If organizations hadn’t thought digital, then we would perhaps still be renting DVDs instead of watching Netflix. We would have to physically travel to stores instead of having Amazon deliver it right to our doorstep. Maybe, we would even be carrying radio boxes around instead of listening to Spotify on our iPhones.
As consumers gain more power in terms of knowledge, the brands available and the ultimate power to choose, they are no longer impressed by the ordinary. Meeting their needs is the basic requirement. How efficiently and innovatively an organization does this is what will determine its survival. With Industry 4.0 creating a disruption in all industries, it becomes a necessity for organizations to quickly adapt and implement digitalization in their operations.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital Transformation is the gradual process of incorporating the latest trends and technologies to all areas of business, therefore facilitating a new business model, processes, products, and customer experiences to increase value through innovation and efficiency.
How an Organization Can Go Digital
According to PwC, there are 8 primary ways in which companies can adopt technology to implement digital transformation. They are:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Virtual Reality (VR)
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- 3D Printing
These technologies can be implemented in the business model, products and services, operations, as well as various customer touchpoints.
Companies that have Succeeded in Digital Transformation
- IKEA: The Swedish-based company is a great example of how a core furniture company can utilize technology to create a one-of-a-kind shopping experience for customers. The company conducted an experiment with VR headsets which used infrared light invisible to the human eye that tracked eye movements of customers as they navigated through the store to gain insights on how they were perceiving the products and the general store display. IKEA has also adopted Geomatical Labs, an American based company known for its 3D and AI technology. This will allow customers to scan their homes, turn it into a 3D visual, and place IKEA furniture and products into the screen to help customers visualize how the products would look like in their homes.
- Starbucks: The American-based, premium coffee giant adopted an AI-based tool called Deep Brew which analyzes data regarding population levels of a particular area, income levels, and presence of competitors to help the company choose the best location and make predictions on revenue, profits, etc. The Starbucks Reward program also tracks loyalty and helps gather insights about the customers.
- DHL: The implementation of smart glasses in its warehouses for bar code reading has reduced the number of errors and has brought a 25% increase in efficiency. Almost every step in the supply chain and stock management is automated.
- LEGO: LEGO was on the verge of bankruptcy when the company reimagined itself and implemented a digital strategy—a turning point for the company resulting in the company being listed among the 500 most valuable brands. LEGO has implemented 3D printing and an app which can turn visuals into LEGO models.
Things to Remember when your organization goes Digital.
- Understand how your organization is Going to Change: Visualize how your organization is going to change after going digital. Understand why the change is required and how you will apply these changes to your operations as well as customer touchpoints. Visualize where your organization is going to be in the future and make sure the digital transformation is relevant for your organizational goals.
- Manage Resistance: Be prepared for resistance. Many employees might be resistant to a sudden adoption of technology because they may not be used to it. Communicate why the change is necessary. Implement proper training programs, take your employees through the journey of digital transformation, and explain to them the need and benefits for ease in adoption of these technologies in various processes.
- Chief Digital Officer (CDO): According to McKinsey, less than 1/3 of organizations appoint a Chief Digital Officer, but those that do are 1.6 times more likely to report a successful digital transformation. Many organizations witness a digital transformation when there is a change in top management. Enabling the right digital and tech-savvy leaders drives the change to digitalization faster.
With time and collective efforts from the members of your organization, you will be able to witness a smooth transition towards digitalization, future-proofing your organization and ensuring it thrives.
Digital transformation is the new norm–there is no going back! The faster an organization accepts this new reality and works towards bridging the gap between business and technology, and implementing digital means wherever possible, the more efficient its operations will be. If you are looking to transform your business and accelerate your career with demonstrable skillsets to bring digital disruption, you may want to have a look at the Executive Management Program in Digital Transformation offered by Alliance University.