Let’s Get Digital, What The Is Digital?

FeaturedWhat is digital?

In this article, we explore the assumptions people have made about what digital is (and isn’t) and we ask 3 great questions if you’re conversing about the world of digital.

This is the digital world. Everyone is going digital.

They are doing all they can to enter the digital world.

But, do they really know what digital actually is?

Businesses, companies, organisations and individuals—all are rushing headlong to go digital. It is the biggest goal of nearly all organisations— small, medium and large— to tap into the digital world.

The main reason for doing this is that it is the only way of surviving in their relative industries now. The world has gone digital and so people and businesses are following suit.

Thus, to make your presence felt in your industry, having an online/digital presence has become mandatory.

So, What is Digital and Why Is Everyone Running After it!

To some people, digital is all about technology. On the other hand, digital is a new, better and transformational way to connect and engage with customers. However, for others, digital represents an What Whawentirely new way of doing business.

While none of these definitions is incorrect, there is a diverse perspective of digital that changes from leadership to leadership and from person to person.

Such diverse perspectives on what digital is often reflect a lack of common vision and alignment in the minds of leaders about what a business needs to do and where it needs to go.

It often leads to misguided efforts and piecemeal initiatives that lead to sluggish performance, missed opportunities and false starts— all of which tend to affect the health and growth of your business.

Thus, it is important to fully understand what digital and other corresponding terms mean before you go on and enter the digital world.

The better you are able to understand these terms, the better your performance will be in terms of your digital transformation efforts.

Even with CEOs pushing forward their agendas to go digital, it is worth pausing to sharpen your language and clarify vocabulary.

It is important for business leaders and owners to understand and have a clean and common knowledge of exactly what digital means and how it is going to affect their business.

While it is tempting to look for definitions that are simple to understand to be able to do meaningful and sustainable things, it is best to take digital less as a thing and more as a way of doing things.Let’s get answers to the questions related to all things digital.

The 3 Key Questions To Ask

The 3 things you need to ask people (or yourself!) when they start talking digital:

1. How do they see digital creating value for business? What is their experience of this?  They need to consider that value comes in all places: for them and for their customers, stakeholders, users, employees and brand.

2. Are they ready for change if digital is introduced? What is their level of digital maturity?  Their company culture will struggle (if it isn’t already) if they don’t explore digital impacts, maturity and capability first to build a common language and readiness for change.

3. What is the risk if they don’t explore digital for their business? How might they get ‘left behind’ with their competitors?  Think Kodak – they refused to listen to change and no longer exist.

Let’s explore the answers to these in more detail….

What is Digital?

So, the big question is: ‘What is Digital’?

The term digital, for us, means a convergence of many technologies and social changes that have made the digital reality possible.

While it may sound pretentious, but this fact is not far from the truth. Digital is the convergence of mobile, web and social media.

All of these have come together to create a different kind of a user – someone who has access to the web 24/7 and has email and social media in their pockets.

The power of digital is so transformational that it is reshaping the behaviour of the customers and is creating a new breed, unlike anything we have seen before.

What does digital do for business

What Does Digital Do for a Business?

What Does Digital Do for a Business? To make the definition of digital more concrete, we have broken it down into three main attributes that are linked to it. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

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Creating Value

If you are tapping into the digital world, you need to be open to reexamine the entire way of doing business and understand the new frontiers of value that come with it.

For some companies, catching up on new frontiers means developing entirely new businesses in categories that are adjacent to what they are currently doing.

On the other hand, some businesses take it as an effort to identify and go after the new value pool that exists in the current sectors.

Whatever you choose to do from your digital efforts, you need to understand the implications of marketplace development and evaluate the presentation of opportunities or threats that come with it.

At the same time, being digital also means being closely attuned to the evolution of the customers’ decision-making journey and understanding the customer behaviour and expectations that come along.

Building Digital Capabilities

The next important element of a business’ digital journey is finding out and rethinking what these new capabilities mean for the business and how to improve the way your customers are served.

