7 Ways in Which Digital Transformation Is Transforming the Businesses

The digital world is changing very fast, and businesses worldwide adopt the digital business model to make use of the new technological advancements. Continuous innovation and development help a business remove incompetencies from its internal and external business processes to improve overall efficiencies and growth. Adding these new technological advancements to your business is no longer an option but a necessity. Even though digital transformation has numerous benefits, some businesses see it as a disruption, while they should be considering it as a golden opportunity to add value to the business. This blog will discuss the benefits of digital transformation and how digital transformation is reshaping the business. 

Streamline internal and external processes

The most significant impact of digitalization on business is that it has provided an opportunity to give a makeover to business processes. Both internal and external processes that are redundant, time-consuming, and outdated must be changed with time to improve overall business efficiency. These types of change in business processes can be made simple with digitalization – the new-age technology. Digitalization helps businesses streamline and simplify data storage, communication, and analytics and become more adaptable to new technological improvements. All these further technological improvements will result in maximizing the returns and making things swift. Digital transformation is helping businesses to move at a fast pace and allocating resources for improvement and advancement.

Paves the way for future developments

The digital business model creates a data-driven environment for management to make well-informed decisions and be aware of all possible improvement and growth opportunities. A robust digital workspace with a strong customer base and relations, swift flow of information, and automated workflows make it easier for an organization to grow and expand. For example, an organization with a strong website can improve the website’s logos, interface, adding new high-tech features, and only looking ahead to grow and expand the business. More organizations are joining the digital revolution to create more development opportunities for the business, workforce, and benefits for consumers; this trifecta as their main goal and achieving this means all-around success for the business.

Improves customer experience

Every business heart and soul are customers and are the main driving force behind any business change. This is the reason why customers are important for the success of a business. In this technologically advanced world, digital business provides a better customer experience than traditional business. With the collaboration of data, analytics, and communication, the flow of information is quick, which means faster improvements and appealing products. Business products such as a logo maker, a website builder, and other similar tools made their mark because they see the need and market for such products. With digital transformation, businesses can branch out and offer new features to their old and new customers, thus increasing sales and returns.

Provides more flexibility and efficiency

The digital transformation has made the inter-departmental flow of information and data quick. This helps businesses prevent the bottleneck of data, information and redundant tasks for increasing business efficiency. By eliminating repetitive and old processes, a business can reduce the operating costs associated with complex and time-consuming workflows. With streamlined processes, a business can adopt a flexible approach for changing the priorities and goals of a business. Automating these processes enables organizations to address customer’s needs efficiently and quickly. A strong digital workspace means future-ready business and exponential growth by using technological advancements of the industry.

Establish more reliable customer relations

Every business process is targeted to offer better products and services to the end consumer. The customer’s needs and expectations are heeded right from the beginning because the customer is the king. In the success of a business, the customer plays a central and vital role. That’s why the relationship between the business and the customer must be given due importance. The digitalization business model made the flow of information swifter than ever before. A business now can access the past buying history and other preferences of customers to serve them better and provide this valuable information to the customer relationship team for establishing a reliable customer relationship. With this reliable information, organizations can build and maintain lasting relationships with customers.

Adopting a quick marketing approach

The speedy flow of information within the organization resulted in organizations following a quick marketing approach and better serving their customers. Digitalization is allowing organizations to give quick responses to the feedback received from the customer. The automated processes ensure that the products’ improvements are made quickly to deliver the best to the end consumer. Digitalization is assisting organizations with improving their products and services and creating marketing channels to spread awareness about new products. 

Empowers the workforce

The main goal of adding innovative technology to a business is to make the flow of information easy and remove redundant processes with new ones to make day-to-day tasks easy for everyone. With the introduction of new techniques, an employee can get their daily done swiftly and efficiently, improving the organisation’s overall performance. Digitalization is vital for the organization in getting an edge over its competitors and being future-ready. Digitalization allows the workforce to learn new technologies and efficiently use AI-powered tools and get more tasks in less time and with higher accuracy. AI-powered tools enable employees to enhance their skills and instils them with confidence.

