Digital transformation is a process in which companies make use of technology to improve performance, increase reach and ensure better results. It is a structural change in organizations that gives technology an essential role.
Have you heard about the digital transformation? This term has gained the attention of companies in all sectors around the world.
But what exactly is that? Some people think it’s an IT effort or that it involves improving the customer experience, in addition to a myriad of other ideas and definitions.
However, the digital transformation is not a concept for the future, but something that today’s businesses must focus on to stay alive.
Therefore, it is necessary to understand exactly what this transformation means, what its impact on society is and how to apply it to business processes and marketing strategies.
With this in mind, we have prepared this guide with everything you need to know about the digital transformation.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is a process in which companies make use of technology to improve performance, increase reach and ensure better results. It is a structural change in organizations, giving an essential role to technology.
But then, practically all companies are investing in that, right? You’re wrong! This concept is much broader than having a fan page or a corporate blog, although these are part of the series of strategies of Online Marketing.
Instead, it’s a radical change in the structure of organizations, in which technology becomes a central strategic role, and not just a superficial presence.
This takes time and consumes resources, but it is not just large organizations that can implement digital transformation programs, because this is not restricted to who has more money.
First, it is necessary to understand the whole process that leads to this change and to work collaboratively to achieve it.
This alone makes the digital transformation much more of a management challenge than just marketing or technology.
Among other factors that we need to understand is the impact of such changes on society in general.
What is the impact of the digital transformation on society?
It is essential to understand that the digital transformation has a profound impact on society in general. From this conclusion, the value of implementing change programs in companies becomes clearer.
But how does this impact occur? It’s simple, think about how the use of technology has been transforming our lives every day.
Everything has become faster, the volume of information is infinitely greater than before and it does not stop increasing.
All this makes people more distracted and demanding than ever before. That is the first change, there is a clear alteration of behavior.
Apart from that, our life became “easier”, because automated services and products offer a comfort that was unthinkable some years ago.
Thinking about the point of view of public utility services, such as hospitals, police authorities and fire brigades, this means more lives saved thanks to technology.
On the other hand, new challenges arise such as disorders linked to vice in technology, virtual crimes, etc. What does this mean?
With the evolution of technology, both new solutions and problems that need attention arise, forcing companies to adapt to meet society’s demands.
This is where the digital transformation comes in, through what can be done with better results. The possibilities are limitless.
Myths about the digital transformation that you need to forget
It already gives a sense of how much the digital transformation impacts the lives of people in all spheres of society.
Consequently, it also profoundly affects the way we do business today.
The problem is that many companies still fail to initiate a digital transformation program because they are bound by myths about the issue.
Look at 6 of those myths you need to dispel from your head right now, and what’s the right way to think about each one of them:
This issue is only for technology companies
It is very easy to hide behind the thought that the digital transformation should only happen in companies that were already born in a digital context, such as e-commerce, SaaS and other “digital natives”.
It is not free that there are so many free or paid tools available for virtually any kind of digital initiative you can imagine.
It all comes down to the customer experience
Another myth is that the digital transformation boils down to creating the best possible customer experience. It’s true that this really matters, but it’s not enough.
Hearing cases of how the customer experience is increasingly valued in companies like Zappos, which goes beyond the limits known to man to satisfy customers, reinforces that idea.
But again, it is worth noting: the digital transformation is a process that needs to be spread throughout the company, so naturally, it is not summed up in the customer experience.
The transformation comes from small initiatives
How about letting the small initiatives of the collaborators develop in order to create, little by little, a truly digital organization?
In theory, that idea may even seem to make sense, but things don’t work that way. The transformation needs to come from the top. Why?
Such a big change needs not only freedom, but the initiative of the leaders to develop clear programs of change and implement them in the companies.
In this way, the company will be able to change the way it is organized and efficient, and employees will understand what is expected of them in this transition.
It is the IT sector that makes the transformation
Information technology, or just IT, needs to be very well structured to ensure the level of performance that a digital business needs.
However, between stating that and saying that the digital transformation is the responsibility of the IT team alone, there is a gulf!
What there needs to be is an approach between the managers and whoever puts the technology to work and not an outsourcing of responsibilities in that way.
The IT sector is only one of the sectors involved in the digital transformation of any company. But it is important without guaranteeing that it is affiliated to meet the day-to-day demand.
It is possible to wait to see, depending on the industry
The demand for innovation is real and urgent throughout the market and those who decide to wait and see what happens will probably not like the scenario they will find.
Think, for example, of agribusiness. In the past, this industry was practically synonymous with acting free of technological processes. But what can we say today?
It is one of the sectors that makes better use of technology to anticipate possible difficulties, optimize processes and, on that account, obtain better results.
This shows that no matter the segment, even risky is, postponing that important change of approach.
It is enough to develop several digital initiatives
This, perhaps, is the greatest deception on the part of executives and decision makers in companies.
The thinking is more or less like this: “if my company already has x digital initiatives underway, I am already part of that transformation”.
Who would say it was that easy, but the truth is that the issue goes deeper than that.
It is very good to develop strategies such as content marketing -which, moreover, has a great participation in the digital transformation-, but those strategies are only PART of the solution.
So, continue to be firm with your digital strategies, but don’t fall into the illusion that they are the transformation itself.
Understands the development of technological progress
The digital transformation is not just another buzzword, a nice term to say that it’s worth investing in Facebook Ads or something like that.
Instead, it is part of a much larger process, which is called: technological process. There are three main phases, with the digital transformation being the last one.
Look at what each of these stages consists of and how they culminate in this movement that we are currently witnessing.
Typing is described as the process of transitioning analog information to a digital form. How so?
It is the representation of signals, sounds, images and objects for the digital medium by means of binary values (each value is represented by 0 or 1).
In other words, data are transformed into bits and stored in electronic devices.
Entire industries benefit from this process, as important and sometimes confidential information becomes easier to store and protect.
Digitization is much broader and refers to the actual changes made in organizations through technology.
This includes some more advanced concepts, such as Big Data, Internet of Things, blockchain, crypto coins, among others.
A common misconception is that digitization means using more IT, but the examples cited show that it goes beyond that, as it involves a more holistic view of technology in order to cause change.
Now we come, at last, to the digital transformation, which is described in the technological process as “the total and general effect of digitalization on society”. What does this mean?
With digitalization in its full state, new opportunities for change and evolution are opening up for organizations of all kinds.
It is possible – and sometimes necessary – to change socio-economic structures, organizational patterns, cultural barriers and even laws.
In this way, we can say that digitisation is the conversion, digitalisation is the process and digital transformation is the effect.
In our free e-book on the digital transformation, you can understand more about it.