For this, you need to understand each step of the customer’s purchasing journey and rethink how digital capabilities can be used to design and deliver the best experience to all the parts of the business.

It aims at making those business decisions that can help deliver insights on customers that lead to better marketing and sales decisions.

Last but not least, digital is about organisational and technological processes that help an organisation become fast and agile.

This change can be brought about by making better and faster business decisions making use of data.

In the context of IT, digital refers to being focused on creating an environment based on decoupling the legacy systems.

Digitised IT is based on the commitment to build networks that help connect object, devices and people.

With clear benefits of going digital for the business, it is important today (more than ever before) to not ignore the importance of digital transformation. 

With the world becoming more digital every passing day, it is important to address the digital aspect of your business as soon as possible if you haven’t already done it yet.

Design digital with consumer in mind

Digital Consumer

Digital consumers are a new generation of customers and users who see the world in a different way. Consumers have equal relevance for physical and virtual worlds.

The consumers have social media apps on their mobile phones which they use to carry their family and friends anywhere they go.

These consumers are more likely to consult with their network when they are making a buying decision rather than listening to traditional advertising.

They have a different view of privacy and share everything online. They will seek advice on their decisions from people that are connected to them digitally.

Consumers will scan a product while standing in a store to check if they can find some deal.

Since they live in a world where business competition is just a click away, they expect exceptional customer service from businesses.

If a business fails to impress them, they are not shy in expressing their level of dissatisfaction among their network of friends and even beyond.

They are more powerful than ever, and it clearly seems that the power balance between the supplier and the consumer has shifted.

While many consider the millennial generation to be the digital consumer, the truth is that digital behaviour is not slowing down.

In fact, it has stretched all the way to the baby boomers and continuously developing.

This new league of consumers is choosing products and services in an entirely different way and are also demanding higher levels of service from businesses.

This is why we are hearing a lot about the latest buzzword: digital transformation.

Digital Transformation – What is it?

Digital transformation is not what most people consider it to be. It is seen as an attempt at integrating emerging technologies into the core business processes.

The belief is that it is related to technology at a superficial level. However, digital transformation is all about meeting the needs of the new group of customers: the ones we know as digital consumers.

While it does involve some amount of adaptation in how organisations approach new technology, it is more linked to how one can alter their business processes.

Most of the organisations these days are configured for the mass market and mass media era. There are some digital elements bolted on the traditional sales funnel that consumers have to move through in their buying journey.

Digital transformation, on the other hand, takes a step back and examines the journey of the new digital customers. It takes a look at how consumers interact with organisations in real life and online.

All these different touchpoints are looked at by organisations, which helps them adapt to this new flow with necessary changes that are driven by a digital strategy.

Digital Strategy

While digital transformation caters to the new technology, digital strategy, on the other hand, is related to devising strategies that serve the needs of the new customer.

A digital strategy is not just a list of vague goals that an organisation wants to achieve, but it also incorporates practical ways that address the problems being faced by the company’s digital consumers and customers, both new and existing.

Your strategy needs to be backed up by concrete actions which should address the immediate digital transformation issues.

These strategies should also adapt to the changes that may take place in consumer behaviour in the future as changes keep on emerging with the creation of new and better technologies.

Start you digital journey now

How Important is Digital Transformation?

Worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies reached $1.3 trillion in 2017. – IDC

The spending is expected to double between 2018 and 2021. It is expected that the total spending on digital transformation will surpass $2.1 trillion in the coming three to four years.

A recent survey of senior financial executives and CFOs conducted by Grant Thornton revealed that 69% of the respondents planned to speed business change and increase their investments in digital technology.

40% of them had planned on increasing their investment on digital transformation by more than 10% in the next year.

All of them believed that these increased investments in their digital marketing efforts will help them overtake their competition.

By 2025, the value of digital transformation is expected to reach $100 trillion. – World Economic Forum.


All of this information and stats reveal that digital is the future. If a business is not spending on its transformation, they are definitely missing out on a lot of opportunities that will most likely be captured by their competitors.

