Digital transformation’ has become a bit of a buzzword over the past few years. Given the number of benefits attributed to the process – ranging from cost savings to a better customer experience – it’s easy to understand why.

But although the idea of digital transformation is important, it’s also vague. What does ‘digital transformation’ really mean? And how can you apply its principles to your company in order to maximise your use of new technology and drive leadership for your brand?

What Is Digital Transformation?

Let’s start with a definition. According to the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, digital business transformation refers to “Organisational change through the use of digital technologies and business models to improve performance.”

That’s still a pretty broad definition, but it’s one that has to be. The specific digital technologies and business models that suit different organisations will vary from company to company. The true impact of digital transformation comes from selecting the appropriate new technologies to bring about the desired organisational change.

Take the example of global beauty and fragrance company, Shiseido. In an article for CMO, contributor Nadia Cameron describes how the company is approaching digital transformation by “building a global customer data platform, investing in omni-channel marketing automation and driving real-time engagement capability as part of a major transformation program aimed at providing more relevant experiences to customers.”

That’s digital transformation on a massive scale, but you don’t have to go quite so big to see real benefits. On a much smaller scale, take the work we did with The Keep Boutique, a sustainable, independent fashion boutique in London’s Brixton Village. Because their original site was running on dated ecommerce technology, transforming it created an easier, more user-friendly shopping experience.

Why You Need to Think About Digital Transformation

You may be a good candidate for digital transformation if you have a ‘gut feel’ that internal systems or customer-facing properties (like your website) are dated. Or you may want to pursue it simply because you’ve heard about an exciting piece of new technology you believe could have a major impact on your business.

But even if you don’t fall into one of these categories, you still need to pay attention. There’s plenty of evidence that suggests consumers prefer to do business with companies they deem ‘tech savvy.’

For instance, web credibility research from Stanford University suggests that “75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.” Related studies by Akamai and reveal that “Nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.” Even worse, “79% of web shoppers who have trouble with website performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again.”

Simply put, if you want to keep up in an increasingly tech-centric world, you need to prioritise digital transformation through new technology within your organisation.

How to Lead Digital Transformation for Your Brand

The good news about digital transformation is that implementing it doesn’t need to be as complex as it sounds. The tips below apply whether you’re updating your website or transitioning critical systems and infrastructure to new types of technology:

  • Listen to your customers. They’re telling you, through customer service channels, where you can improve. Acting on their suggestions is one of the fastest ways to see a positive ROI from your digital transformation efforts.
  • Be realistic about the resources you can dedicate to digital transformation. In a perfect world, you’d have unlimited time, money and energy. But in this world, you need to choose your digital transformation initiatives based on what you can realistically free up for them.
  • Score easy wins, then scale. You don’t need to transform your entire organisation overnight. Start with a few small pain points. Use these easy wins to gain buy-in from your customers and your team in advance of larger projects.

The bad news about digital transformation, however, is that most Australian companies aren’t keeping up. Although more Aussies understand the importance of digital transformation in terms of gaining a competitive advantage, data compiled by CMO suggests that Australia has dipped back down to 18th in the world rankings for digital competitiveness.

This represents an opportunity for forward-thinking companies. If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage new technology to drive digital transformation for your brand, get in touch with Windsorborn today for some help and guidance.

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