Digital Transformation: The Ultimate Quick Start Guide

Why is Digital Transformation Important?

In the past, running a business only required people, process, and physical infrastructure like offices or factories. Today, an array of technological tools exist to administer those employees, their physical infrastructure, and their processes. Here are a few ways integration of digital technology can benefit your business.

Faster Decision Making

Any key performance indicator (KPI) that is important for business decisions must be readily available—you must be able to accrue the data and rapidly analyze it, comparing your statistics with standard benchmarks or goals. This ensures that all functional roles are operating in accordance with business requirements and objectives.

During a transformation initiative, you will be able to track metrics by leveraging your new digital capabilities. Based on these metrics, you will refine your digitization plans and procedures, resulting in improved business outcomes, and in the bottom line, growth in revenue and profitability.

In addition, by applying data-driven insights and analysis, you will be able to better understand your customers and immediately make optimal decisions based on their behavior.

 

Collaboration

The digitized world has connected people across global regions and provided them with access to information in ways that were never before possible. Communication has become so seamless that organizations can start thinking of teams and organizational units as a unified whole, rather than a group of individuals.

Taking this into the workplace, a company’s digital transformation will be more successful if it includes strengthening communication and collaboration between teams and employees.

Socio-economic barriers, age differences, even gender biases break down when communication fosters dialogue, shared learning experiences, and grows motivation.

Improved Customer Experience

New digital technologies, social media, and smartphones have become almost synonymous with the desire for an improved lifestyle. Consumers have come to expect instant gratification and immediate solutions for day to day problems.

Consequently, new technologies often exist with one sole purpose: to improve the user’s experience. Suddenly, cutting-edge technology has become its own end, and digital transformation aims to boost customer satisfaction through:

Design and digitization of the client journey

  • Development and strengthening of the information base
  • Incorporation of the customer into the business automation journey

By supplying a satisfying digital experience, the company shows its technological savviness, and leadership positioning, and gains customer trust and respect.

Core Digital Transformation Technologies

Several technologies are critical to the digital transformation process:

Cloud computing—provides businesses with swifter access to its software and data, along with immediate updates and increased functionality. These capabilities can be accessed from any location at any time.

  • Mobile platforms—remove the limitations of time and place from the work paradigm.
  • Automation—frees humans to execute higher added-value tasks. Mundane repetitive tasks are performed, faster and with fewer errors, by robotic process automation (RPA) or other automation technologies.
  • Information technology as a commodity—frees a company from being responsible for its entire technology stack, enabling it to focus on customizing its information technology systems to better serve its needs and differentiate it from its competitors.
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence—provide organizations with the insights required for making faster and more precise decisions driven by algorithms with true cognitive capabilities.
  • Other emerging transformational technologies—including blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, the internet of things (IoT), edge computing, and social media, promote business efficiency and responsiveness.

What Areas of Your Business Will Be Affected by Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is typically applied for the purpose of helping organizations become more efficient. However, a successful digital transformation can often become a complex operation. There are four main areas involved in the transformation, including technology, data, process, and cultural or organizational transformation. The four must work together to ensure true efficiency and the flexibility needed for future modification.

Technology

Digital transformation typically involves a shift from traditional, legacy technology to new, more scalable technologies. A monolithic application, for example, can be re-architected into a scalable cloud-native containerized application. However, all components of the organization should be made to work together, and this is often a complex process that requires a high level of expertise.

Data

Data is a fundamental resource. If handled well, it can yield actionable insights that can improve a wide range of areas. You can use data to increase sales, improve efficiency, and create better relationships with customers, for example. However, to truly utilize data and turn it into insights, organizations need to create pipelines that result in high data quality and analytics. This often requires an investment in time and talent.

Process

Digital transformation, ideally, should take into account all relevant processes and design interconnected pipelines that introduce a greater level of flexibility, scalability, and collaboration. This often requires a change in hierarchy, and the adoption of agile concepts. Once agile pipelines are adopted, organizations can break through silos and improve efficiency.

Cultural/Organizational Transformation

A new process relies on people. Any process you create should help support the employees and stakeholders of the organization. In some cases, this means a shift in culture—and then employees are asked to adopt the change. In other cases, this means keeping an old piece of tech to maintain consistency. An organizational transformation should work on a balance that considers all aspects of the organization, including the needs of human resources.

Digital Transformation in Business Sectors

Digital transformation is inevitable when promoting customer loyalty and retention, and increasing value in general. Here are a few primary business sectors deeply affected by digital transformation.

Digital Transformation in Supply Chain, Procurement and Manufacturing

According to Gartner, supply chain and manufacturing companies must “look to innovative technologies that have the potential to disrupt supply chain operating models.” Today’s supply chains and manufacturing procedures require centralized visibility over everything—from the raw materials to the end-user—that only digital transformation can provide.

