Once dismissed as a meaningless buzzword among tech circles, digital transformation has become a high priority for organizations of all sizes, across all verticals.
The importance of adapting often-siloed legacy systems to communicate with new technologies and tools became painfully clear amid pandemic shutdowns, and the new reality of hybrid work models and digital-first business has forced even those most resistant to change to acknowledge its value.
But what is digital transformation, really?
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is not a destination, but a journey
Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technologies into business systems and processes. It often involves the modernization of aging IT infrastructure to facilitate connections with new technologies.
But the need for digital transformation goes beyond the tools an organization uses. It’s really a fundamental shift in the way you operate and deliver value. More than just updating systems or installing new applications, digital transformation is not a destination, but a journey.
Digitization vs. Digitalization vs. Digital Transformation
These three terms sound similar and are often – and erroneously – treated as synonyms. Before you can examine your need for digital transformation, it’s vital to understand the difference.
- Digitization: Transforming information from a physical to a digital format (scanning old photos or recreating your paper ledger in Excel)
- Digitalization: Using technology to improve corporate processes (deploying chatbots to respond to site visitors)
- Digital transformation: A cultural shift in the way your organization uses technology (changing your business model rather than just replacing tools)
Why is Digital Transformation Important?
The greatest argument for why digital transformation is important is the flexibility it provides. The way organizations interact with consumers, partners, and the supply chain as a whole is continually evolving. Inflexible legacy systems that served you well in the past might hold you back in the future. Digital transformation ensures businesses can quickly pivot to leverage new opportunities or respond to unexpected challenges.
Digital Transformation Benefits
Flexibility can be hard to measure, but there are also more quantifiable benefits of digital transformation, including:
- Increased transparency for systems and data
Digital transformation optimizes data collection for complete integration into business intelligence
- More efficient use of resources
Digital transformation can help identify and eliminate redundancies and improve collaboration between teams or organizations
- Improved customer experience
Optimization of data collection allows companies to consolidate customer data from across platforms to create personalized experiences
- Ability to unlock new revenue
56% of CEOs say digital transformation has driven an increase in profits
- Faster time to market
Automation and other digital technologies can reduce product life cycles, allowing companies to bring products to market faster
- Better recruiting and retention
Digital transformation can improve company culture and encourage innovation – valuable tools in a time of skills shortages
- Greater sustainability
Digital transformation empowers companies to identify and embrace sustainable growth models
The Road to Digital Transformation
The list of digital transformation benefits is undoubtedly compelling – so why are companies still resisting it?
Remember, we’re not just talking about adopting a single piece of technology or moving some applications to the cloud. Digital transformation is a cultural shift, and anytime you look at overhauling your entire business model, there are bound to be some roadblocks.
Digital Transformation Roadblocks
Here are some of the most common challenges standing in the way of digital transformation efforts:
- Lack of consensus among stakeholders
Each business unit has its own priorities and goals, and digital transformation efforts can fail if there isn’t alignment between players on what really matters
- Dependence on legacy systems
Slow, inflexible, often siloed systems that are the backbone of operations for many organizations can introduce challenges to digital transformation plans
- Budget constraints
The bottom line is always a concern, especially during economic uncertainty – concerns about cost can drive reluctance to invest in digital transformation
- Lack of skills or expertise
Skilled developers remain in high demand, and it can be daunting to take on a major technological shift without the right human resources in place
- Security concerns
Cybersecurity threats are continually increasing, and risk-averse organizations or executives may feel safer with tried-and-true strategies
- Concerns about operational disruptions
Few businesses can afford to put the day-to-day on hold for a major organizational overhaul
Let Digibee Support Your Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is the key to success for any organization looking to compete in today’s digital-first world. If concerns about cost, expertise, security, or disruptions are stopping you from embarking on the digital transformation journey, Digibee can help.
Our low-code, cloud-native integration solution can help you connect legacy systems and new technologies quickly, securely, and with zero downtime. Book a demo today to learn more.