Final words

Digital is the new future for every business, and digital transformation, when done strategically, can improve the business performance and revenue in the long run. Automating business aspects such as marketing, operations, processes, and decision-making etc. makes them highly efficient and future-ready. Digital transformation is not that easy and comes with its own set of complications. An organization needs to plan and strategize, keeping the big goal in mind to make the transition and implementation process easy. Talk to your team, create a plan, distribute everyone’s roles and responsibilities, and take the first step to make your business digital starting today. 

Digital Transformation, Benefits, and Possible Trends in 2021

Digital transformation means different things for each organization, and that’s why some organizations are in the planning phase, some in the middle of implementation and some are struggling with the very concept. This digital change is not limited to large organizations but small businesses and start-ups are also welcoming and adapting to the current changing market conditions to stay competitive. Technology has changed the way we interact, talk, meet, and change the way we work and this blog will discuss digital transformation, benefits of digital transformation, and some transformation trends to watch out for in 2021.

Digital transformation

The digital transformation for a business improves business processes, business culture, and customer experience by adopting new AI technology to meet changing business and market requirements. This change of business with new AI technology in the current scenario is known as digital transformation. A business needs to integrate areas within the organization – from tools to apps or Softwares, workflow, customer engagement, employee skills, etc., changing how companies operate in the modern world and delivering the best to its customers and stakeholders. 

There is no single technology or software for a business to move forward with digital transformation. Digital transformation is all about continuous improvement of the businesses processes, experimenting new ways of doing business, and adapting fast to stay relevant in this current digital world. In simple words, changing the overall business ecosystem to improve performance and efficiency of the organization is called digital transformation. 

Benefits of digital transformation

Digital Transformation

Increased efficiency

One of the main reasons businesses are opting for digital transformation is that it provides increased efficiency by getting rid of commute time, time spent on administrative tasks, and searching for information that can be achieved quickly with technology. This saved time can be used to complete other studies, which will result in increased customer service, better product quality, improved workflow, and information management. 

Increased customer satisfaction

The most significant advantage of using artificial intelligence and cloud computing has improved customer satisfaction as businesses have customer-specific information that can be analyzed to improve the products and services to serve better. One such example of digital transformation is on-day delivery, which is possible by analyzing consumer behavior and enhancing business to match the requirements.

Getting an edge over others

The businesses that have opted for digital transformation have already improved profits, and digitizing workflow has helped their business get an edge over those businesses that still follow traditional methods of doing work.

Some of the benefits of digital transformation for a business:

  • Saving valuable time by providing easy and quick access to information.
  • Protecting the environment by switching from paper to digital documents.
  • Easy access to information even from a remote location wherever and whenever.
  • Improved internal as well as external communication and increased collaboration at all levels in the organization.

Possible digital transformation trends to watch in 2021 

Digital Transformation Trends

In this digital age, businesses have started shifting their focus from the physical to creating a digital presence to remain future-ready and in front of their competitors. Some organizations are in the planning phase, and some started their digital transformation service. The pandemic has also helped the organization to realize the importance of digital transformation, and a wave of new working methods is introduced that have become new normal for businesses. Here are some digital transformation trends to watch in 2021:

5G technology

The pandemic has shifted the work culture across the globe. The need for faster connectivity has grown with work from home, video conference, and digital collaboration became an essential part of our lives. COVID-19 has increased our dependence on smartphones, tablets, and intensified the demand as workers left their offices in well-connected areas to suburbs and beyond, which are not well connected. 5G has become a crucial piece of organizations and they can’t bear to be disengaged looking at its futuristic advantages. The value of 5G connectivity increased as the whole world sees its direct implication on work, schools, and our homes.

Application Programming interfaces (APIs)

Cloud is one of the most popular digital transformation trends that companies have adopted to make consistent business improvements. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are becoming a crucial part of this transformation trend. APIs are actively assisting organizations that are opting to change old storage infrastructure to micro-services. These APIs are reducing the data storage needs and help in giving a collaborative experience. Opting for these advanced technologies will help them analyze one big digital piece of information stored in one place, helping them take critical business-decisions and increase their ROI.