Digital Transformation in HR

The post-pandemic workplace has little resemblance to a mid-20th century office floor. All stages of the HR process, from evaluation and recruitment, through onboarding, training, and performance management, are performed through digital means. Remote work via digital technology is now the norm.

Digital Transformation in Banking

Financial planning and credit management are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to financial services. Customization, hyper-personalized services, mobile functionality, and free remote access to banking services are now expected by customers in all markets. In addition, blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the manner in which value is communicated.

 

Digital Transformation in IT

Traditionally-structured IT departments are finding it difficult to meet the needs of a modern digital enterprise. New cloud services are an alternative to old-school IT, giving rise to shadow IT, or unauthorized usage of external services by employees. Instead, IT must itself undergo digital transformation, enabling the organization to utilize cloud services and modern technologies in an agile manner, while taking responsibility for security and governance.

Digital Transformation with Hysolate

Hysolate supports digital transformation at scale by providing a secure, isolated workspace, so that your users can access both their corporate information, and more risky, untrusted activities from the same device, without opening your business up to risks like malware and other attacks.

Hysolate’s virtual desktop solution can be deployed across a corporation, in minutes, so that users can be quickly and easily onboarded and offboarded. Full cloud management capabilities mean that Hysolate admins can control exactly which activities users can do, in each workspace. Hysolate provides a superior user experience, so your team can complete their daily activities without lag and UX issues, even when using popular communication solutions like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

With Hysolate, teams can work more efficiently, and more productively, leading to more agile processes, and increased productivity. Workers can work as well out of the office as in it, and your team can scale remotely and globally.

Learn more about Hysolate Isolated Workspaces.

Digital Transformation Strategy: Key Elements and 4 Tips for Success

What is a Digital Transformation Strategy?

 

The goal of a digital transformation strategy is to leverage technology to better serve customers, to improve productivity of employees, and to generate positive business outcomes.

Digital transformation initiatives require organizations to re-invent themselves. All aspects of the organization may undergo change, from business workflows, to day-to-day procedures carried out by employees, to new roles and organizational structures.

A digital transformation strategy should not only look at near term objectives like delivering a digital experience to specific customers or automating certain processes. It should broadly consider how the organization will compete in the digital economy in the years to come.

This requires a deep understanding of the organization, its strengths and weaknesses, the competitive environment, and the needs and wants of customers.

Why is Digital Transformation Important?

According to Gartner, Digital Transformation can refer to anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models. The term is widely used in public-sector organizations to refer to modest initiatives such as putting services online or legacy modernization. Thus, the term is more like “digitization” than “digital business transformation.”

Digital transformation is critical for business success in the 21st century. Companies are investing in their digital strategy, and are seeing positive returns:

  • The digital transformation market is rapidly growing, expected to reach $3.2 trillion by 2025.
  • According to Accenture research, 76% of senior executives believe that organizations need to improve their digital customer experience.
  • Companies with digital-first strategies were 64% more likely to exceed their revenue goals.
  • According to Deloitte, business transformation is tied to revenue—of companies that saw a positive impact from their digital strategy, 45% said it directly increased revenues.

What Should a Digital Transformation Strategy Include?

Here are a few elements that your organization should include when building its digital strategy:

  • People—who will execute the strategy, including senior management, developers, marketers, data analysts, content writers.
  • Process—how will the team work together to make the digital strategy a reality, and how will the organization make the transition.
  • Platform—what technological tools the organization will use to execute the strategy, and how it will use them.
  • Content—what content will be needed to support the digital strategy, and how will it be created and managed.
  • Data—how will the team collect, store, and analyze data to make decisions.
  • Measurement—how will the organization measure success, and what metrics should be tracked.
  • Products—what products or services will be produced, and how their characteristics or delivery will change in line with the digital strategy.
  • Partners—who do you need to work with to make the strategy a reality.
  • Customers—who the digital strategy is intended to serve, and how the team will understand their needs and behaviors.

4 Tips for a Successful Digital Transformation

Here are a few ways you can ensure your digital transformation initiative is a success.

1. Focus on Customer Experience

When implementing new technologies, a customer-centric approach is essential. Choose a technology that can enhance your customer’s user experience.

Companies in different industries, serving different audiences, require different digital strategies. This applies for online, offline and store channels. Today’s customers are impatient and demand immediate satisfaction. Implement digital transformation to guide customers to buy or perform the required action in the shortest possible time. If there are places customers are getting stuck or frustrated, make them a focus of your digital strategy.

