What do Netflix, Uber, Amazon, and Facebook all have in common? Besides being leaders in their respective fields, each company has leveraged digital transformation to evolve their organizations, utilizing technology to fundamentally enhance their business operations. The impact of digital transformation can be felt throughout both individual organizations and their industries, although the broader concept can be more difficult to pinpoint. You might be asking, what exactly is digital transformation? Why is it important? How is it being used to radically improve the way organizations function?
Salesforces defines digital transformation as, “using digital technologies to create new – or modify existing – business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.”
Simply put, digital transformation is the process of enhancing and modernizing an organization’s daily processes and overall operations through the strategic use of specific technologies.
In understanding digital transformation’s intent, it becomes easier to appreciate the scope of its impact on internal operations, the experience of end customers, and the effect on the overall marketplace. Just as important is acknowledging who’s doing the asking – the digital transformation of a healthcare entity will differ significantly in comparison to a transportation organization; as would the perspective of a power/utilities company as compared to a financial services firm. While the concept of digital transformation is universally applied, the process of applying such depends significantly on the processes, operations, culture and end-goals of a given organization.
Digital Transformation Across Industries
Digital transformation is driving organizations to rethink operations and enhance them by leveraging technology and the various systems relied upon.
Consider healthcare for example; previously, healthcare providers relied predominantly on physical records of patient medical histories and personal data, and required in-person appointments with patients. Today, providers are able to offer telehealth options thorough video conferencing software and have made electronic medical records the new standard, offering more convenience and accessibility for both patients and providers – all while enhancing the safety of such information. Providers can more easily access relevant patient data, review medical histories, and hold appointments with patients more efficiently than ever before. Through this monumental change, healthcare organizations are realizing the importance of items such as data storage, data protection and overall cybersecurity. Ensuring data and related information are stored effectively and securely, while maintaining cybersecurity across related processes and procedures, is paramount.
From mass producing electric vehicles, to modernizing buses, trains and planes, the transportation industry has experienced its fair share of digital transformation. QED National has deep roots in working with public transportation organizations, helping modernize and support digital transformation initiatives, such as mobile applications, digital train schedules, mobile ticketing and fare collection.
Digital transformation provides new opportunities to enhance customer experience, as well as optimize transportation operations and infrastructure. For example:
- Train beacons help inform conductors and passengers which cars have capacity or are full
- Countdown clocks inform riders of expected arrival times
- Mobile ticketing and contactless payment systems have made it easier for employees to check tickets and for riders to access public transport
The impact is evident for organizations, workers and customers, delivering reliable service, safety, and enhanced customer experience.
How to accomplish Digital Transformation?
To embark on a digital transformation effort, organizations must examine themselves from the top down and evaluate their business model, processes, and organizational goals. For example, many small business owners who were not able to adapt to online demand during the pandemic suffered greatly as COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions hindered in person retail transactions. In contrast, businesses that developed online presence and offered goods/services through their websites and third-party platforms were able to thrive, reporting record profits.
This dichotomy underlines the power of digital transformation – agility, adaptability, dependability, convenience.
The bedrock of digital transformation is digital technology. Transitioning from analog methods/processes to digital can be a significant undertaking for organizations, which is why working with an IT consulting and services provider familiar with performing this strategic work can be of tremendous benefit. IT consulting and services providers, such as QED National, who have a strong understanding of the business and IT processes within your organization can help advise you on your digital transformation approach and strategy, while applying the technologies needed for transformation to be successful.
Working with an IT consulting and services provider eases the burden of having to plan and execute a digital transformation initiative by yourself, without the knowledge or expertise of having done so before. In today’s world with ever-evolving and growing technological capabilities, organizations must account for digital transformation in order to survive and evolve. Finding the right experts to partner with and allowing them to help goes a long way in achieving your digital transformation objectives.