Digital Transformation FAQs

Digital Transformation FAQs

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Q1 - When did digital transformation start?

The advent of Next-Gen technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big Data and the rest have changed the meaning of digital transformation entirely. We think that we are now in the era of digital transformation.

But DT began almost 3 decades ago when companies started adopting computers in the workplace and went paperless. That is one of the first instances where DT became a popular term.

But as time goes on, technology becomes more accessible and affordable. What was once a luxury, eventually turned into a basic need. Think about computers or mobile phones. Both these technologies are affordable and have become a basic necessity to perform a host of day to day operations.

Similarly, in the 1990s companies began turning to software products that could decrease the need of human interventions in traditional processes. A decade ago these software products began paving the way for cloud based applications.

What has changed now is the rate at which technology is evolving. Where it once changed every decade or so, it is now expected to change almost every year. So we are now truly in the age of Digital Transformation.

Q2 - What are the four pillars of digital transformation?

A great many thought leaders and various publications talk about more or less the same four pillars of DT:

  • Empowering Your Employees
  • Engaging Your Customers
  • Optimizing Your Processes
  • Transforming Your Product or Service

Q3 - What are digital transformation examples?

  • Netflix - Shifted from DVDs by mail into the leading streaming video content service and now a top original content provider.
  • Adobe - Moved beyond core in creative & document software into digital experiences, marketing, commerce platforms and analytics, while changing its business model from packaged software to cloud subscriptions.
  • Amazon - Amazon initiated “Amazon Web Services” (Cloud) to overcome the cost of infrastructure required to conduct operations. AWS has turned into a surprisingly lucrative profit engine. Amazon has also built an entire ecosystem of products and services enabled by its Prime membership.
  • Tencent - Tencent transformed from an online messenger and video game business to an all-around technology business that has presence in entertainment, autonomous vehicle, cloud computing, and fintech
  • Microsoft - Microsoft has transformed from a business model based primarily on selling products, licensees (IP), and devices to a cloud-based platform-as-a-service business.

Q4 - What are the benefits of digital transformation?

If done correctly, digital transformation can help companies reap the following benefits:

  • Improve the skill set of employees and subsequently increase productivity
  • Achieve long term cost reduction owing to efficient processes set in place
  • Greater overall customer satisfaction owing to improved customer experience
  • Efficient data collection, processing and analysis for better decision making
  • Stay profitable and maintain a distinct advantage over competitors

Q5 - Why do digital transformations fail?

The main reasons that companies cannot successfully implement digital transformation in the workplace are:

  • Short term view leading to long term failures
  • Integrating/replacing technology into culture, resistance/inability of employees
  • Inability to align IT and Business goals, which impacts execution
  • Not having the right infrastructure to support digital transformation
  • Lack of employee skills to enable digital transformation

Q6 - What are the drivers of digital transformation?

The top two things that are driving companies towards digital transformation long term sustenance and competitive advantage. The other drivers, and no less important, of digital transformations are:

  • Changing consumer needs and expectations
  • Availability of tools and technologies to understand and interpret vast amounts of data being collected at all points of the buyer’s journey
  • Digital skills and digital business replacing archaic methods and processes

Q7 - How can you develop a culture that is digital ready?

Digital Transformation in the workplace does not mean dumping all old process and technologies. Nor does it involve replacing every employee in the organization. It is a process that needs to be thought through and initiated step by step.

For any organization, employee buy-in is very important. If the employees are not convinced or are not sure of how to get on board, then any transformation, however useful, will have little to no impact. The best way to go about this is to develop a culture that is digital ready. Here’s how you do it:

  • Explain the intent and expected outcome to the entire organization. Be entirely transparent.
  • Communicate consistently and across all levels. If employees have any questions or objections, answer them in a detailed manner and help them overcome their resistance.
  • Help employees realize the gaps in their performance and show them their potential.
  • Conduct training and development programs to help these employees get to their true potential.
  • Be unafraid of risks. With good planning, this can be mitigated to a great extent.
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