Digital transformation is the application of modern technologies to processes, products, and assets that enable organizations to improve their business performance and deliver value to customers. A successful digital transformation can empower employees, improve customer engagement, increase revenues, and lead to new business opportunities.
For larger enterprises and legacy businesses, digital transformation can often be a major undertaking. But for startups, digital transformation can be relatively easy. Digital technologies can help startups and small businesses become more agile, efficient, and competitive.
Digital transformation is more than just implementing digital technologies. Rather, digital transformation requires startups to first assess problems and opportunities with their business, and then identify digital solutions and operational changes required for addressing their needs. It also requires that startups find real use cases for new technologies, such as the cloud, mobile, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality; and not adapt them based on technology trends.
If your startup is still exploring digital transformation, here are the latest trends in digital transformation you CAN’T ignore.
Digital transformation remains a primary business objective for CIOs
Modern CIOs are assuming more business responsibilities as organizations face increased pressure to better manage costs, shorten product delivery cycles, and improve customer engagement. As such, CIOs understand the importance of digital transformation’s role to help their companies meet these goals.
In times when labor is in short supply, digital solutions have become important for improving employee productivity and filling skill gaps. The CIO will become a major influence on an organization’s willingness to embrace opportunities that will help the company compete and innovate.
Digital transformation generates new revenue opportunities
Startups that digitize and leverage their data more effectively can be far more successful than companies that still rely on paper. They can introduce automated business processes to help them centralize their data and collaborate across teams. With digital technologies, such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, companies can improve workflows, discover trends, and scale processes. Over the next several years, more startups and small businesses will embrace digital transformation as a means for creating new revenue opportunities to compete with their larger competitors.
Cloud solutions will scale startup IT operations
The biggest impact of digital transformation is on enterprise IT. A majority of the startups will shift their IT operations off-premises to the public cloud infrastructure provided by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. These startups understand that to compete and succeed in their digital transformation journeys, they have to migrate their processes to the cloud and use cloud-native applications. Cloud computing enables organizations to be agile, lean, and flexible. Additionally, it is cost-effective because companies don’t have to purchase and manage their own IT infrastructures and they only pay for the resources they use.
Mobility drives digital transformation forward
To stay in touch with customers and employees, businesses must focus on mobility as a key initiative for digital transformation. With the ever-increasing number of customers and employees who use mobile devices to research, shop, pay for goods or services and more, companies now understand the need to keep their enterprise mobility strategy at the forefront of their digital strategy. Though, one of the biggest challenges companies face is they do not know how to create an app or how much does an app cost to build. Many companies rely on app development agencies to create their mobile apps.
As IoT usage increases the number of connected devices, such as wearables and smart home systems, the need for mobile applications will only grow. Similarly, increased demands for augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality solutions mean that mobile apps will be a crucial part of a startup’s digital strategy. With these solutions, businesses can provide their customers with better ways of interacting with their products and services, improving overall customer satisfaction.
User experience and data security become key success factors
Prioritizing the user experience is critical to keeping customers engaged with a company’s products and services. Businesses are more aware of this now than ever before and making changes to deliver personalized, intuitive, and engaging user experiences to lure customers. Digital transformation offers a structured way for companies to improve customer experiences. Well thought out and executed user experiences can turn satisfied customers into brand ambassadors.
As startups embrace digital transformation, they are creating, storing, and transferring massive amounts of sensitive data in digital form, thus putting more of that data at risk. And with the increase in cloud computing, mobile, and IoT devices, more sensitive data is vulnerable to hackers. Organizations, therefore, are paying more attention to increase security to protect their sensitive data.
The role of the Chief Digital Officer takes center stage
In an organization, CIOs typically concentrate on IT services that will keep the company running efficiently with little disruption. The CTO focuses on using digital technologies to promote a specific digital initiative. However, digital transformation requires transforming existing business processes and developing new business models.
To define and overlook digital transformation, businesses need another executive, the Chief Digital Officer (CDO). The CDO’s role is to generate the overall digital transformation strategy for the future of the business. CDOs overlook both strategy and execution of the organization’s digital goals while staying aware of the new industrial development and incorporating new goals in the strategy. CDOs also measure digital transformation outcomes to ensure that the organization is receiving the benefits they expected from their digital transformation objectives.
How to prepare for your startup’s digital transformation journey today
Succeeding in your digital transformation journey isn’t just about the ability to implement modern technologies in your business. Rather, you must also rethink your strategy, culture, and team structure. Companies across construction, industrial engineering, healthcare, retail, finance, and other industries are embracing digital transformation for staying competitive and growing. For a successful digital transformation, you will require buy-in from your leadership team and need to align all your team members with your digital transformation goals. If your team is committed to what digital transformation really means for your business, you will be well on your way to achieving your goals.
Looking for more on digital transformation? The Digital Transformation Cookbook guides you through your own digital transformation strategy. Available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle Edition.