What is Digital Transformation?
Digital Transformation (DX) is the journey of creating new business processes or updating existing business processes using the power of digital technologies to improve customer experience, automate processes for increased efficiency and drive long-term business value. Many changes brought on through digital transformation are driven by customer expectations, which only establish higher and higher standards as technology grows. Throughout this change in processes, companies often develop new, more lucrative business models and revenue streams. Ultimately, digital transformation will lead to higher customer satisfaction and increased revenue when properly executed.
In today’s highly accelerated business environment, digital transformation is a must. Companies and firms that ignore evolving technologies and industry-altering software advances will inevitably fall behind and see their market share shrink. But how exactly is digital transformation put into practice?
What does digital transformation look like in practice?
At a fundamental level, digital transformation is realized through new workflow actions taken to digitize business operations. In the early days of digital technology in the workplace, this could mean anything from storing documents on a virtual server to shifting to email for direct communications. More recently, digitizing business operations often revolves around sophisticated software, cloud computing, Internet-of-Things, artificial intelligence, and big data processing to support a new go-to-market strategy.
At BluLogix, we help our clients to transform the way they manage billing and realize revenue. Our agile monetization platform, BluIQ, goes beyond the automation of billing processes to power every department involved in executing, tracking, managing, and monitoring the performance of delivering as-a-Service offerings. From enabling subscription and usage billing to managing provisioning and orchestration and countless more, BluLogix has facilitated digital transformation for partners in industries including SaaS, UCaaS, IoT, and Cloud Computing.
All of the above examples reflect efforts to leverage the strategic advantages of digitization. But digital transformation is not just about implementing a new software stack or digitizing business processes. In fact, the most significant change a business needs to make for a successful digital transformation has nothing to do with investing in digital technology. The most important aspect of digital transformation is a cultural shift within a company.
Adapting your culture for digital transformation
When a digital transformation does not go as planned or is ultimately unsuccessful, there are usually common themes. The following are recurring errors we’ve seen in this culture shift:
- Poor design of the vision on the part of leadership.
- Lack of cross-functional communication and cooperation.
- Failure to align transformation goals across business units.
- Inability to generate employee engagement.
As the above list illustrates, failure in digital transformation is typically not a matter of selecting the wrong software partner or investing in lousy technology (though those can, of course, sink a digital transformation initiative). The biggest pitfalls in digital transformation revolve around a lack of preparation for the culture shock that comes with digital transformation.
When a company seeks to digitally transform its business operations, the entire organization needs to buy in. From IT and product development to accounting and human resources, every department must understand its role in digital transformation and how it impacts other business units. This is because digital transformation can have an effect on every aspect of a company’s operations. To account for the organizational shift, the culture of the organization needs to embrace innovation.
Taking Ownership at the Top
Of course, in any cultural adaption, leadership must serve as the spearhead. Digital transformation is no different: it must come from the top down. It is on the CEO of a company, along with C-suite executives, to jump-start, design, and implement an organization-wide effort to digitize business operations for revenue growth.
The role of a CEO is to see the big picture and plan for a company’s future. This is why CEOs’ responsibility, along with other executives like COOs and CTOs, to take the lead on digital transformation. Digital transformation future-proofs a business against rapidly changing trends and developing capabilities within their industry. While this involves implementing new technologies and digitizing business processes, directing and adapting an organization’s culture is paramount.
C-Level executives and team leaders need to not only cultivate an atmosphere that welcomes transformation but incentivizes it as well. One primary reason employees may not welcome digital transformation with open arms is because it can cause massive disruption to their daily workflow. Understandably, this is unsettling. But the truth is that digitization empowers employees and frees them up to work on what they do best, and focus on innovation and strategy. This should be made crystal clear by leadership from the jump. Once an organization embraces digital transformation from the very top to the very bottom, the bridge to success has a rock-solid foundation.
For more insight into how cultural changes help adapt for digital transformation, view our blog post Change or Go Extinct. If you would like a test drive to see how BluIQ can enable your business to transition into a subscription or usage-based model, reach out to a BluLogix expert today.