Automation in workspace

The post-pandemic has increased the importance of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence, providing an increasingly cost-effective solution for both in-house and outsourced business activities. Automation is the only thing that will ensure an organization’s smooth working when the employees are unable to be present physically in the office. It gives the advantages of cost reduction, increased efficiency, more precision, higher customer experience, and process flexibility to a business, which is one of the crucial reasons why companies will most likely invest in this in 2021. This digital trend has gained momentum as businesses increasingly look for affordable solutions for both small and large organizations.  

Work from Home

Organizations like Google and Facebook have extended their work from home till mid-June, and many organizations, both big and small, are adapting to this new flexible work approach. Economies are gradually resuming, and employees are returning to their organizations; many organizations choose to permit remote work options for employees as a flexible work approach. WFH provides opportunities to save office space, equipment, supplies, and utilities as the employees work from a remote location. The other advantage of why this trend can continue even in 2021 is that it helps increase workers’ morale and productivity as they have their schedule to manage the work that can be monitored by using workforce management tools.

Final thoughts

The pandemic has given businesses time to think and analyze the possible future if the same trends will continue even in 2021. Organizations are searching for better ways and technologies that provide them an edge over their competitors and make their business future-ready. Post-pandemic time is going to be crucial for organizations as most of them will be in the transformation or adaptation phase under the new market conditions.

DMP vs CDP vs DATA LAKE

During Customer Data Platform (CDP) and Data Lake discussions, I often come across wild assumptions on Data Lake’s ability to solve every problem while CDPs end up being heavily underestimated. In my opinion, neither CDP and nor Data Lake is replacement for each other but a perfect complement to each other. Data Lakes are a key source of data for CDPs while CDPs can help improve the quality and completeness of data in Data Lake. Another key platform in this mix especially for marketers is the Data Management Platform (DMP). I will like to spend some time to answer the DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake question.

Don’t think DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake but DMP+CDP+Data Lake.

If you don’t have the patience to read through all of this article on the difference of DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake, please skip directly to the summary section in the end.

DATA MANAGEMENT   PLATFORM (DMP)CUSTOMER DATA   PLATFORM (CDP)DATA LAKE
DEFINITIONData Management Platform (DMP) collects anonymous web and digital data. It comprehends information about prospects psychographics and demographics.  

Manage segments of customers with anonymous profiles.

For broadening marketing reach by building segments, audience mining etc.

Capture targeted audience at the right time in the buying funnel through relevant messaging.

Better optimization programs and smarter media buying decisions can be taken based on audience analysis and latest campaigns.
Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a type of packaged software which creates a persistent, unified identifiable customer profile that is accessible to other systems. Data is pulled from multiple sources, anonymized, cleaned and combined with third party data, intent data etc. to create a single profile of a customer.  

CDP enables real time activation of omni-channel experience across. CDP data can be leveraged in real time to provide more personalized content and delivery over web, mobile, Email, ABM, Ads etc. CDP data is accessible by external systems and structured to support digital and marketing team needs for experience management, campaign management, marketing analysis and business intelligence  

CDP is always a hot storage meaning easily retrievable and live connected to like customer master. CDP doesn’t need technical skills to manage and operate.
A Data Lake is a centralized repository that allows you to store all your structured and unstructured data at any scale. You can store your data as-is, without having to first structure the data, and run different types of analytics—from dashboards and visualizations to big data processing, real-time analytics, and machine learning to guide better decisions.

The key focus of Data Lake is to ensure that highly connected data is available to all enterprise systems and functions.

Data lake can have a combination of cold and hot storage. Cold storage for more older data like over 3 years.  Data Lake need very technical resources to build and operate it. Data Lakes don’t offer integration with last mile solutions like MarTech solutions.

Data Lake provides ability to understand what data is in the lake through crawling, cataloging, and indexing of data. It always ensures data assets are protected.

