In the business world, the answer to a question really depends upon whom you ask and this is especially true in the realm of digital transformation. Most would agree that digital transformation is a rather nebulous concept that serves as a catch-all for projects that leverage technology in an innovative way that propels a company forward.
But what are the four types of digital transformation? The answer will vary, but all can offer good insight that will help guide your next high-tech project.
Four Types of Digital Transformation – Focus on the Subject
If we take a focus on the actual act of transformation and the actual focus or target of that project, the following four points ought to be considered.
• Process Transformations – Digital transformation projects focusing on a process can involve a workflow, a process flow or anything similar. This can be achieved in many ways, such as developing an automation solution, mobile application or enterprise software platform. With this approach to digital transformation of a process, the objective is to achieving greater efficiency, while simultaneously bringing benefits such as automating tasks that subsequently free human resources to focus on higher-level tasks.
• Business / Business Model Transformation – When done properly, business and business model transformations can bring big results for an organization. Overhauling a business model or business strategy is no small feat and a great deal of technology may be required to achieve maximum impact and ROI. This may very well be one of the most common approaches to digital transformation and for good reason: the impact can be tremendous and this type of digital transformation can involve virtually any tech you can imagine.. But you must have a well-architected digital transformation strategy and deployment plan. Remember, when potential gains are significant, the potential losses tend to be equally impactful.
• Industry / Domain Transformation – The very nature of digital transformation of an industry or domain is large scale and many may find this intimidating. But for the early adopter and disruptor, this is the perfect approach to digital transformation. The objective with this type of project is to change the status quo using new and emerging technologies or by leveraging existing technologies in clever, unique ways. This high-stakes type of digital transformation may involve literally any type of technology and it requires a solid strategy. If executed properly, the payoff can be significant; the losses can be equally impactful if things go off the rails.
• Cultural / Organizational Transformation – Digital transformation involving organizational or cultural transformation typically focuses on the ways in which employees, customers / clients and other humans interact within the context of a business. The objective is to implement technology that improves communications, transactions and the processes that surround those interactions. Similarly, technology may also be developed to enhance and support the existing (or an entirely new) organizational structure. Therefore, you’ll need an in-depth understanding of the cultural / organizational composition and dynamics. From there, a company is well-positioned to develop a custom digital transformation solution such as enterprise software, mobile applications, process automations and cloud solutions, among other things.
Four Types of Digital Transformation – Focus on Impact
If we focus on who / what is impacted by the digital transformation project, then the following will offer lots of great insight as a company begins to formulate their strategy.
Ideally, a business should focus on both impact and the actual subject of the transformation. In this way, both digital transformation types are perfectly valid and should be well-considered as a company’s approach is developed.
• Digital Transformation Focused on Data – Data is often a company’s most valuable asset. Data is at the core of countless business processes. Just think of an e-commerce site’s customer database and CRM data. A company’s ERP platform is packed with data from all departments and divisions. Data drives the decision making process too. In a circular point, data propels a company forward through processes such as digital transformation! It’s only appropriate that many organizations opt to focus on data management, data handling, data storage and data analytics as they pursue a digital transformation project. If ROI and impact are your primary goals, this type of digital transformation is your best bet.
• Digital Transformation Focused on Employees – Digital transformation projects focusing on employees can improve productivity, boost morale and increase motivation. Empowered employees hold the potential to transform a company, its culture, its profitability and its overall potential for long-term success. This type of digital transformation can take many forms, from web-based training portals, to enterprise mobile applications and interactive software platforms designed to do everything from improving employee health and wellness or providing training, to enhancing on-the-job efficiency and providing an intuitive, user-friendly messaging platform. Companies that pursue this type of digital transformation tend to place a high value on employee experience.
• Digital Transformation Focused on Products and Services – Digital transformation doesn’t necessarily need to represent an enterprise solution; in many cases, the technology a company opts to implement is the product or service. Consumer-facing mobile apps, SaaS solutions, data platforms — the possibilities are only limited by imagination, making this type of digital transformation ripe for disruptors. Additionally, your company may develop a digital transformation strategy to support a new or existing product / service, such as an innovative companion app.
• Digital Transformation Focused on Customers and Clients – Customers and clients — and a company’s interactions with those individuals — can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line and the overall success of a business. This type of digital transformation serves to streamline those interactions and optimize overall user experience. Mobile applications, web portals and other customer-facing platforms represent a majority of transformations in this space. When you improve customer / client experience, you’ll simultaneously free up staff to focus on higher-level tasks since they won’t need to address issues arising from upset clients or disgruntled customers. Sales and profits will also rise when processes are improved and clients / customers are engaged more efficiently — even more benefits of this type of digital transformation project.
Digital Transformation to Solve Problems and Drive Business Forward
While the 4 types of digital transformation vary, these approaches share something in common: innovative technology that is intended to solve a problem in a clever way, whether it’s improving a process, enhancing an interaction or solving a problem.
At 7T, we specialize in digital transformation, with the development of innovative technology that drives ROI. It’s all inspired by our company’s focus: “Digital Transformation Driven by Business Strategy.” Beyond developing mobile apps, enterprise software and other high-tech solutions, 7T delivers collaborative, multi-phased digital transformation as a service solutions — such as workflow / process automation and cloud solutions — to clients in all industries and business sectors.
Our offices are situated in Dallas, Houston and Austin, but our clientele spans the globe. If you’re ready to learn more about digital transformation as a service or are seeking to develop an enterprise digital transformation solution such as a custom enterprise software platform, mobile app or another piece of technology for your organization, contact 7T today.