Digital Transformation is the driving force for business progress and the future. However, it is not about taking what you have already and putting it online, or conducting your business in the same way you have always been but with newer technology. Digital transformation is about progress and innovation! The best running companies of their industries, such as Uber, Apple, and Google, incorporate digital transformation to make them stand out from their competition;, etc.
Digital transformation is something that can guide your business to success, especially if you’re in an industry that hasn’t tapped into the potential yet. The problem with industries that haven’t incorporated digital transformation is that jumping onto that wave is a big step that comes with a lot of hesitation. With this hesitation comes the mindset of, “I’ll let others do it first and if it works, I’ll do it as well.” The problem with this is that when you join this trend later, it’s difficult to stand out and your business might be seen as just a “copy”. An example of this is Lyft trying to come into the digital transportation industry. Uber’s share of ground transportation in August 2017 was 56%, while Lyft was only at 12%.
Another challenge with digital transformation is that it will change everything you’ve been doing to run your business. With digital transformation comes complete restructuring, and having to build a new business model and business plan. However, in most cases, drastic changes aren’t necessary, and if they are they can be overtly beneficial. Netflix is a great example of this. Their entire business structure changed, from a rental service to a subscription service. Deciding to change, from a physical movie-renting service to an online movie-streaming service, reduced costs dramatically. Along with the reduced costs, the convenience of watching whatever you want, whenever you want (without having to wait for a DVD to be shipped to you and having to return it) is highly appealing for customers, resulting in increased revenue and a loyal customer base.
If your business is trying to progress, the most effective way to do so is through digital transformation. In order to incorporate digital transformation you must have strong leadership with an “aligned” business, be ready for dramatic changes in business structure, have a clear view and understanding of what your goals are, and, if you are in an industry which have not yet tapped into the opportunity, be the first to join the wave.