Digital transformation is one of the most important things for any business in any industry to have a profitable presence in their industry.

Just as digital transformation constantly changes, so does its constituent elements. Most of the transformation activities today involve innovative use of available data.

It includes, but is not limited to, analytics, machine learning, new devices, IoT, etc. In fact, digital transformation has evolved into more of a data-led change-centric medium for businesses, which is working for them currently.

This may change into something different as we continue to get more elaborate and effective technologies in the future.

Unlock Business Growth Now

Digital is all about unlocking business growth now. Thanks to a number of digital transformation consultants and transformation companies, the transformation journey has become a little easier. Even those who have no experience and expertise in the field.

While how companies interpret or act on the digital transformation definition may vary from one to another, having a clear understanding of what it means will allow business leaders to take their business in the right direction.

With a shared vision of achieving digital transformation and making it a success, businesses will be able to create and capture value like never before.

As the idea of our transformation continues to evolve, so does the process of defining digitalisation.

It is becoming more complex and more contested with each new innovation. However, regardless of whatever form it takes, digital tansformation is here to stay.

Thus, it has become more than necessary to have a sustainable and sound business strategy that takes into account all the aspects of the digital world and digital transformation.

In Conclusion

Not sure about how to go forward with transformation for your business? you can always get help from a digital transformation consultant who will guide you through the process.

However, as a business owner, you need to understand the transformation definition. If you really want to tap into the world of digital transformation for your business.

Good luck and let’s get digital!

Matthew T Barton

P.s As promised, if you want to learn more download this Free 40-page detailed analysis research report. It gives insights into Digital Transformation Market Trends and Challenges in the United States and Australia.


10 Trends to Nail Digital Transformation

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Are you a real estate investor who wants to transform your professional life? You can change your future through digital outsourcing and digital transformation.

The tech markets have been moving in different directions in recent years.

This is why you may need to better understand the trends in digital outsourcing. A Deloitte study found that outsourcing has been growing fast. 35 percent of survey takers are measuring the value of innovation. Survey takers measured this in their outsourced partnerships.

You’ll need to stay up to date with digital outsourcing trends due to the significant growth. Keep reading to learn about the top 12 trends for digital outsourcing. Let’s get right into it!

The U.S. Presidential Election and Brexit Will Impact The Markets

Information technology and digital outsourcing will be changing course. This is due to Donald Trump winning the US presidency. Also, the United Kingdom exiting the European currency has affected digital outsourcing.

This is part of a much broader problem that we’ve seen in the world, in which countries are turning inwards and reacting against globalization and open borders,” Richard Aboulafia, vice president of Virginia-based Teal Group, told Fortune.

Companies have been rethinking what they plan to do for outsourcing. The Trump Administration has a general stance against global trade. Also, Brexit has a real impact on the economy in the UK.

The policies of both the United States and Britain will likely change in the coming years. This will have a strong impact on digital outsourcing.

Companies will need to renegotiate their contracts. They’ll have to decide on what’s best for them going forward.

We have seen a large section of the population that has not benefited in the past decade and we are seeing support for populist politicians with simple answers. Unfortunately, a lot of those answers are for protectionist policy solutions and air transport flourishes with open borders,” Brian Pearce, chief economist of the International Air Transport Association, told Reuters.

More jobs may stay within the countries instead of moving outside the country.  There’s only one thing we know for sure. The Trump presidency and Brexit will play a big role in digital transformation.

digital outsourcing 2Companies Will Have to Step Up Their Security Game

Data breaches were growing in 2016. IT departments are likely to step up their game and secure data in better ways.

In fact, big data has been growing over the last several years. This further amplifies the need for safety and security.

Digital outsourcing has changed due to changing company needs. The infrastructure and data delivery will have to change as well. This may cause more security concerns.

Companies are likely to improve their security infrastructure. This is because of greater awareness of data breaches.

Automation and data analytics solutions are likely to grow in demand. Vendors will start popping up to deliver key security products and services.

Artificial Intelligence Will Play a Role in Digital Outsourcing

Before you know it, the world will change. Robots and artificial intelligence will start taking up some key automation jobs.

