Even with the international rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine and countries around the world reopening their businesses and their borders, there still remains a lot of fear, uncertainty, and change. It is understandable why some companies may choose to defer digital transformation initiatives and instead focus on less disruptive efforts. However, considering that the world has been dealing with this disruption for the second year – and counting – it is worth considering that many aspects of digital transformation are precisely what businesses need to progress and thrive amidst uncertainty by pursuing growth opportunities, improve process efficiency, or find new ways to deliver more value to end-users and stakeholders.
1. Process Transformation Initiatives
Process improvement initiatives mainly focus on finding new ways to lower cost, improve quality, or reduce cycle times and often take the form of data, analytics, APIs and machine learning. UberEats and app-based other food delivery services have successfully taken a chunk out of the more established, traditional modes of restaurant-owned food delivery services. With ‘Domino’s AnyWare‘ a plethora of smart-app enabled devices allow customers to order from any device from Alexa, to Facebook Messenger, to their Smart TVs, Domino’s has reimagined the food ordering process, thus overtaking its rival, Pizza Hut, in sales – all because it took out the ‘friction’ from ordering pizza.
Other companies that require customer query handling have now adopted AI-powered chatbots that run 24/7 to handle generic queries. This implementation of robotic process automation can simplify office processes and yield tremendous value in a company.
2. Business Model Transformation Initiatives
Business model digital transformation initiatives focus on the fundamental building blocks of value delivery within a specific industry. Essentially, digital transformation changes traditional business models. Prime examples of this are how iTunes and Spotify reinvented the delivery modes of music or how Netflix reinvented the delivery mode of video distribution, once dominated by HBO on one end of traditional cable TV service providers and Blockbuster on the other of home video rentals.
3. Domain Transformation Initiatives
Microsoft Azure, otherwise simply known as Azure, is a cloud computing service operated by Microsoft for application management via Microsoft-managed data centers. It is a prime example of a secure cloud services platform that allows you to build, run, and manage applications across multiple clouds, on-premises, and at the edge, with the tools and frameworks of your choice to help businesses scale and grow with the best-of-breed content delivery service. Siemens is of the institutions that entrust their data-intensive technology initiatives to Azure. To streamline the processes, Siemens HealthineersTM partnered with Microsoft to rapidly build a prototype on Azure, including services for IoT connectivity, data storage, and machine learning lifecycle management.
New technologies redefine products and services and pioneer new grounds in creating entirely new sets of non-traditional competitors. This is why domain transformation can offer the most significant growth opportunities for a company.
4. Cultural Transformation Initiatives
Cultural transformation initiatives involve the redefining of mindsets, talent, and capabilities for a company. Digital transformation is not just about the tools, it is also about behavior. Companies that have successfully avoided the common barriers to digital transformation success know that it requires flexibility, a decentralized decision-making process, partiality for testing and learning new things, and a greater dependency on different business ecosystems.
FedEx, a company whose culture reflects its long-held belief that profits follow after ensuring employee and customer satisfaction, is a prime example of this. The Memphis-based company has used digital transformation initiatives to upgrade its offerings, improve the speed of delivery and the quality of logistics and tracking information.
Factors such as your company’s industry, specific challenges, opportunities and demands will cause digital transformation initiatives to vary greatly. What remains constant is that the more technology changes amidst the ever-shifting business landscape that is also affected by wide scale global events like the pandemic, the more organizations will need to adapt to remain agile and resilient.