Digital transformation has been on the cards for many businesses for many years – in recent years it has become more pressing.
The last 10 years in business have been defined largely by the introduction (and increasing importance) of new and innovative technologies. In 2010, TechQuarters was founded, and one of our core goals was to expound and support the growth of cloud solutions among SMBs. Over the years, the cloud has become increasingly accessible, as has other ground-breaking technology.
More than a decade after we first launched, leveraging cutting-edge technologies in business is now considered a necessity moving forward. In particular, digital transformation – a topic that has been bandied about for a number of years already – is on track to become the primary goal for most businesses around the world.
What is Digital Transformation?
In short, digital transformation is the complete redefining of business operations within an organisation; specifically through the integration of digital platforms, solutions and workflows. A lot of people focus primarily on the digital aspect of digital transformation, thinking that any business that procures and implements new technology counts as a digitally transformed organisation. However, it is more complicated than that; digital transformation can be broadly broken down into three main categories:
First and foremost, to become digitally transformed, a business needs to take all of their existing information with them to the new way of doing things. This means digitizing all of their data – including consumer data, client data, employee data, etc. – so that it can be integrated with new solutions and processes, and inform future decisions.
For an organisation to successfully carry off a digital transformation, analytics and data science must be baked into both the transformation process, and all ongoing operations. This is why data digitization is critical. For example, an organisation may use this historical data as a foundation from which to launch a more agile style of working – one in which evidence-based cycles allow for more accurate, reactive and proactive decision making to take place. This is perhaps the most important outcome of digital transformation.
Finally, a digitally transformed organisation should aim for a marked change to operations based on the introduction of new solutions and insights. This goes for processes, workflows, and company culture. As we mentioned in the previous point, digital transformation can make an organisation more agile and precise through more immediate access to data. In order for one to act on data insights, a modernized infrastructure that allows for streamlined, real-time workflows is essential.
Reasons to Consider Digital Transformation
Markets and consumers are becoming increasingly influenced by the immediacy of digital channels – in other words, business is accelerating all the time. This alone is perhaps the most important reason why businesses need to seriously consider digital transformation. If businesses want to be able to keep at pace with modern markets and consumer expectations, digital transformation is a necessity – here are some examples of why this is the case:
1. Tap into New Markets
With the world becoming increasingly digital, many new markets have emerged that rely on digital channels. These digital channels have the ability to connect people from around the world; this means that business have a means of reaching potential customers, regardless of physical location.
2. Customers Expect On-Demand
Tying in with the previous point, these new digital markets and channels has meant that customers expect on-demand service now more than ever before. With this becoming the new normal, businesses that are unable to meet this expectation are sure to suffer.
3. Security is Serious Business
Part of enabling businesses to operate at an accelerated pace is moving data closer to the edge of the company’s network. With the growth in remote and hybrid working, this is especially true. Although keeping data centralised is not conducive to business agility, it is more secure. So, how can business have their cake and eat it too? Digital transformation allows for organisations to shift their data out to the edge, whilst implementing modern security safeguards to protect it.
4. A Competitive Edge
It goes without saying that if you are considering digital transformation, so are your competitors. There seems to be very little debate around the direction in which business is going. Sooner or later, all businesses will be digitally transformed. Thus, businesses ought not to wait longer than they need before taking the plunge.
Trends to Expect in 2023
Technology is constantly changing; so, what are some of the trends around digital transformation that we can expect in 2023?
1. Mainstream AI & ML
With digital markets emerging, expectations for on-demand services increasing, and new, agile business practices becoming the norm, speed and efficiency can no longer be a USP for a business; it must be a pre-requisite. But how will businesses achieve this in 2023?
It has been predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will become increasingly commonplace in business. AI can allow businesses to implement automation to increase the accuracy and consistency of workflows, as well as increase productivity. Machine learning, on the other hand, it crucial to modern data science. Thus, you can see why these two fields are crucial to digital transformation.
2. Everything as a Service
The demand for more on-demand services on the side of consumers, and for more agile ways of working on the side of organisations, means that Everything as a Service (XaaS) solutions are sure to become even more commonplace than they are now. Thanks to the cloud, scalable on-demand services allow businesses to work in more flexible and synchronous ways – some examples include:
- Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) – both these solutions help businesses enable remote working, and speed up onboarding processes.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) – this solution enables businesses to host critical workflows, and develop their own apps and infrastructure solutions.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – arguably one of the most common solutions for facilitating digital transformation; it allows businesses to migrate to the cloud, getting rid of their legacy systems and on-premise infrastructure.
3. Customer Data Platforms
As has been pointed out a number of times already, data is at the centre of what digital transformation is all about. Businesses that can leverage a diverse array of data points will be able to make more accurate decisions, and by extension provide a more complete service. This is where Customer Data Platforms (CDP) comes in – this type of solution unifies all data points pertaining to customers, making it much easier to provide the most personalised customer experience possible, and thus make conversions easier.
Breaking Ground with Digital Transformation
In this new era of digital-forward business, the upper ceiling for unlocking new opportunities is up to the organisation to find. What is more, nowadays businesses of any size can start to leverage technology, and redefine the way they work. The best part of it is, there are many different ways for a business to start the process. If you are interesting in taking the first steps towards digitally transformation, know that it is the most accessible that it has ever been.