This could happen in companies around the world.  Businesses will begin outsourcing jobs to artificial intelligence automation software and robotics.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence can decrease costs for businesses in any industry. Automation can help standardize processes and offer benefits to both suppliers and customers.

Artificial intelligence may lead company leaders to begin renegotiating outsourcing contracts. Automation will play a key role in changing trends in digital outsourcing.

The Customer Service Call Center Will Continue to Decline

The customer service call center used to be a major part of outsourcing in earlier years. This has changed due to new communication channels.

Self-servicing tools and intelligent virtual assistants are replacing customer service call centers. Today, you can go on plenty of websites and a virtual assistant will pop up to offer feedback.

These virtual assistants have overtaken the role of the call center. They are now answering customers’ questions online.

Expectations for the Cloud are Growing

The early popularity of the Cloud is wearing off and users are looking for more than the basics. Cloud software and products will need to grow capabilities to meet greater expectations.

Consumers and businesses expect more from cloud computing.

Cloud vendors will need to adapt. Customers have become more knowledgeable and no longer want the least. Both home-based and outsourced vendors will need to expand the Cloud experience.

Different expectations for the Cloud will become a new trend in the digital market.

Growth in Consolidation Expected for the Digital Market

Many factors will shake up digital outsourcing. This includes policy changes, growth in automation and data security awareness. These factors will also stimulate companies to merge.

Mergers and acquisitions may grow for the digital market in the coming years. Expect to see spin-offs in the IT and digital technology world.

Business owners will create new structures to improve working relations with partners. Outsourcing partners will need to have stronger communication channels and solutions.

Some vendors may not be able to handle the changes coming their way. The ones who are flexible will have greater success. The ones ready to move right alongside the new policies will succeed.

Smaller companies will begin to merge within the digital industries. This will keep costs down and help them manage better in the fluctuating market.

Offshore Companies Change Their Strategy Plan

Growth in digital outsourcing will likely dwindle with offshore companies. This will change their strategies to remain in business.

The new presidential administration in the United States will change digital outsourcing. Brexit will also have an effect. The rise in automation will also make an impact.

Yet, offshore providers have also had to manage currency exchange issues.

There has been greater pressure on offshore companies to reduce their costs. As such, greater staff downsizing has been taking place at offshore companies.

“We’re entering into a new phase of workers who have a reasonable amount of technical savviness. That’s the first thing that’s causing trends that more work will be done in-house.”

“At the IT level, [in-house personnel] don’t have to be superstar developers – you can give them one of these low code products and make them productive,” Richard Rabins, CEO of app development provider Alpha Software, told the publication Enterprise Apps Tech.

Things will definitely be changing for offshore companies. The new trends in outsourcing will have a big effect.

Outcome-based Services Will Grow in Demand

The outsourcing market will focus more on providing positive outcomes for their consumers. They won’t be able to only provide a service and receiving payment.

Outcome-based pricing will become more imperative for the digital industry. This pricing is due to the capabilities of cloud computing.

Clients are more interested in obtaining more managed services and outcomes-based management. Everyone is looking for results instead of chugging along in their relevant industry.

Outcome-based services will become a key tenet of outsourcing in today’s digital market.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Trends Expand

More people are searching for companies that allow them to use their own digital devices. Employees want to use their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones to work on.

A Unisys survey of more than 500 workers shows that 36 percent prefer to use their own devices. These workers want to use personal computers at work instead of the ones provided.

This Bring Your Own Device or BYOD trend may grow in the coming years.

More companies are offering employees the chance to bring in their own devices. Outsourcing businesses will need to consider how to put in place BYOD strategies.

Digital Transformation Impacts Traditional Outsourcing Market

Both IT and BPO buyers are moving toward as-a-service offerings. They are moving away from the more traditional outsourcing applications. This is due to digital transformation developments, according to CIO.

