can significantly reduce the need for commuting, thereby decreasing carbon emissions associated with transportation. This virtual approach also reduces the energy consumption of office spaces, contributing to a greener and more sustainable environment.
Disruption Has Its Own Risks
Disruption, while beneficial, is not devoid of risks. As we embrace Digital Transformation, we forfeit the aspects of traditional business models, facing various threats with cybersecurity, lack of privacy, and the need for re-skilling. Last in the Digital Transformation series, we will uncover what lies in the future for digital transformation. We will aim to discover the emerging technologies and trends that define or shape the digital transformation paradigm in the industry. Stay tuned!
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