Companies need to evolve and grow if they want to consistently survive change. The first industrial revolution in the early 1800s was one such change. This new manufacturing process radically transformed the way items were built and also saw an increase in the use of mechanized systems. We have since seen two other revolutions that have transformed businesses. The second was a change in energy production and the creation of the oil and gas industries we are familiar with today. The third happened quite recently and led to the launch of the telecommunications, computing, and electronics industries. With the birth of the internet, we are currently in the fourth industrial revolution which has brought to us dozens of worldwide-known digital transformation examples.
To maintain their competitive edge, companies must rethink how they work and operate, and previously-accepted best practices may need changing in the modern digital world. Businesses are now learning to an ever greater degree the importance of the customer. With the advent of social media and other online mediums, companies are needing to improve their business models while at the same time revising the way they work and operate.
Indeed, according to Research and Markets, the global digital technology transformation market is expected to grow to $1,009.8 billion by 2025.
By this year, there have already been some hugely successful examples of digital transformation across a host of different industries. These companies provide some clear guidance on the successful introduction of digital technologies that can be useful for others to learn from.
Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technologies into all aspects of a business, fundamentally changing how it operates and delivers value to customers. The benefits include enhanced efficiency through automation, improved customer experiences through digital channels, data-driven decision-making, increased agility to adapt to market changes, and the ability to innovate and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Overall, digital transformation empowers businesses to leverage technology for strategic growth, streamline operations, and stay resilient in the face of technological advancements.
Deciding that you need—for example, artificial intelligence or blockchain, simply because these technologies are popular today—is not the best solution. Following these concerns, you can spend a lot of money on their introduction, which won’t pay for itself. Worse, you cannot guarantee that these technologies will solve your existing problems or help you achieve new growth and scaling goals. So, what should you do in such a situation? The answer is prosaic: if you don’t have specialists with the necessary competencies among your personnel (we’re not talking about ordinary developers or system administrators), you should delegate this comprehensive task to an outsourcing team with the appropriate expertise.
It’s not enough to think through just one vertical to get the most out of digital transformation. That’s why we suggest six fundamental elements that should be optimized for every digital transformation strategy. Let’s check out each of them below.
Most likely, having realized the global scale of the upcoming work related to the implementation of changes, you could encounter a number of concerns like: “Will all the resources I’ve invested in digital transformation pay off?” Let’s dispel them below.
In fact, you can reap even more benefits and opportunities because every scenario of digital transformation is unique. In this regard, it makes sense to entrust the development of a digital transformation strategy and its implementation to seasoned specialists with relevant experience—this is the only way you will achieve the optimal balance between your overhead costs and your company’s growth.
It’s also worth noting that today, there are almost ready-to-use digital transformation solutions from global providers of digital services and products, such as AWS Professional Services and many others. However, in many cases, you will still have to supplement these solutions with some custom developments, and this is where you will need a separate team of experts.
The Bottlers’ Sales & Services arm of Coca-Cola (CCBSS) is maybe the best example of digital transformation in Food and Beverage manufacturing. It made a significant change to the way information is shared. By digitizing documents for the 72 bottlers located across North and Central America, CCBSS has come up with a way of saving Coca-Cola 1 million USD per year.
The company that Coca-Cola reached out to help realize these savings was Ripcord. Ripcord offered CCBSS a way of using machine learning and robotics in its business processes, specifically, for more effective supply chain management and for processing documents with greater accuracy and speed. By making this change, Coca-Cola has come up with a system they can use to digitize 25 million documents annually, saving the company significant amounts of time and money. That’s why we consider this case a great example of digital transformation.
Another excellent example of digital transformation, Tesla is far and away one of the top innovators when it comes to vehicular technology. They are incredibly close to the release of fully autonomous vehicles and their energy storage and generation groups also offer exciting technology. While batteries are one part of their business, their expansion into solar roof tiles is groundbreaking, and the potential for their inter and intra-city tunnels with The Boring Company is also intriguing.
One thing that makes Tesla stand out from other examples of digital transformation is not the technology itself, but rather the sharing of that technology. Historically, companies have hoarded patents like gold, as that was their key differentiator. Tesla, however, has taken a very different tact. They have made all of their electrical vehicle patents available for free. This strategy has two significant benefits. Firstly it drives investment into the market but perhaps just as importantly, it helps cement Tesla’s technology as the standard. This top level example of digital transformation has caught the eyes of other car companies and Ford (Electric), BMW (Electric) and Toyota (Hydrogen) have all followed suit.
Home Depot is one of the giants of the home improvement sector and one of the best examples of digital transformation. They made a radical change in 2017 and focused on a more robust and inclusive digital transformation strategy. For three years, Home Depot has made many different changes. These changes include the creation of an IT team that not only gathers digital consumer data but also works with other internal teams to utilize the information gained.
