A business buzzword that has steadily risen in popularity in recent years is digital transformation. The term sounds impressive and profound, and it actually is—but it’s a concept that needs to be defined before it can become useful and relevant to your organization.
Every industry has its jargon and buzzwords, but they aren’t very useful until you ask the “What is…?” question. For example, what is a core competency? What is a customer journey? Business leaders must often demystify jargon and buzzwords to translate them into practical strategies.
Once you delve into the deeper meanings of such terms, they become clearer to understand and easier to express as business goals and actions.
So let’s dive into the question: what is digital transformation?
Digital Transformation demystified
Digital transformation is often defined as the adoption of information technology (hardware, software, etc.) to provide a digital-first experience for your customers, your business partners, and your employees. More simply, digital transformation is the process of modernizing the processes and flows of information inside a business.
Digital transformation isn’t just a “for now” strategy or a one-time band-aid solution; rather, it is an ongoing process that evolves with you as your business changes and grows over time. Some of the key components of digital transformation are:
- Automation of manual processes
- Unification of information systems and data sources
- Replacement of paper documents with electronic versions
- Integration of mobile computing and Internet of Things (IoT) smart devices
- On-premises, cloud, or hybrid computing
Ultimately, digital transformation is driven by the need for businesses to increase visibility so that decision makers can respond with more accurate data in real time. This allows organizations to keep pace with change and thus, exceed the changing expectations of current and future customers.
Digital Transformation example
Consider a lemonade stand on a hot summer day in 2023 as a case study. The kids running the business venture need much more than a pitcher and a stack of cups that their parents had when they ran the stand. Our modern tyke-oons need to be able to:
- Offer customers wireless bank/credit card payments and electronic receipts.
- View real-time data on their smartphone on the current kitchen inventory of lemons and sugar.
- Send an automated notification to a parent when a grocery trip for raw materials is required.
- Know which grocery stores have the needed items in stock at the lowest price so mom or dad can make the quickest and cheapest resupply trip possible.
- Track the family car as it makes its way home with the needed supplies.
And, if our lemonade moguls decide to start selling cookies along with the lemonade, their entire system should be able to scale up to meet the new business requirements.
This example represents the heart of digital transformation: using technology-based solutions to convert and unify traditional business activities into a more efficient and cost-effective management system.
Our lemonade stand also demonstrates how digital transformation positively impacts work culture and employee experience. Imagine how frustrated the parents (the distributors) would get driving from store to store (the suppliers) during a hot summer afternoon, looking for lemons and sugar (the raw materials), not knowing in advance if a store has any in stock (inventory count). Picture how frustrated the child would be if they unexpectedly ran out of ingredients, with a lineup of thirsty customers waiting impatiently for service (customer experience).
Digital transformation isn’t just about refreshing business infrastructure. It is about empowering people to be their best with the right tools at the right time—a keystone of positive work culture and a high-performing workforce.
Digital Transformation success stories
We at VistaVu Solutions have successfully helped over 276 companies modernize their business over the last two decades. We pride ourselves on helping all our customers improve their business systems and helping them to RUN GREAT!
The businesses we work with are enthusiastic about sharing their digital transformation success stories. Here is a video of one customer’s story.
If you’d like to learn more, please take a moment to visit our Success Stories page.
Would you like to chat with us about your business? We’d love to have a meeting with you.