Image Source: Unsplash.com
Digital transformation has become necessary in recent years, but new trends have arisen throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, digital transformation grew into a unique shape that every business should fit into if they want to stay competitive in their niche.
In today’s blog post, we’ll define digital transformation, discuss the newest trends that arose during and after the pandemic, and discuss the essential components of a successful DX project.
The definition of digital transformation
Digital transformation refers to the drastic change in business processes to leverage digital technologies and adapt operations to the modern world’s customer expectations. The change is often fundamental and affects various scopes of a company’s operations and employees. The main goal of digital transformation efforts is to optimise internal processes and maximise delivered value.
Although the process heavily relies on incorporating technological advancements into a business model, transforming existing business processes is often based on a cultural change and a general shift in a company’s vision and outlook. A successful transformation process will inevitably lead to a competitive advantage over the industry, improved business resiliency and increased customer satisfaction.
As the business and market requirements are ever-changing, especially with today’s rapid technology development, businesses must leverage digital platforms and turn them to their advantage. Staying on top of the latest digital transformation trends is vital for a business strategy to become successful.
Key digital transformation trends in 2022
Many businesses have started to undergo digital transformation throughout the past years. However, the process accelerated during the outbreak of Covid-19 and became more urgent than ever in the post-pandemic era. In 2022, digital transformation will be a crucial factor for future success.
Today, the focus is shifted towards business resilience in times of economic and health crisis, which directly impacts market volatility and customer needs. The ability to leverage digital technology and use it as a protective shield is crucial to business continuity and is considered among the best business practices.
Adaptation to remote work capability is another rising trend which is here to stay. Throughout the pandemic, many companies were forced to rapidly shift on-premise tasks to remote positions and allow their employees to work from the safety of their homes. However, that happened somewhat unexpectedly, and many were caught unprepared for such a significant change.
Today, businesses that begin their digital transformation journey are focused on developing their operations in a way that simultaneously allows remote work opportunities and increases employee productivity. Various aspects are considered: IT infrastructure, cyber security, collaboration tools, employee psychological state, etc.
Another digital transformation trend in 2022 is Artificial Intelligence (AI). More particularly, utilising its ability to automate business processes and prioritise ethics and governance related to the technology.
Artificial intelligence is an advanced field of study using complex algorithms to process data that aims to simulate human intelligence. Today, AI and its many subfields (e.g. machine learning, predictive data analytics, natural language processing) are considered a key component in digital transformation initiatives (DX initiatives).
Thanks to AI-driven processes, business leaders can drive customer engagement and remain competitive by utilising them in various ways:
- Analyse data/predictive analytics.
- Predict and anticipate future situations and interactions.
- Create effective business strategies and drive innovation.
- Simulate human customer service/support (e.g. chatbots).
- Personalise interactions and detect seasonality/other patterns.
- Reduce costs related to the traditional approach of customer support.
Cloud services, including cloud computing, are increasingly popular as they accelerate digital change in DX projects. According to research, cloud platforms and infrastructure can accelerate time to market by 20 to 40%, cut IT costs, improve customer experience and streamline remote work.
A cloud provider hosts all your hardware and software, thus supplying you with the latest technology without you spending enormous money on getting it. You can use ML cloud apps to personalise the customer experience and design a cloud infrastructure to allow your employees to work remotely without depriving them of the typical office benefits (e.g. cyber security, collaboration tools, etc.).
Furthermore, multi-cloud architecture is leading in digital transformation strategies as it is considered more effective, secure and resilient. The most significant benefit it offers over legacy technology is the facilitation of data regulation adherence and meeting compliance requirements.
Digital transformation begins and ends with the customer
Transforming existing business processes and making digital transformation investments revolve around customers and improving their experiences. CEOs started taking a more customer-centric approach and utilising digital technology to create new, innovative and memorable experiences for their customers.