Data Lake allows to run analytics without the need to move data to a separate analytics system. Generate different types of insights including reporting on historical data and doing machine learning where models are built to forecast likely outcomes and suggest a range.

Different types of analytics on your data like SQL queries, big data analytics, full text search, real-time analytics, and machine learning are needed to uncover insights. You can create new business models based on historical data and new financial models based on customer behavior, product categories, market data, risks and opportunities
 USERSAdvertising Professionals Ad agencies Marketing (limited)Digital Marketing Customer Experience Sales (limited)Data scientists, Data developers, and Business analysts (using curated data)
IT
Sales
Finance
HR
Marketing
Digital
DATA SOURCES & MANAGEMENTData is ingested   from various client and media sources like marketing analytics, CRM, ad-servers, publisher partners and point of sale (POS).
Data is also collected from mobile apps, client’s website, as well as other channels that use native apps.
It is then augmented and enriched with   3rd party vendor data; private data exchanges are established.
First Party Data:
Web Analytics
CRM
Advertising Data
Marketing Automation Data
Second Party Data
Third Party DataIntent Data
Marketing Lists
Device data
Etc.
Data Lake can connect structured and unstructured data available in:
MDM (Master Data Management) systems
ERP CRM
Commercial Data
Product Data
Multiple other critical backend IT and Data systems in an enterprise
Line of Business Applications
DMP vs CDP vs DATA LAKE

Summary and Recommendation on DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake

DMP-vs-CDP-vs-Data-Lake

So how should we use this information on DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake and apply it to your business? DMP can take care of most of your needs if you are only focused on marketing segmentation and advertising. There are many mature products in the market that you can buy and start using immediately. If you have use cases broader than that (I hope so), then you must look into CDP and Data Lake. If you are a CDO, CMO or CIO reading this, you must look into CDP and Data Lake. CDP and Data Lake are both required by every organization as both provide solutions to different problems. While Data Lake brings the data from enterprise together and makes is useable immediately, CDP focused on doing the same for the use cases limited to teams focused on the customer side. These are primarily digital and marketing teams.

If you have a functional Data Lake, you should build a CDP (light) as data lakes are not built to solve last-mile use cases. Your digital and marketing experiences will struggle as you will not be able to utilize Data Lake to full potential.  CDP implementation will be lightweight and primarily focus on

  • Append digital and marketing specific data that is not available in Data Lake.
  • Create customer 360 and build segments for activation
  • Connect with last-mile experience and marketing systems to activate the data

If you only have CDP, you should look into building a Data Lake to solve bigger use cases and enable digital transformation in other areas like Sales, Customer Service, finance etc. Data is the blood for a Digital Transformation. 

If you don’t have both, you should start at least with CDP as those can build quickly and you can start hacking growth while you build data lakes that can take years in a large enterprise. As I mentioned above, you will still need a Data Lake. Plan to have that in the long term.

The question of DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake is not right as all these systems come together and help you enable transformation in the digital age that we all call Digital Transformation.


More suggested content from some experts in this space

Some additional content from the post on LinkedIn where I got some good feedback from experts in this field:

Most organizations are looking to add CDP to their MarTech stack as they are getting a data lake stood up, leading to parallel efforts and often times the 3rd party CDP (with speed to market) beating the in-house data lake build initiative. Then it gets to be buyer-beware as all CDPs aren't true and good CDPs. It's all about having laser-focused CDP use cases ready to deliver business value and knowing which vendor to partner with to maximize ROI. - Fauzia Chaudhry (Senior Manager, MarTech, Robert Half)
Today’s customer is on at least 5 or more connected device at any given point in time and with this device hopping the expectation is to have the same intimate moments of delightful and seamless experience on all of the channel of engagement and that is where CDP makes an immense impact, especially with privacy and regulations. - Raphy Mathias (Domain Information Officer, Toyota Financial Services)
CDPs are designed from the ground-up to solve both of these problems using AI to make sense of the data, and automation to active data into individual channels. As channels proliferate and customers move to Digital consumption modes, this combination of activation + automation is a must-have to grow Revenue without adding complexity and cost. - Shashi Upadhyay (EVP, Dun & Bradstreet)

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization

I came across three words related to transformation in the digital age; Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization. These words were quite confusing especially Digitalization hence decided to explore the definitions and real-life meaning. Here is what I learnt in the process and will love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the practice of leveraging emerging technologies to build new business systems, business models, consumer & employee experience, or to change current ones to address increasing industry and market needs.

