Before we dive straight into what Business Refinery offers in terms of digital transformation, we want to clarify what exactly digital transformation is. As a digital transformation agency, far too often we find people are confused as to what it is actually about. Or, they confuse it with digitisation or digitalisation.
Digital Transformation Is:
“The modernisation of an organisations work’ processes, principles and thinking around the utilisation, upskilling and deployment of digital technologies.” Bennett, 2022.
Digital businesses are leading the way!
Digital transformation is far more complicated than it sounds in practice and is not something that can be simply achieved. It takes a significant amount of time, effort and change. A digital transformation journey can take an organisation, months to years to complete. So, while technology does play a huge part, it is not the only concern of digital business transformation.
Do you think digital?
In simple terms, digital transformation is using digital technologies to modify and create new business processes, procedures and structures. This is to embrace evolving business and market environments. Reimagining and changing the way you do business in the digital age is transforming digitally. We are here to help you do just this and ‘refine’ your business.
Transforming the way you do business is also more than just optimising current business processes and roles. It starts with putting the customer first.
Thinking about how your business engages with and manages customers. What are your customer expectations, and what are your business’s customer experiences like?
Leveraging digital transformation is the way of the future
Digital Transformation is about reinventing the way business is done, to better serve customers, with digital technology paving the way.
Now don’t go thinking, “We are just a small business, we don’t need to do all this now, we can ‘transform’ later”. You can modernise any business from the start! It is better to plan ahead for sustainable growth and future-proof your business now than face potentially expensive consequences later down the line.
Building your business digitally makes you flexible, suited for growth and helps with planning, setting business goals and increasing productivity. A digital transformation strategy is a key to your business’s transformation.
While having a digital transformation strategy and a chief digital officer is important, top-level management in organisations still needs to be the key forces driving digital transformation. Digital transformation initiatives need to be top-down, as well as an initiative that ‘refines’ from the bottom-up.
If New Zealand’s government has a chief digital officer (digital.gov.nz), why shouldn’t your business?
For more information on digital transformation:
Why digital transformation is worth it
The benefits of digital transformation are huge.
The benefits of digital transformation are huge. Digital transformation is extremely beneficial to all organisations and businesses performance.
Research shows that companies that embrace digital transformation achieve 25% higher revenue growth on average compared to those that do not (Kissflow). Furthermore, SAP Center for Business Insights and Oxford Economics show that 80% of firms who finish their digital transformation journey have increased profits and market share.
As business is constantly evolving, starting from back when systems were still pen and paper to smart modern technologies which now replace those systems. It is important to know the difference between digitisation, digitalisation and transformation. This is because modern business is most often now based on these digital technologies.
What is digitisation, digitalisation and digital transformation?
The three stages that make up an organisations digital transformation journey are explained below.
Stage 1: Digitisation
“Moving from analogue to digitalisation”.
Old-fashioned business used pen, paper and physical documents. Digitisation is moving from this old style of business practices to modern digital ones. It is turning physical documents and processes into digital ones.
Stage 1 of a digital transformation consists of analysing and modernising a business’s models, systems and processes. For example, from old brick and mortar style processes like manual file systems to artificial intelligence (AI) style ‘smart libraries’.
Note: Such Machine learning and AI are only some of the many excellent digital tools that can be used to ‘refine’ and optimise organisations. For more information on digital tools contact us.
For example, our client, St Andrews Village had exactly such an issue. Due to the way their systems and process worked, staff were manually printing out documents and then re-uploading them. This was taking up hours of valuable time.
Part of the first stage of their digital transformation journey was identifying and removing such onerous tasks and replacing them with automated systems. This freed up hours of their staff’s time that they could instead use to focus on more important things, like their customers. For this specific situation we used our RPM solution to resolve the issue.
While digitisation makes finding and sharing information much easier. The ways that businesses do this, and how they use this digital data often still reflects old-fashioned practices. This is where digitalisation comes in.
Stage 2: Digitalisation
“Optimise the WAY work is done using digitalisation”.
Simplifying the way work is done and making it more efficient is the main focus of digitalisation. This doesn’t necessarily mean removing or changing current work processes. Instead, it means upgrading and altering them to include digital data tools and systems.
Digitalisation is changing the way businesses do business by making data quickly and easily retrievable via digital devices and mobile apps.
Take for example our client, Anglican Trust for Women and Children (ATWC). Their workforce suffered greatly during the lockdowns of Covid-19 due to their work systems being outdated and not mobile-friendly. They needed to quickly upgrade and reinvent the way they operated to keep up with the changing times.
Digitalisation was perfect for them. It makes their clients records and data quick and easy to retrieve in real time through digital and mobile devices. Instead of having to return to the office for physical documents they could instead create, share and view documents digitally. Their process of handling client issues, looking up data and offering resolutions became far less time consuming, and made collaborative work easier.
This was key to allowing ATWC’s staff to continue working on the go. The basics of their service helping women and children didn’t change, but their work systems through digital and mobile technology improved immensely.
Because digital technologies and new technologies are constantly evolving and emerging, business is starting to change in many new ways. This is changing business practices, not just in making old processes faster, but in making entirely new ways of doing things possible. This is where digital transformation starts to take place.
Stage 3: Digital Transformation
“Adding value to every interaction with customers”.
While digitisation is changing business processes from manual to automatic. Digitalisation is improving and increasing the efficiency of work processes and procedures. Digital transformation is what is changing the way that business is performed.
Organisations are starting to review the way they have ‘always done things’. Analysing them to see if they can be changed to improve the way their organisation functions and further their customers experience. Digital transformation is about ‘refining’ the way business is done from bottom to top in an organisation. It means asking the difficult questions like:
“How can processes be changed and improved to the benefit of both staff and customers? What will enable better customer experiences, decision-making, efficiency and autonomy?”
The digital age is here.
It is now possible to do business using all kinds of clever and innovative technologies.
While there are many, many different digital tools available that can be used to digitally transform an organisation. It would take far too much space and time to introduce them here. For more information on Digital Tools, contact us or read our blog post on digital transformation tools.