They are compelled to connect their legacy systems with the digital operating models required to meet the needs of their customers. The current market environment is one in which speed, mobility, productivity, innovation, and intelligence are all interwoven and necessary for survival,” President of North EMEA and Asia for ISG John Keppel told CIO.

Over nine months, the traditional outsourcing market has produced less than $6 billion. This is a decline from prior years.

The traditional outsourcing market is in a decline. Yet, digital transformation is leading more buyers to look at as-a-service offerings.

Outsourcing Partnerships are Growing in Complexity

More and more companies are expecting more from outsourced partnerships. Business owners see that these partnerships can become much more than a simple way to cut costs.

Outsourced partnerships due more than help cut costs from hiring more workers.

Digital transformation programs are bringing more capabilities for businesses. This, in turn, is creating more complex and reliant outsourced partnerships.

Much more collaboration is taking place between offshore companies and local businesses.

The business environment is a lot more complex and dynamic than 20 years ago, and time to market is important since even a 6-month lead can give you a competitive advantage,” Leon Coetzer, redPanda Software Chief Operating Officer, told MyBroadBand.

These outsourcing partnerships are becoming more complex due to digital transformation trends.


Have you seen any other trends in digital outsourcing? If so, let us know in the comments below!

If you have any questions about digital transformation, please contact me here.

Surviving the Changing Digital Landscape in 2018

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The world is becoming a smaller and smaller place. Thanks to open borders and advances in technology, companies are able to do more business. This brings a lot of benefits, but it also presents many problems.

Many businesses are struggling to adapt to this new world. Changing expectations have created a challenging environment that businesses need to thrive in. Many are turning to digital outsourcing as a way to simplify their operations.

But what does this term mean? This article will look at what digital outsourcing is and how some companies are using it.

Let’s look at how outsourcing on the digital frontier is taking shape today.

What Is Digital Outsourcing?

Unfortunately, the term “digital outsourcing” lacks a specific clarity in its name. The individual words are simple enough. Anything “digital refers” to technology. “Outsourcing” means letting a third party handle some of your business logistics.

The term refers to the process of outsourcing digital logistics to third-party companies. This is common in many industries that are used to working across borders.

Most people who use this term refer to the digital things that can be outsourced. The truth is, any outsourced work done online can be considered digital.

The most important part of this term is the use of technology itself. While other forms use physical means, outsourcing digitally uses technology to do business.

Why Companies Outsource Digitally

For many, the benefits of digital outsourcing seem rather obvious. In some cases, it’s a better alternative to the traditional way of doing things or it’s more profitable. Yet, this isn’t the entire case: for some businesses, it’s a means of survival.

The benefits of digital apply when the business lacks the means to do the work itself. This may be due to a lack of skill, labour, or other typical challenges many companies face. Businesses that recognise this weakness will often outsource the work to others. These companies or individuals will often do a better job.

When outsourced to another country, there may also be a financial benefit. Many businesses can save money by sending the work to other countries that pay lower wages. This usually means lower costs, which saves the business more money.

Beyond these benefits, for some companies, digital outsourcing is a means of survival. Technology has changed the entrepreneurial landscape regardless of the industry. Companies that fail to adapt to these changes often fall behind.

For some small businesses, outsourcing is the only way they can remain competitive. When a rival business can produce better results, your business will have no choice but to change or to die.

The Current State of Virtual Outsourcing

The current state of digital outsourcing is somewhat of a mixed bag. This is partly due to the lack of clarity in what the term means for businesses in different industries. The term “digital” itself can mean a variety of things and look different to one business than to another.

Many businesses are outsourcing digitally, that’s pretty clear. They are turning to third-party online businesses to handle their logistical operation. For large companies, this can include sending entire digital departments overseas. This can be as effective as sending other departments over like manufacturing.

Even small businesses are getting in on the trend. For example, many realtors are using virtual assistants to handle everyday business matters. Someone halfway across the world can handle daily office matters.

Still, even though plenty of businesses are adopting this trend, many are trying to figure out how to use it. Since there is no right way to digitally outsource, there’s no manual or roadmap to help. This leaves a lot of businesses in the state of trial and error. They have to see what works for their particular business needs and logistics.

