Digital Transformation: Embracing Your Business Growthmoayyadzf
By Marwan Ata, Strategic Planning Consultant, General Manager of Beyond Consulting LTD.
Nowadays, the term “Digital Transformation” is everywhere around us. It won’t take you a week to hear it in the news, at conferences, on social media, or read it in articles such as this one.
Well, I got some good news and some bad news for you. The bad news is that Digital Transformation is no longer a luxurious option for the sustainability of your institution or business, which means you can no longer pass by it and consider it a fancy term for trending topics such as climate change or blockchain. In fact, it is your one-way ticket to the future, or you will find yourself lagging behind competitors, peers, and even customers.
On the other hand, the good news is that it is not rocket science, and it is attainable if you know what you want.
I have been working in the strategic and business planning domain for over a decade now, and I can assure you that I have never passed by a substantial and irreversible business-changing drive force as strong as digital transformation. I can easily relate to multiple local and regional institutions that are living nightmares nowadays because digital transformation wasn’t at the top of their strategic priorities, and suddenly they found themselves racing time in an unsystematic way to get themselves back on track against other technologically advanced competitors in terms of processes, services, and customer service.
So, what is it? Why do we need it? Where to start? These are the key questions that I will be answering in this article.
What is Digital Transformation
First of all, aside from all definitions floating over the internet about digital transformation, this specific definition provided by The Enterprisers Project is a perfect one, in my opinion. “Digital Transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It also sits a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure”.
Digitalization uses digital data to simplify how your business operates. Many experts and digital transformation geeks are mixing between the transformation of businesses from the traditional way into technology-based ones and the actual digital transformation, which means integrating technology into the core of what we usually do without turning into web-based enterprises. Under my recommended definition, the keywords here are “integration of digital technology into all areas of a business” which means finding ways to integrate technology into the current services and processes to deliver more value to customers.
Why Digital Transformation is Important
Please bear with me that we don’t want it. We NEED it. I can list over 20 reasons on why your business should adopt digital transformation, but what matters the most is “Providing a better customer experience.” Digital Transformation by definition, is customer centric. Your main motive to go through it is to deliver better/add value to your customers. The rising generations are technology gurus, demanding faster and easier access to what they want right away. Ask yourself one question, when was the last time you went physically to your bank’s office and deposited a cheque or have filled some paper forms? If your current bank is still demanding you to do so and is not offering a digital platform to do it all whenever and wherever you want, then you are still living in the 90s or early 2000. The banking industry is among the early-adopting sectors for digital transformation, and your business or organization right now is still in the early ’90s while your competitors are about to deliver their services digitally faster and easier than you. Are you still thinking about if you should follow/outperform these folks or not? Your customers are either demanding it right now or about to demand it in the near future, so it is totally up to you to be among the first adopters in your industry or to lag behind.
How to Implement Digital Transformation
The third question is, where to start? When it comes to adopting Digital Transformation, my answer is to start with your customers. If you agree with my answer to question number two that Digital Transformation is all about delivering value to customers, then what is the point of shaking the whole internal processes and culture to digitalize processes that won’t influence customers anyhow! Let’s put all of that aside and start with the customer journey instead and see where we can digitalize our services or processes to provide better value to customers. In such a way, we won’t only increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, we will increase revenues, attract more customers, and outperform competitors.
For the past ten years, we have been developing strategic and business expansion plans in Beyond Consulting for our customers in Jordan, KSA, UAE, Qatar, Palestine, and Oman. We witnessed our customers expanding and growing, but among all of them, the ones that witnessed dramatic growth are the ones that were brave enough to question it all and to get themselves out of their comfort zone for the sake of providing value to their customers. In the coming years, these will be referred to as the digital transforming firms, and you better join them.