Related content: read our guide to digital transformation for business

2. Implement Digital Strategy Gradually

Digital transformation projects are a long-term undertaking. Avoid putting employees and customers at risk, or overwhelming them, with large, sudden changes. Pace out digital initiatives in stages, provide training to employees and customers (if relevant), and implement all changes at an easy-to-digest pace.

3. Cooperation and Cultural Change

All employees must be involved in digital transformation. This requires a cultural change across the enterprise. Communication between all departments is critical to success. It is advisable to appoint a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) or digital transformation expert within your organization—these roles can help drive the cultural change.

4. Monitor Return on Investment

Financial returns are a great way to measure value and demonstrate the success of digital transformation. Monitor revenue in business units affected by the digital strategy, and adjust strategy as needed. The end goal of most digital initiatives is increased revenue and/or reduced operating costs—see that this is really happening, and if not, prioritize your resources to achieve the best results.

Digital Transformation Strategy with Hysolate

While going through a digital transformation process, businesses need to focus on processes that help their teams to work more quickly, and more effectively. Hysolate supports digital transformation at scale by providing a secure, isolated workspace, so that your users can access both their corporate information, and riskier activities from the same device, without opening your business up to risks like malware and other attacks.

As work from home and BYOD trends become key to workers increasing their productivity, they also open your business up to IT and Security risks. With Hysolate, riskier activities are fully separated from secure corporate data, so your team can work wherever it suits them, and on the device of their choice, a key feature of all successful digital transformations.

Hysolate’s virtual desktop solution can be deployed across a corporation, in minutes, so that users can be quickly and easily onboarded and offboarded. Full cloud management capabilities mean that Hysolate admins can control exactly which activities users can do, in each workspace. Hysolate provides a superior user experience, so your team can complete their daily activities without lag and UX issues, even when using popular communication solutions like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Hysolate is a key solution for digital transformation capabilities, increasing your team’s productivity in a safe and secure way.

Digital Transformation for Business: 5 Big Success Stories

 

What is Digital Transformation for Business?

Digital transformation uses technology to evolve how businesses operate. It can involve changes to infrastructure, processes, and business culture, with the goal of adapting the business to the digital economy and new customer requirements.

From a business perspective, digital transformation is a matrix function that touches all departments of an organization—finance, sales, marketing, product, customer service, human resources, and more.

The changes carried out by each of these departments have a common goal—to improve the way the business interacts with its customers, improve the customer experience, and make the organization more competitive.

Digital transformation is customer focused, but its ultimate impact is on the business itself—it should generate a measurable lift in business metrics like revenue, profitability, and market share. In this article we’ll showcase five stories of major organizations that carried out digital transformations and generated impressive results.

5 Examples Of Successful Digital Transformation In Business

Here are a few real life examples of companies that took on ambitious digital transformation initiatives, and succeeded in driving business results.

Target

Target is one of the ten largest retailers in the USA, with over 300,000 employees. The company introduced online ordering and launched a digital marketing initiative to grow sales. In addition, physical stores were redesigned to help customers discover products more easily, and explore in store while buying online.

The result: Target began its digital transformation in 2006 and saw stock price increase from $53 to $88, with revenues growing by $6 billion.

Hasbro

Hasbro is a maker of toys and games, with over 5,500 employees and annual revenue of over $4 billion. The company made a strategic change in 2012, switching its traditional focus on children, and starting to market to parents.

It created large-scale data driven campaigns, supported by social media. The same data was used to better understand parents, recommend the most relevant games for their children, and help them seamlessly purchase via multiple channels.

Results: While the marketing campaigns grew Hasbro’s marketing expenses by over 10X, it also grew sales by $1 billion, and share price increased from $36 to $109.

Honeywell

Honeywell is a Fortune 100 manufacturer that operates in multiple industries, including aerospace and building technologies. Early in its digital transformation, Honeywell cut its operations from eight markets to six, to improve quality and make it easier to apply digital strategies.

Honeywell launched a digital transformation group within the company, which led innovations like IoT-connected devices, data-driven product offerings, and advanced industrial process control. Customer data was analyzed and used to improve product offerings, help customers make better decisions, and make manufacturing processes more efficient.

Results: Honeywell grew revenue from $40 to $43 billion in 2018 (although revenue dropped to $38 billion later) and share price grew from $95 to $174.

Home Depot

Home Depot is a home improvement retailer with over 400,00 employees. In 2017, the company set out to provide an improved eCommerce experience, tied closely to other channels including physical stores.

The company created a group of 1,000 employees with digital and customer experience skills and bolstered the IT department, improving its ability to gather and analyze customer data. One of the uses of this data is to save costs through predictive analytics of local inventory levels.

Results: Stock price grew from $135 to $215, and revenue increased by over $17 billion.

