What is Digital Transformation and How to Successfully Embrace it

Meryam Lehoufa
Meryam Lehoufa   -   February 8th, 2021
Half typewriter and old camera and other half laptop and smartphone

COVID-19 has sped up the adoption of digital transformation by several years in just a few month’s time. In fact, the 2021 Digital Transformation Assessment conducted by The Manufacturer and IBM has revealed that 67% of manufacturing decision-makers say their adoption of digital technologies has accelerated as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Digital transformation is a popular point of discussion at the moment, with around 479 million results on Google for the exact search term. Digital transformation has become a megatrend and it’s evolving at a fast pace. 

Whether it’s on the organizational or industry level, digital adoption has taken a quantum leap. According to Research&Markets, the global digital transformation market is projected to grow from $469.8 billion in 2020 to $1,009.8 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% during that period. 

We’ve dedicated this blog post to explain what digital transformation is, why it’s critical for business success nowadays, and how Redakt can help you to effectively unlock the benefits of digital transformation for your business. 

Let’s dive right in.

What is digital transformation?

The definition of digital transformation can differ from one business to another, simply because each business is unique. It can, however, be defined as a holistic approach to changing the way an organization operates, organizes, thinks, and behaves. 

Digitally transforming a business goes far beyond the implementation of technologies into all business processes. The adoption of technology needs to create additional value for the business itself, for the customers, and other essential stakeholders. In other words, digital transformation is about redefining the entire company’s business strategy by creating new sustainable business models on the backbone of technology. For some businesses, it may even mean changing the company’s corporate culture.

Digital transformation arises from the intersection of AI, cloud computing, IoT, and big data. To succeed in the digital world, companies should think of technology as a strategic competency rather than just a support function.

Some forms and examples of digital transformation

Digital transformation can take different forms depending on the needs of each organization. In general, it falls into one or more of several categories; opening up new market opportunities, enabling innovation, digitizing the customer experience, and increasing operational efficiency. 

The five key domains of digital transformation are customers, competition, data, innovation, and value.

Some forms of digital transformation include:

  • Digitization of paper documents
  • HR automation
  • Internet of things (IoT)
  • AI and data analytics
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Remote work and virtual meeting
  • Online learning
  • Marketing automation
  • Social media (the new customer service desk)
  • Cloud computing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Mobility
  • Supply chain digitization, forecasting analysis & order fulfillment
  • Health care communication & electronic medical records
  • Automating factories’ production line.
  • Government web information & online counter
  • Smart cities, etc.

Since we’ve mentioned digitization, it’s very important to differentiate between the latter, which refers to the conversion of content to digital formats, and digitalization, which is a transformation that aims at using digital technology to collect data and make better business decisions. 

Let’s take a look at some successful digital transformation examples:

Best Buy: Going digital has enabled Best Buy to improve their delivery times and help customers get the most out of their digital devices, instead of just selling them the latest TVs and CDs. By embracing digital marketing, Best Buy provided customized recommendations and assistance for their customers based on digitally gathered data. Although it took seven years, the digital transformation paid off and their stock price rose.

Nike: Another great digital transformation example is that of Nike. As soon as they realized that they were starting to become outdated and sluggish, Nike decided to go digitally transform the company’s mindset, brand, and supply chain. By updating their e-commerce strategy, focusing on more powerful data analytics, and creating stronger digital marketing campaigns, they were able to significantly improve the customer experience and gain more business growth in just about two years. 

A brief historical look at digital transformation and trends for the coming few years

The history of digital transformation goes back to the 1940s when Claud Shannon, who’s known as the father of modern digital communications and information theory, paved the way for digitization in his article A Mathematical Theory of Communication.

In the 1950s, the invention of the microchip and today’s most widely-used semiconductor transistor allowed analog computing to go digital. In the 1980s, home computers were introduced and automation began to enter the workforce.

The world wide web became publicly accessible in the 1990s and, in the 2000s, the digital revolution spread to the rest of the developing world.

From 2000 to 2015, the rise of smart devices and social media platforms led to a radical change in the ways and channels that customers use to communicate with businesses and brands. In addition, the ever-growing selection of digital payment options such as PayPal drove more online purchases and opportunities for web-based points of sale.

Nowadays, more focus is put on mobile devices and on creating real value for customers by leveraging all sorts of personalized customer data generated from mobile technologies on a massive scale. This personalized information enables businesses to better tailor their products, interactions, and communications to meet customers’ needs.