Digital Transformation is focused on CX, EX, Business Systems and Models
Digital Transformation is focused on CX, EX, Business Systems and Models

Digital transformation goes beyond conventional systems such as distribution, marketing, and customer support. Instead, digital transformation starts and ends with the way you think about customers and the way you engage them.

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization

Since all of these words have “digital” in them, they must be the same. Wrong. These words define and describe three different things and are not interchangeable. Let’s take a brief look.

Digitization

Digitization is the transition from analog to digital. Not that long ago, businesses had paper accounts and ledgers to keep track of their activities and transactions. The business data was analogous, whether handwritten in ledgers or typed in documents. You dealt with physical documents, such as papers and binders, Xeroxes, and faxes, if you wanted to gather or share information. Digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format as per TechTarget

Another great example is our videos in VHS to CDs or DVDs and audio in cassettes to CDs and eventually MP3. Computers became popular, and several corporations began turning all those paper and physical documents into digital data archives. The method of transforming material from analog to digital is called digitization.

Digitalization

This one is very confusing for me at least. For some, it means Digitization and for some digital transformation.

As per my understanding Digitalization enables and improves business processes by leveraging digital technologies e.g. APIs, big data, cloud etc. Digitalization is not about changing the way you do business or creating new business models. It is about making everything quicker and easier now that the data is readily available and not stuck anywhere in a rusty folder in a file cabinet or a homegrown database server.

In the example of customer support, Digitalization has fundamentally improved operation by allowing consumer information simple and fast to access via the device. The simple customer support approach did not shift, but as scanning paper ledgers became substituted by inserting a few keystrokes on a computer screen or mobile app, the procedure of answering a query, looking up the appropriate records, and providing a response was far more effective. It has not changed how you provide support by using new platforms like social media etc.

As per Gartner Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.

Closing thoughts

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization
Digital Maturity: Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization are all steps in the right direction at different times with different outcomes and value. While Digitization initiates the journey, Digitalization accelerates the business systems and makes it easier to access information. It is Digital Transformation that enables the end to end game that every organization needs to win it’s customers, employees and investors.

Recommendation

The companies who are just happy with Digitization or Digitalization are the ones that will not be able to compete and stay in business for the long term. Even if you are not competing with Amazon, Uber or Delta but your customers and partners are learning what good CX looks like and they expect the same from you!

Go Directly for Digital Transformation as Digitalization is partial and digitization is too basic. Digital transformation strategy and tactics will enable all you need for hacking growth via great digital experience and business models.

History Of Digital

History of Digital and Transformation it has enabled

If you look around, you will see that every single aspect of our modern world runs on electronic devices. The core of everything is ones and zeroes nowadays, and the world is on a path of aggressive modernization and digitization. This was not the case for the last century. We have come a long way, and today, we will decipher the history of digital and the revolution it has created.

Ones and zeroes have become the building blocks of modern technological advancements. Moreover, digitization has led humanity to new heights of prosperity, progress, and success. From landing on the moon to creating social media platforms for billions, digitization plays a vital role in every aspect of human lives.

From smartphones to personal computers, from tablets to gaming consoles, everything runs on ones and zeroes. However, this was not always the case. Let’s take an in-depth look into the history of the digital era.

History of Digital 1703 – 1847

Yes. The birth of the digital era took place in 1703 when mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz developed the modern binary number system and published it under the name “Explication de l’Arithmétique Binaire.”

In the year 1847, Boolean algebra was born when George Boole published “The Mathematical Analysis of Logic.” The book would later become the foundation for a new field of mathematical logic using the modern binary number system. In his words, “The respective interpretation of the symbols 0 and 1 in the system of logic are Nothing and Universe.”