Some of the largest corporations and famous brands understand that customer needs come first and that their client base is constantly connected to the digital world. Today almost everyone owns a smartphone or a tablet and can purchase from anywhere, even on the way home. Simplifying this process is as vital as offering a product or service.
In today’s digital age, business success relies on utilising emerging technologies to provide customers with a seamless digital journey. You should design every app or website feature to match customer needs based on thorough research, feedback, analytics, competitor comparison, performance indicators, etc.
Digitisation is the move from analogue to digital
Many confuse digital transformation with digitisation. However, digitisation is an inevitable part of digital transformation and is moving from analogue to digital operations. It helps business reformation by completely detaching from legacy systems and substituting them with modern, digital solutions.
Digitisation is unavoidable if you want your business to grow; frankly, you have already fallen behind the competition if you haven’t transformed your processes. Digital operations offer the tremendous advantage of faster and easier access to information even while off-premises. They significantly improve employee productivity and efficiency and reduce operational costs.
Other benefits of digitisation are improved organisation and better security. In case of a disaster, you have a much larger opportunity range when recovering essential data. Automation is simply impossible with an analogue/manual process, while a digital operation directly contributes to productivity.
Digitalisation is using digital data to simplify how you work
Digitalisation differs from digitisation in that rather than fixing the past. It focuses on optimising the present and helps a business develop. Digitalisation aims to simplify processes and make them more efficient (e.g. increasing production speed or processing data or reducing security risk).
Digital leaders transform their business models to increase their revenue and create more valuable products and services using digital technologies. In other words, they leverage their digitisation to create more opportunities and improve their products.
Digital transformation adds value to every customer interaction
Digital transformation requires changes in all aspects of value chains, thus pushing product and service providers to drive innovation and add value to customer interactions. Both online and offline, technology leaders help businesses personalise the customer journey and improve decision-making.
Image Source: Unsplash.com
What is digital transformation – understanding the possibilities
Understanding the possibilities technology presents to your business is key to successful and sustainable digital transformation. IT leaders have provided endless opportunities for those who want to develop. Today, only imagination can be your limit when trying to maximise your ROI.
Technology advances so much that it constantly drives innovation in products and services. For example, more and more hotel chains began to expand their internal ecosystem capabilities by installing the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) control systems throughout hotel rooms.
Countless companies have chosen to deploy virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to engage more customers and spark their curiosity. These technologies can be highly beneficial for creating content on SaaS platforms or acquiring new skills during online education lessons. Many real estate agencies use VR to showcase properties without clients physically attending the building.
Adapt your business to leverage digital transformation
Business adaptation to current customer requirements, competitor trends and new markets is vital if you want to leverage digital transformation. You can take a few steps to make the process easier and more structured.
First, you need to identify the segments with the most potential, which you can do with a thorough market analysis. Next, you want to track the entire customer journey, as this step is crucial for understanding your client’s needs and inevitably gives you innovative solutions.
Whether you are a managing director of a financial services company or a CEO of a retail company, you probably have a website to showcase your services/products, workforce and previous experience. Your marketing strategy plays a huge role in digital transformation, so you’ll need to adapt it too.
Create separate landing pages for all your market verticals and optimise them for search engine queries. Adapt your content, promotions and seasonal offers to match your strategy and target your buyer personas using digital tools.
Your sales and marketing teams should work together and not miss important details, covering all aspects of your client’s journey. They can use AI/ML to create tailored offers to your target audience by using complex analytics and predictive algorithms. These steps will help you improve digital transformation ROI sooner than expected.
How to digitally transform your business?
Digitally transforming your business is not a simple task and not an overnight success. One step to successful digital transformation is understanding that it’s about changing, adapting and transforming your business processes and operations, not just purchasing new technology.
If you are a small or medium business and don’t have the internal team you need to design a complete process, you can turn to an external DX consultant. Digital transformation consultants such as Network Fish are experienced in the field and can give you a great outlook on your business niche, global spending, market expansion and customer expectations.