Digital transformation: A necessity now more than ever

Digital transformation is a topic that is being discussed very actively today. They say that in the new information era, companies have no future without it. But the essence of the phenomenon is still not clear to everyone: there are many definitions, and it is not known which of them is correct. We clarify this topic: we tell you what digital transformation is, what it is for, what it gives to the enterprise and what technologies are used in the process of business digitalisation. 

The essence of digital transformation

When talking about digitalisation, many believe that it is synonymous with the introduction of information technology in the enterprise. The presence of information systems and even the automation of business processes do not in themselves mean digital transformation (although, no doubt, they are its indispensable attributes). Because this is more than the implementation of IT systems.

The word "transformation" in the definition does not sound casual: we are talking about a profound transformation of the business. Everything is changing: the development strategy of the organisation, its goals and principles, products and services, the approach to interaction with customers, structure and corporate culture. In a word, the new era requires a radical transformation of the business model, and this, in turn, means the transfer of the company to digital rails. Often, digitalisation is based on platform solutions: a digital ecosystem is created that integrates all the services of an enterprise and ensures a complex change of processes within the organisation.

What business challenges can digital transformation solve?

Improving the efficiency of the organisation. 

With the help of digital technologies, it is possible to speed up operations, eliminate unnecessary actions and streamline the necessary ones, and optimise the use of resources. Thanks to this, the cost of products is reduced, productivity is increased, and cost savings are achieved.

Improving customer engagement.

Information technology helps to improve the level of service, the quality of goods and services. Digital transformation makes it possible to create fundamentally new services. The challenge of time is omnichannel: in order to maintain competitiveness, it is now important that customers can receive services wherever it is convenient for them: at the point of presence, on the website, in the mobile application. This is only possible after the digital transformation of the business.

Optimisation of management. 

Automated collection and analysis of data simplifies control over the activities of the enterprise, helps to quickly make the right decisions.

Improving competitiveness. 

This is achieved by accelerating business processes, increasing the efficiency of resource use, improving the quality of customer service, creating new products and solutions. A digital company responds quickly to changes in market conditions, and this is also a plus for competitiveness.

From the above, it is easy to understand what the benefits of digital business transformation are. Digitalisation helps improve productivity and efficiency, but that's not all. The main thing is that it makes it possible to offer customers new products and ways of accessing goods and services that meet their needs in accordance with the requirements of the time. Digital marketplaces, taxi aggregators, food delivery services, digital insurance technology, online banking are just a few examples of how technology is changing businesses and increasing the chances of leadership. 

Conditions

So, for companies looking to compete in an age of digitalisation, digital transformation is vital. But this does not mean that every company should immediately, without understanding the features of its current business model, start transformations. The change will only succeed when the conditions for digital transformation are met.

The most important of these conditions is the so-called digital maturity. It reflects the readiness for digital transformations, the presence of a strategy, the definition of tactics, the level of the team's competence and other aspects. Both current and expected digital maturity can be measured: there are quite clear criteria for assessment. To determine whether a company is ready for transformation, several avenues are being explored:

The level of development of digital infrastructure.

 It is important that the enterprise has access to modern systems for automating business processes, has the equipment of the necessary capacity to efficiently store and process a huge amount of data. It is necessary to decide whether it will be our own or cloud infrastructure, to resolve the issue with security systems. At a minimum, digital transformation technologies should be selected and a platform deployment plan outlined.

Understanding of processes and target services. 

At the initial stage of digital transformation, it is necessary to identify and describe the processes. Each process and service must have an owner with specific permissions.

Methods of collecting, processing and storing data. If information is not structured, difficult to analyse, or collected manually, then the organisation is most likely not ready for a transformation. 

Successful digitalisation presupposes access to data in real-time, the possibility of secure storage and automated processing of large amounts of information.

Personnel training. 

It is important to organise the process of including employees in digital transformation, convey to them the need for changes, master new tools and technologies, and train them in the necessary skills.

Corporate culture. 

The flexibility of interaction, open communication, co-creation - these cultural values ​​fit into the new paradigm of digital transformation. 

Conclusion

Nowadays, every company faces a choice - either to develop, embark on the path of digitalisation, or not to change anything, to surrender its positions to competitors and leave the stage. But you need to understand that digital transformation is not a mechanical imposition of IT services on existing processes, but a complete change of the business model. For the transformation to be successful, the organisation must be ready for it.

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