Also, this digital transformation example resulted in improving their back-end and underlying distribution channels. These changes have had a significant impact on Home Depot’s bottom line. Over this period, their share price has increased from $135 to $215, and their revenue has grown by $17 billion. Today, according to the company’s latest financial reports, its current revenue (TTM) is about $154.87 billion.
Microsoft has radically transformed its business from 2014 to today. With a stock price hovering at under $40 in 2014, Microsoft’s investment in cloud computing has caused its stock to more than triple in less than a decade.
With a current stock price of $367, Microsoft has increased its market capitalization to $2,731.65 trillion—this explains why it can be considered one of the best examples of digital transformation. This growth is a direct result of its shift in focus from a traditional software company to a business that is focused on cloud computing for consumers and enterprises.
The last one from our successful digital transformation examples is Pfizer which partnered with IBM and its ML teams. This group provided doctors and researchers with a system of sensors that enabled them to track critical disease systems in real time. By using these sensors for Parkinson’s disease research, the team at Pfizer was able to find valuable insights in their data analytics not readily apparent.
While the list of successful examples of digital transformation is promising and growing, there are, unfortunately, many more digital transformation mistakes. In general, there are nine big mistakes that companies make. Let’s check them out and see some ideas on how to avoid them.
Companies aiming to achieve the right to be on lists of successful examples of digital transformation need to understand the impact of digital transformation on their industry and how it will affect their corporate mission, value, and goals. Businesses that narrow their focus can, at times, fail to understand what this change will bring.
Do This: Organizations should instead approach digital transformation from a different viewpoint: one of reinvention. By completely changing the paradigm like the digital transformation examples we described above, companies can radically alter their short-term prospects as well as impact their future growth.
Companies around the world share a prevalent malady: They focus on what is best for them instead of how to achieve the best customer experience. It’s essential to realize that digital transformation is not merely a new operating model. Instead, digital transformation requires an outside-in perspective to be truly successful.
Do This: Organizations and businesses should focus their efforts outside of the narrow environments they are used to. To get into the list of the most significant digital transformation examples, they have not only looked at your local competition but considered examples outside your industry and even outside your country.
Companies that fail at digital transformation share two common traits: responsibility and ownership. Many directors believe that digital transformation is a management issue and not part of their duties. Also, team members often find that digital transformation is an IT initiative and not something they need to worry about.
Do This: To become successful digital transformation examples, organizations need to realize that digital transformation is something that everyone is responsible for. It needs to be called out in a company’s mission statement and owned by all of the leaders. If ownership is avoided, incremental progress is possible, but real transformation will not happen.
Many companies inspired by popular digital transformation examples fail at the creation of a specific digital plan. Without a clear strategy and associated measures and targets, success is fleeting (if it comes at all).
Do This: Define clear goals and KPIs for individuals and the business based around digital transformation. Look to bonus drivers to help push the success of your digital transformation.
When digital transformation initiatives are undefined or incorrectly defined, budgets are at best limited. This means that companies can only focus on short-term objectives and goals.
Do This: To bring the aforementioned digital transformation success stories to life, it’s essential to aim big. Management needs to find funding to ensure that the change has enough resources available to succeed.
If your team has a fixed mindset and is unwilling to change, unlike the pre-described digital transformation examples, there are still ways to get them back into a learning mode.
Do This: By providing top-down support and encouragement along with learning opportunities, employees can grow with the company and, this way, help it to become one of the greatest digital transformation examples.
Companies, at times, get too focused on planning and forget to execute. If your organizations spend more time debating than acting, figure out what you can do to fix it.
Do This: Organizations following the most significant digital transformation examples must transform from a static corporate model into a lean startup mentality. This needs to be part of companies’ corporate DNA and should drive innovation across the organization.
Technology is essential and it’s had a massive impact on the way we live and work. It is, however, necessary to ensure that, as an organization, you do not get blinded by the hype of “the next big thing.”
Do This: The executive team needs to rank problems based on their priority. Based on this ranking, investigations into technology and technical solutions can be undertaken.
Changing corporate culture is difficult. It’s also one of the most significant barriers to becoming one of the remarkable digital transformation examples.
Do This: To succeed in digital transformation, leaders must become experts in culture. They need to understand how the changes they are making will impact culture and ensure that they focus on a company’s core purpose.
Digital transformation is something that companies need to embrace in our digital age. Not doing so is simply not an option. However, while digital transformation is a necessity, it’s just as essential to ensure that it’s done correctly. Companies need to ensure that they do not rush their digital transformation projects. CIOs and other leaders of large enterprises and businesses should decide what is feasible and what is not. Their planning needs to take into account what the expectations are of their boards, and what their current capabilities are.
The team at NIX can help you achieve your digital transformation goals, just like in the digital transformation success stories described above. We can work with you to build a plan that will move your strategy forward carefully and with an understanding of your company’s needs and strengths. Let us help you succeed in digital transformation.
Being a proactive leader, Mike's driving force is to assist businesses in leveraging technology to create robust and scalable software solutions that will endure in an ever-changing market.
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