Digital transformation refers to the use of digital technologies to significantly change how an organization operates, engages with, and delivers value to its customers. It involves the integration of digital and online technology solutions into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how the business operates and delivers value to customers.
For many businesses, digital transformation can be a disruptive process, requiring leaders to profoundly rethink and reorganize how they operate in order to remain competitive in a rapidly changing technological landscape. It can involve the integration of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), the internet of things (IOT), enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, and cloud computing.
Individually each of these technologies can enable organizations to operate more efficiently and effectively. Collectively, integrating these technologies can have an even more dramatic impact.
Here are eight potential benefits of digital transformation for your business:
- Increased efficiency: Automate and streamline many processes, allowing your departments and teams to operate more efficiently and reduce the time and cost of completing tasks.
- Improved customer experience: Improve the customer experience by making it easier for customers to interact with your frontline employees in each department, access information, and make purchases.
- Enhanced decision making: Technology can generate large amounts of data, which can be analyzed to gain actionable insights and inform decision making for more consistently positive outcomes.
- Increased agility: Enable your organization, departments, and decision-makers to be more agile and responsive to changes in the marketplace, allowing them to adapt more quickly to new opportunities or challenges.
- Increased mobility: Empower workers to complete tasks anywhere, without being tethered to a desk. Executives can travel, administrators can work from home, and salespeople and frontline employees can work out in the field or in the store while still having complete access to information.
- New revenue streams: Create new revenue streams by offering new products and services or by reaching new customers through digital channels.
- Improved collaboration: Facilitate collaboration within the organization and with external stakeholders, allowing teams to work together more quickly, effectively, and with better organization and accountability built into processes.
- Increased competitiveness: Stay competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace. Across every sector, adoption of digital transformation technologies is proving to provide many competitive advantages, especially for the first movers. Conversely, businesses that lag in technology adoption often have trouble ever regaining their competitiveness and market share.
Digital transformation is radically reshaping your industry
While it’s tempting to look at the shift to online technologies and assume that it applies less to hands-on industries like lumber and building supply, construction, distribution, manufacturing, office supply, and the other verticals that ECI Software Solutions serves, digital transformation is just as much a priority for your business as it is in other industries.
If you are sitting on the fence regarding the pace of your company’s digital transformation process, consider these statistics:
- 81% of consumers research online before buying (Chain Store Age) Without a strong ecommerce presence, potential customers are much more likely to go with a competitor.
- 63% of shopping begins online (Google) Whether the final purchase is in-store or online, 63% of sales begin with an online search.
- Global construction materials are projected to reach $1 trillion by 2030 (Sana) By adopting an online sales and product search presence, your business gains the capability to rake in a larger share of these sales.
- 84% of home and building supply companies think they’ll sell 100% online in the future (Sana) The future of retail is here, and all kinds of retail stores will be online.
- 99% of consumers have used the internet for research (BrightLocal) Consumers go online to find information about a local business, and 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Without positive online reviews, prospective customers turn to the competition.
Businesses in every sector that do not invest in digital transformation will struggle to keep up with competitors who are leveraging digital technologies to operate more efficiently and effectively. They may also find it difficult to attract and retain customers (especially millennials and the younger generations) who may be drawn to competitors that offer a better experience through technology. In addition, businesses that do not invest in digital transformation may be at a disadvantage when it comes to decision making, as they may not have access to the same amount of data and insights as their competitors. Ultimately, businesses that do not invest in digital transformation may face declining market share and profitability as they are unable to compete in an increasingly digital marketplace.
Conversely, businesses that are aggressively adopting a digital transformation leadership mindset are giving themselves every opportunity to become more efficient and profitable market leaders.
Find out more in our digital transformation infographic.