Many businesses are seeing if this outsourcing is more effective than the normal way. For some, making this determination is almost impossible without trying it out. If they are unable to use a digital outsource strategy , they can’t compare it to the traditional way.

Certain industries are also facing this issue when it comes to digital outsourcing. For some industries, how this outsourcing can apply is rather obvious. Many industries related to technology or marketing adapted to this approach.

Others are facing greater obstacles in defining how to outsource digitally. Manufacturing industries often lack the digital presence that this form of outsourcing requires. In some cases, this includes the challenge to add any new technology into the mix of the industry.

The future of outsourcing work will come down to resolving this issue for each industry. As more companies adopt the practice, more concrete trends will emerge.

Even though there is no standard definition, companies are trying to incorporate it. This alone has caused a few problems, many of which are common with all forms of outsourcing.

Current Problems with Virtual Outsourcing

Digital outsourcing is facing the same issues other forms have experienced. There is the ethical issue of paying people overseas a much smaller wage for the same type of work. Different employees in different countries work in different conditions. This often benefits the business more than the individual employee.

Outsourcing is also often critiqued for taking jobs away from the home country. Many people argue that outsourcing is harmful to the home company by creating a shortage of jobs. This leaves skilled workers out and increases competition for the positions that remain.

The digital part of this outsourcing can also lead to issues that companies need to prepare for. Anything related to technology is susceptible to failure since technology breaks. Things like computers and servers are never full proof. They may succumb to Murphy’s Law: whatever can go wrong, will.

Digital outsourcing is also creating a greater need for cyber protection. There have been several incidents that show the security of digital is questionable. The potential for hackers to derail outsourcing should be a concern for any business.

Finally, there’s a problem that is unique to smaller businesses: accessibility. While corporations usually have the funds to adopt digital outsourcing, businesses are struggling. Even if they want to, not all businesses can afford to outsource their digital needs.

This not only creates competition, but also can put small businesses behind. In other words, if they can’t compete with the big boys, their chances of success diminish. This can feed the trend of larger corporations replacing the smaller competition.

To survive small businesses either need to adopt this outsourcing or find a niche of their own. It’s not impossible for a small business to outsource. Many businesses find success outsourcing everyday operations.

A competitive advance can also help small businesses. A good niche that lacks competition from big corporation may be necessary. Unfortunately, some of these niches are hard to find.

Small businesses usually need to do more research to know what is best for them. Understanding how outsourcing works is the first step. Knowing these potential issues is also required to avoid them in the first place.

This outsourcing can offer a lot of benefits to the business and customers. Digital outsourcing may also become an exclusive strategy for those who can afford to use it.

For most small businesses on their own, it will remain a matter of trial and error.

Thinking About the Future of Virtual Outsourcing

It is hard to say where this kind of outsourcing will lead in the future. The benefits for many businesses are clear. The issues many businesses face are also present.

Time itself will help bring clarity to some of this uncertainty. As more businesses use the concept, more clarity is likely. Companies big and small will play an active role in determining the best way to use outsourcing.

For a small businesses, the biggest factor will be their willingness to try. To stay competitive, each small business will need to understand the concept. More so, they will need to think about how it applies to them.

This will need to include more research and strategy. Virtual outsourcing can be very beneficial for businesses as long as they are smart about it. To use this outsourcing, businesses can’t go in blind.

This is particularly true for businesses in non-digital industries. Tech and digital marketing businesses can usually outsource their work since it’s virtual. For traditional businesses, it’s necessary to think about what can go digital.

This isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do. Usually, anything that happens on a computer is good for outsourcing.

Digital Outsourcing 1Surviving the Changing Digital Landscape

There are many things that small businesses can do to outsource many business needs. From virtual assistants to digital marketing firms, there are many options to explore. Sometimes, the most tricky part is going where to begin.

This is where I can help. If you want to explore how you may adopt a digital outsourcing approach to your business, get in touch with me. We can look at the potential of this form in greater detail to see how you can make it work for your business.