This year, Covid-19 has brought about such a change that it has forever transformed the way some businesses are run. For many companies, this period marks the shift of different aspects of their organisation in order to maintain business continuity. One area that saw the most movement is digital transformation.
Digital transformation is defined as the practice of adopting digital technology to improve the way a business operates or serves customers. Digital transformation in business typically can be applied in 4 areas: business process, business model, market segment, and organisational culture.
Find out what digital transformation opportunities look like in these 4 areas below.
4 Types of Digital Transformation in Business
1. Business Process
A significant portion of the digital transformation process has been focused on the business process itself. There are tons of technologies available to reinvent the existing processes within an organisation, which includes machine learnings, AI, data, and analytics.
These changes can be implemented in the field of customer experience. A good example of this are restaurants that have developed apps to simplify the ordering process for customers. The ability to place orders from any device, pay them virtually, and have the orders ready for pickup or delivery at their desired time has definitely brought convenience. Another example is when banks and financial firms have utilized robotic process automation to handle back office processes for a more streamlined approach to doing business.
Whatever type of technology businesses choose to implement or use, the digital transformation has undoubtedly reduced cycle times, increased quality, and lowered cost of production or operation. Since digital transformation is focused on specific areas of a business, it adds value and efficiency to the entire business process.
2. Business Model
The transformation of the business model is another aspect wherein digital transformation has seen accelerated growth. Not only are companies implementing technology and technological tools to alter how they do business, but some are completely revising their business model. Some key examples of this are how Netflix transformed distribution of video content and Uber altering the taxi industry.
In the COVID-19 era, many businesses have been forced to shift completely to an online marketplace. Some of these businesses have relied entirely on offline operation prior to COVID-19 but the need to develop digital sales channels is the only way to ensure business continuity. In fact, going digital has allowed some businesses to thrive since they are no longer limited within the local market segment.
3. Market Segment
Speaking of market segment, this is another area wherein digital transformation is most evident in the time of COVID-19 and beyond. The advancement of technology has redefined how products and services are delivered. More importantly, it has blurred the lines when it comes to businesses and the industry they belong in.
For this reason, businesses who have adapted to digital transformation have been able to embrace a whole new segment beyond their previously served markets. With the cost of entry being more affordable than ever before, it is now within the reach of any company, whether small or large businesses. Buying a domain and building a new website is cheaper than ever. Hence, it is the perfect opportunity for businesses to tap into a whole new segment of the market.
4. Organisational Culture
Last but definitely not the least, digital transformation can also be evident in the changes within a company’s organisational culture. In order to adapt a full and long-term digital transformation, there must be a change in the organisational mindset, too.
As the business processes and model change, there might be a need to acquire new talents that are adept in the digital-driven world. If not, the need to train existing workforce to suit the digital transformation might be necessary. It will also require companies to adopt digital workflow practices in order to make the transition for the employees as seamless as possible.
Real-Life Examples of Digital Transformation
The digital transformation in business is seen the world over and across all business sizes (from small to giant tech companies). Many businesses have heeded the call for digital transformation in Hong Kong. Fujitsu’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is to seek out new digital transformation opportunities to alleviate the fears among its customers and employees. For example, they have proactively utilised technologies available to them in order to switch their businesses processes to the Cloud, IoT and AI. At the same time, they have committed to improving their tech security in order to improve how they offer their services.
In this Fuji Xerox Hong Kong blog post, they touched on how 90% of Hong Kong companies have made digital transformation one of their priorities during and after the pandemic. While some have reached a crisis point as they lacked the roadmap for going digital, it has not stopped them from trying to pursue it.
Aside from the need to accelerate digital transformation during and after the pandemic, there is also a new sense of urgency to enhance the communication and information infrastructure. This is true not just in Hong Kong or Asia Pacific, but also in the rest of the world. Digital transformation is only the first key step and a vital prerequisite to ensure future competitiveness.