Microsoft

Microsoft is the world’s largest software company with over 166,000 employees. Microsoft embarked on a new digital strategy to face competition from players like Apple, Amazon and Google. Its main focus was to build a cloud computing business that would provide easier access to its technology, both for individuals and larger organizations. It built Microsoft Azure, which became the world’s second largest cloud provider, and strengthened its market position by forging partners with other technology giants, such as SAP, VMware, and Oracle.

Results: Share price grew from $38 in 2014 to over $136, and market capitalization is now over $1 trillion.

How Does Digital Transformation Drive Business Growth?

Here are several ways digital transformation can have an impact on an organization’s success in the marketplace.

Delivering a Seamless Digital Experience

Customers have grown used to seamless, convenient digital experiences in their personal lives. They expect to have the same experience in the workplace, or when interacting with a company.

Companies who can deliver agile IT services, responding quickly to customer requirements, will thrive. Successful organizations will focus on user experience, performance and security of digital services, to ensure they meet the requirements of the digital consumer.

Making Better Decisions

The digitization of business processes and data is allowing companies to make better, faster decisions. By leveraging data analytics and machine learning, businesses can now use historical data to predict future outcomes.

This is a huge opportunity for organizations who can harness the power of digital transformation and turn data into insight.

Improving Employee Productivity

Many companies are struggling with talent shortages – particularly in technical roles. Digital transformation will allow companies to get more out of their existing workforce, by making it easier for employees to do their jobs – and also providing employees with a more engaging workplace environment.

For example, many companies have implemented self-service IT portals that allow employees to request computer support or access software licenses without having to call the help desk. This has reduced the load on IT staff, while improving employee satisfaction.

Improving Inventory Management and Pricing

Digitization is helping retailers manage inventory and pricing more effectively. By digitizing the supply chain, retailers can better understand consumer demand, which allows them to adjust inventory accordingly. This helps them avoid excess inventory and over-pricing on popular items.

Personalizing Customer Experience

Digitization is allowing companies to increase revenue by improving customer experience. For example, a forward-thinking retailer can use digital transformation to improve customer service by providing personalized recommendations based on previous purchases. This type of personalization can help an organization provide better service and ultimately sell more products.

Best Practices for Digital Transformation in Business

Here are a few best practices you can use to more effectively implement digital transformation in your organization.

Invest in a Future-Proof Infrastructure

Digital transformation projects must build an infrastructure for the long term. It is best to start with technology assets the organization already has. After making the best use of your existing assets, consider how to expand your digital infrastructure. Common options include:

  • Migrating to public cloud services
  • Adopting software as a service (SaaS) as a replacement for legacy applications
  • Transforming monolithic applications into microservices
  • Adding data scientists or developers with new skill sets to your team

Don’t Underestimate the Human Factor

The people who will be using and supporting the new digital infrastructure are the most important part of the digital transformation project. They will be the ones who will make it a success or failure.

Take time to understand their daily workflows, and make sure they are involved in the design and development process. Involving users in this way will ensure that they are more productive and satisfied with the new digital tools.

Use Agile Methodologies

Digital strategies and technologies move fast. By using agile development methods, you can update the digital strategy to respond to competitors, customer requirements, and technical challenges. Develop products and platforms in an iterative manner, releasing them to the market frequently to get fast feedback. Encourage employees to innovate and take controlled risks.

Put Data to Work

Make sure your organization can collect quality data from customers, IT systems, internet of things (IoT) devices and other relevant sources. Ensure teams have the technologies and skills to process this data in a timely manner and use the insights to guide digitization projects. Also use data to drive automation, personalization and business decisions in real time, responding to customer needs and market changes.

Digital Transformation for Business with Hysolate

While going through a digital transformation process, businesses need to focus on processes that help their teams to work more quickly, and more effectively. Hysolate supports digital transformation at scale by providing a secure, isolated workspace, so that your users can access both their corporate information, and riskier activities from the same device, without opening your business up to risks like malware and other attacks.

As work from home and BYOPC trends become key to workers increasing their productivity, they also open your business up to IT and Security risks. With Hysolate, riskier activities are fully separated from secure corporate data, so your team can work wherever it suits them, and on the device of their choice, a key feature of all successful digital transformations.

Hysolate’s virtual desktop solution can be deployed across a corporation, in minutes, so that users can be quickly and easily onboarded and offboarded. Full cloud management capabilities mean that Hysolate admins can control exactly which activities users can do, in each workspace. Hysolate provides a superior user experience, so your team can complete their daily activities without lag and UX issues, even when using popular communication solutions like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Hysolate is a key solution for digital transformation capabilities, increasing your team’s productivity in a safe and secure way.

Learn more about Hysolate Isolated Workspaces