For organizations, digital transformation is a critical response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Whereas companies used information technology and electronics to automate production in the Third Industrial Revolution, businesses today work their way around combined technologies in digital, physical, and biological fields in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
But still, there is only a limited number of organizations that commit to the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. When the pandemic struck, however, the need for digital transformation was accelerated.
Digital transformation is no longer a luxury. It is now a strategy for businesses to remain competitive and resilient.
The Need for Digital Transformation Across Industries
According to the Red Hat-supported online publication, Enterprisers Project, key industry leaders have observed how many businesses failed during the onslaught of the pandemic. Their failure was attributed to several actions and activities that were either accelerated or worsened by the pandemic.
The Enterprisers Project reported how IT leaders at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, for example, described how businesses were affected by the pandemic. The effects made it more necessary for companies to adopt digital transformation.
IT leaders observed how several companies in the supply chain industry had their automated systems break down when there was a rapid increase in online orders because of the pandemic. They also saw an increase in the use of streaming services, whether it was people watching movies or online classes. Consumers preferred cashless transactions and remote selling was efficiently working. The biggest shift they saw, however, was consumers’ attitude towards food consumption from purchasing groceries to ordering food online.
On the other hand, according to global management consulting firm, McKinsey and Company, consumers’ accelerated shift towards digital use is highly likely to stay even after the pandemic. If businesses were to address changes in consumer behavior that’s affecting industries, they also need to consider its future implications. Knowing it’s here to stay, businesses should improve customer experience.
A closer look at all these observations would surmise that the pandemic affected all industries. The only difference is the gravity of disruption for each industry. Nonetheless, the devastation that the pandemic meant businesses need to adapt and survive. A rapid change in customer expectations, market pressures, and supply chain disruptions had to be addressed. A business needs to take on digital transformation to solve all these changes.
Technologies Driving the Digital Transformation
According to McKinsey, all digital transformations, whether a success or not, share the same traits. They digitize their operating model and adopt several technologies, which often range from four to 11. The top three most commonly adopted technologies include traditional web technologies, cloud-based services, and mobile internet technologies. These three are followed by big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), design thinking, AI tools, and robotics. The least used technologies are advanced neural machine learning, augmented reality technologies, and additive manufacturing.
For companies that have already started with their digital transformation, staying ahead of future disruptions, like the pandemic caused, means implementing a robust business strategy. It doesn’t just mean using specific technologies to foster digital transformation. The entire business has to be overhauled. Because of this, digital transformation is not an easy feat.
While steps to digital transformation may vary for each organization, there are key practices that every business should exercise to make the process somehow easier to understand and manage.
Think of Ways to Improve Customer Experience
Think of ways in how your organization can make the customer experience seamless. Integration with technology can achieve this, but you still need to determine which kinds of technologies to adopt to provide a digital customer experience. At the same time, you need to think of processes within your organization that can be automated to provide an enhanced customer experience.
Enable Your Business Processes to Adapt to the Transition
A successful transformation requires agile management. An agile organization is one that can easily adapt to any change that it may face.
An agile organization should be able to align its organization’s objectives with the goals of its digital transformation. When you do, you’ll be able to prioritize what steps to take to move your company’s transformation forward.
Equip Your Organization with a Modern Workforce and Leadership
All your efforts will not see fruition if you don’t have the right staff and company leaders. You can either hire IT experts or provide career development for your current employees.
MIT remains one of the best computer and technology schools in the country. You can invest in your top employees’ continued education at MIT, so you’ll have IT experts in your team. However, the school has an acceptance rate of 6.7%, so it’s best to choose your brightest employees to send there.
Digital Transformation as a Necessary Move
Digital transformation for any organization is not just a smart decision. In many ways, it is a necessary decision. You’ll need it if you want your company to survive and thrive in the future of business and work.