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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.