Every business must eventually update their technology to keep pace with the competition. If they don’t, they will lose part of their market share in the industry, cutting into their revenue stream, ROI, talent pool, creativity and reputation. In order to gain a competitive edge, a company often must undergo a digital transformation.
The idea behind a digital transformation is to incorporate technology into every facet of a business, creating sophisticated operations that deliver more value to customers and improve a company’s bottom line. This may mean exploring new technological territories that improve the customer experience or adding cutting-edge mobile apps. But exactly what is digital transformation, and how are businesses already using these strategies to find success?
What is Digital Transformation and Why is it Important?
7T’s President, Shane Long, defines digital transformation as the bringing together of people, data, and the IoT in a real-time, always available fashion.
Many businesses undergo a digital transformation in order to survive in their particular industry and stand out from the pack. IDC research predicts that by the end of 2019, digital transformation spending will reach about $1.7 on a global scale, marking a 42% increase from 2017.
Nevertheless, it is not a simple process, as IDC predicts that through 2019, 75% of CIOs and enterprises will not meet all their digital objectives. These companies face a number of difficulties, such as developing innovative technologies, transitioning to a cloud infrastructure and a lack of funding.
However, transitioning to a more digital system is still necessary, as a Forrester Research report notes that executives predict that almost half their revenue will be amassed by their digital efforts by 2020. Plus, a Gartner study finds that 56% of executives believe digital improvements have already garnered them higher profit margins. As such, establishing a digital transformation strategy is a valuable endeavor which sets a company up for success by creating a deeper connection between a company and its customers.
Digital Transformation Example: Putnam Investments
A digital transformation needs to address common issues for companies with outdated legacy systems. This includes improving user experience, bolstering a company’s operational agility and improving the company’s culture and leadership roles.
Investment management firm Putnam Investments embarked on a digital transformation when CIO Sumedh Mehta reached out to the company’s business partners to learn what would make their professional lives easier. With their feedback, Mehta added social collaboration tools and enterprise search functionalities that would create stronger communication channels for IT and better automate workflows.
The initiatives included phasing out legacy applications, migrating applications to the cloud, and investing in data analytics capabilities. The investment firm also opened a data science center to research machine learning technologies that would help Putnam generate valuable business insights about their clients. These efforts led to more agile IT operations and increased software development in two-week cycles. These decisions have expanded their business as their partners are excited about the prospect of utilizing smarter technological tools.
Putnam’s example demonstrates how, by developing apps and other technological tools, a company can undergo a digital transformation that will increase the speed of IT operations and create a deeper connection between the company and its partners. Such a move will boost your profit margins and help you gain ground over your competitors.
Digital Transformation Example: Porsche and BMW
Porsche and BMW have also increased their position in the automotive industry through a digital transformation strategy that included more personalized tools. For Porsche, this meant investing in software that amasses more information about their drivers. The company compiled customer data and stored it in a central CRM data center with a unique ID for each customer. The carmaker recorded every customer interaction at every touchpoint through these IDs.
Doing so helps Porsche understand customer expectations for each touchpoint. The company uses customer data to segment its customers in real-time and leverages predictive analytics to offer customers what they want based on these segments. For example, one segment consists of only contacting customers who are actually interested in purchasing a car. These efforts have increased the success of their campaigns and improved Porsche’s overall sales conversion rate.
BMW is also moving towards a more customer-centric approach, learning every detail about a car based on the vehicle identification number. The automaker uses this data to provide individual offers for customers. The digital transformation integrates the company’s web channels, social media and information from the dealer network into their vehicles.
This will help BMW know how its customers use their cars and create clearer communication channels. With the right app, the company can address any problems car owners have in real-time. Now, BMW can offer service at the day and time of their customer’s convenience. Customers will have more data on where a parking spot is, what traffic will look like at a certain place and time and other info based on that customer’s individual data points. The company will eventually move into new services, such as using customer data to offer them parking and charging services.
Both Porsche and BMW have optimized their customer’s driving experiences by informing them of traffic, parking spots and any issues with their vehicles, as well as solutions for these problems. Their work is a wonderful example of how a company can implement apps and other digital tools to learn more about the consumer and offer smart solutions in real-time.
Digital Transformation Example: PHP Agency
The PHP Agency, a financial services company based in Dallas, Texas, came to 7T needing a radical digital transformation. PHP’s representatives were working tirelessly to help their customers find insurance and other financial products through a dated system of desktop apps, paper and email chains.
7T helped PHP analyze their business and identify opportunities to streamline operations and reduce the number of systems and programs needed to close each deal. After creating a comprehensive digital transformation strategy, 7T developed a mobile application that eliminated PHP’s back office systems and moved all their business processes into a real-time, all-inclusive mobile application. The app allows PHP’s representatives to organize their leads, communicate with their team members, keep up with the latest financial products, monitor their sales goals and more.
This digital transformation is the perfect example of bringing people, data, and the IoT together in real-time to transform an entire company and empower its employees.
What Will Your Digital Transformation Look Like?
A digital transformation is a must for companies of virtually every modern industry. Implementing game-changing apps and cutting-edge technology throughout every facet of a company’s services is necessary to survive. At the same time, these tools are helpful for gaining a market share in any given industry.
If you’re hoping to advance your company’s mobile strategy, you will need an experienced developer by your side. The team at 7T can help you achieve a digital transformation that will increase customer satisfaction and boost ROI. We’re also well-versed in emerging technologies, including virtual reality, blockchain, predictive analytics, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and natural language processing, so we can help your company create a competitive advantage.