Digital transformation will continue to fuel our future. By 2022, it’s expected that more than 12 billion devices will be connected to the internet. Digital ecosystems, mobile apps and payments, and smart agents will make the top-seven digital giants (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent) part of our everyday lives.

Some future digital transformation trends include:

  • Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
  • Headless CMS and content hubs
  • Voice and conversational UI
  • XaaS (Everything as a service)
  • 5G
  • Quantum computing
  • BaaS (Blockchain as a service)
  • Edge computing
  • 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Biometric technology
  • Next-generation genomics, etc.

The importance and benefits of embracing digital transformation for businesses

The digital world has radically changed customers' behavior and expectations. Failing to meet the increasingly demanding expectations of modern customers is the reason why we see so many legacy businesses failing today. It’s now imperative for businesses of different sizes to ride this wave of disruptive technologies in order to survive.

Embracing digital transformation offers numerous advantages for businesses in terms of enhancing operational efficiency, improving customer experiences, and creating new business models.

Other benefits include: 

  • Meeting changing customer expectations
  • Improving new product quality  
  • Increasing team productivity 
  • Beating current and future competition
  • Attracting top talent and reducing employee turnover
  • Increasing design reuse
  • Increasing business agility
  • Reducing product development costs
  • Improving resource management
  • Reducing business risk
  • Exploring new revenue streams, etc.

The digital transformation is unstoppable and is now a non-negotiable priority. Simply put, businesses need to immediately tackle digital transformation in order to avoid extinction. 

If successfully adopted, digital transformation can close the gap between what traditional business models can deliver and what customers really want.

How can Redakt help with your digital transformation?

Exceptional user experience is at the heart of digital transformation today. That’s what makes customer satisfaction a top motivator for most companies to implement a digital transformation strategy.

The engine that drives customer delight, next to modern sales and marketing, is content. Therefore, whether you’re a business owner or manager, your digital transformation efforts should start with content management.

Content management is the right place to start when building your digital transformation strategy.  A robust content management system can anchor your company’s entire ability to drive deeper engagement and collaboration, create agility and foster innovation,  as well as create, manage, and optimize the user experience. And that’s what Redakt was built around.

Redakt is a modern, fully customizable .NET Core enterprise content management system. As it’s a hybrid CMS, Redakt enables you to explore the advantages of both coupled and headless CMS (more on that in a coming blog post). 

Its clean, modern, and clutter-free interface allows your content managers to work comfortably and efficiently with the back office provided by the CMS. 

Still, why should you choose Redakt over any other hybrid content management system? Well, simply because Redakt is much more than that. Content management is just one of the many features that Redakt offers to facilitate and accelerate your digital transformation journey.

Redakt is the first enterprise-grade CMS to run in .NET Core. This new cutting-edge framework technology allows for high-performance scalable systems and cross-platform deployments, and easier site development and management.

Redakt enables you to incorporate your business processes into the interface by reusing components of the CMS to create your own applications or sub-applications. This gives you more customization options that better fit your needs. 

For example, if you’re in the real estate business, you can create a catalog (ERP) system for your services and operations. If you’re in the travel and tourism industry, you can create a reservation system for online bookings, etc.

To improve your customer service and experience, you can create a clients section for your customers that they can log in to and change their settings, perform other tasks, or request support.

Moreover, Redakt helps facilitate your day-to-day tasks by allowing you to build interfaces to systems like Google Analytics, CRM systems (Salesforce), financial administration, or other custom business processes. This way you won’t need to recreate similar systems, but instead create a unified interface to your already existing systems. 

You can also aggregate all your business data from different systems into Redakt and use one single login for your users/employees. Why is this important? Because it means you won’t have to worry about additional implementation or compatibility issues. You can build everything you need into one single application, this way you will optimize resources and cut costs.

Since one of the remarkable benefits of digital transformation is the ability to get customers with different languages to interact with your product, Redakt enables you to exploit that benefit by giving you the flexibility to add language variations so you can create and publish multilingual content without complicating the CMS back-office. 

You can take advantage of our fast, future-ready CMS solution to make all the necessary modifications you need to create the perfect online environment that’s tailored to your business needs. That’s how you can digitize your business processes while keeping your data secure, your employees productive,  and your website load time fast.

Ready to stoke your digital growth with Redakt? Book a demo here.

Wrapping up

Digital transformation is no longer a “nice-to-have”. Whether small or large, your business needs to make the leap and embrace emerging technologies to compete better in a digital economy.

By embracing scalable and future-proof technologies, like the one Redakt provides, you can make the most of what digital transformation has to offer to help your business thrive.

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Redakt Content Editing on 3 different Apple Devices