History of Digital 1937 – 1969

In 1937, Claude Shannon established the foundation for digital circuits in his Master’s thesis at MIT. He came up with a method of implementing Boolean algebra and logic to enhance the design of relays used for routing switches in telephones.

In 1947, John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley invented the first transistor at Bell laboratories, which changed the course of history forever and opened a new window to the digital future. This was among the most important inventions of the century. This semi-conductor device replaced the giant vacuum tubes and offered a simpler way of amplifying or switching electric signals.

In the year 1950, the very first series of pagers were introduced for physicians in New York City. Pagers showed a new mode of communication with the help of wireless telecommunications devices. These pagers could receive a message within 40 kilometers of the nearest transmitter tower.

In the following year, 1951, the first commercially available computer, Britain’s Ferranti Mark I, was delivered to Manchester University. This computer was created for simple arithmetic and data handling. Several other companies released their versions of general-purpose computers, such as UNIVAC, EDVAC, and LEO, etc.

In 1969, the precursor to modern-day internet was born, and it was named ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). The first message that was transmitted via ARPANET was “LO.” A student, Charles Kline, tried to send the word “LOGIN” to the other computer, but after LO, the receiver crashed.

History of Digital 1971- 1984

The very first email was sent out by computer engineer Ray Tomlinson to himself in 1971, and it read “QWERTYUIOP.” This laid the foundation for the modern email and data exchange protocols observed by the majority of email providers.

1975 saw the invention of TELENET, the world’s first commercial packet-switched network. This was the first version of the internet, and it connected company computers to other systems all over the world.

In 1981, the laptop computer was born. The 8/16-bit Epson HX-20 was invented in 1981 and was commercially sold in 1982. The screen was a little bigger than a matchbox (120×32-pixel dot-matrix LCD). The screen only displayed four lines of text at a time. It came with 16 KB of RAM (expandable to 32 KB).

In 1984, the very first mobile phone was launched for 4,000 USD. It offered only 30 minutes of use after a 10 hours’ charge. However, it laid the foundation for modern cellular and smartphones.

History of Digital 1989 – Present Day

Thanks to Tim Berners-Lee, in 1989, the “world wide web” was invented and thus born the modern internet. He was working at CERN at the time, and he created the system to facilitate the automated information-sharing among different scientists.

In the following year, 1992, dial-up internet and modems became public, and everyone was introduced to the joy on the internet. We all remember the era of unplugging phone lines to use the internet on our personal computers.

In 1994, the very first smartphone was introduced to the public, and it allowed the ability to place calls, send a fax, retrieve emails, and send text messages to others. It was known as IBM Simon Personal Communicator, and the battery only lasted an hour.

In the year 2000, Broadband was introduced in the UK, and a new form of internet connection was introduced. People quickly started replacing their dial-up modems for Broadband modems.

In the year 2003, Skype was launched. This was the very first medium of video conferencing and communication between people. It quickly became popular, and there was now a new medium of communication.

Facebook was launched in 2004 and became the number one social media platform for years to come. It gave birth to a new age of social media communications and earned millions of users within a few years of inception.

Did you know that the first iPhone was launched in 2007? The first iPhone also resulted in a sudden and an immense surge in the usage of smartphones. It sold over 6.1 million units all over the world and established Apple as the best brand for smartphones for a while.

In 2011, Bitcoin made history by becoming the first widely accepted fully digital currency. When Bitcoin focused on modern encryption technologies to offer a form of wireless currency, it became all the rage, and people started investing in Bitcoins.

2016 was the year when Facebook released the virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift, to consumers and set a new age for virtual reality applications.

Closing Thoughts

We live in an age of 4G (soon to be 5G) networks where we can watch or access anything from all over the world within a matter of milliseconds. Everything is available on the internet nowadays, and you can communicate with your loved ones from thousands of miles away.

From a mere email conversation to significant business decisions, everything is done via digital mediums. It all began with a binary number system, and the modern digital advancements are not showing any signs of slowing down for decades.