What Is Digital Transformation? A Definition and Guide

6 July 2022

A Rundown and Analysis of the Benefits of This Modern Movement and How to Get Started

The ongoing pandemic has led to more interest in digital transformation.  

Due to the pandemic and lockdowns, many consumers have turned to online shopping and working from home. That means businesses that have embraced the digital age are better equipped to handle consumer demands.  

In other words, if you want to remain competitive and future-proof your business outcomes, it’s time to look into digital transformation. 

But what is digital transformation exactly? It can mean many things, so it’s important to understand it.  

This guide will explain what digital transformation is, why it matters, its benefits, and what you need to get started. 

What Is Digital Transformation? 

Digital transformation is the process of putting services online or using the latest digital technologies and practices to create a comprehensive business model that can operate both online and offline. It can include anything from switching to cloud computing and optimizing the tech stack used in your company to creating an app for your business or opening an online store.  

Digital transformation’s main emphasis is on transformation as a process that involves using the latest technology. Through this adoption process and investing in digital innovations, tools, and solutions, companies are able to do things faster and cheaper. 

Why Digital Transformation Is Important 

There are two main reasons why digital transformation is important.  

For one, it can help companies bring their business online. Having an online presence means your business is open 24/7/365, which means you can expand your target market.  

By bringing their services online, these companies have the ability to expand their market size and serve customers who live in different counties, states, or even countries — furthering their business goals. 

Secondly, successful digital transformation can help companies modernize their processes and streamline operations. Ultimately, that saves time and money. Plus, it enables employees to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time engaging with customers. 

Benefits of Digital Transformation 

Digital transformation has several benefits. Let’s take a look at those that stand out the most.  

Improves Customer Satisfaction and Builds Customer Relationships 

The rise of the internet and social media apps has led to a demand for instant gratification. Your customers want solutions — and they want them fast.  

By embracing digital transformation trends, you can meet customer expectations and provide them with solutions they want when they want them.  

Helps with Big Data Analytics and Decision-Making 

With digital transformation, there’s no shortage of tools and apps that let you easily track all kinds of metrics.  

That helps you identify which social media platforms are giving you the best ROI. It also offers insight into how your advertising campaigns are doing and what type of content resonates with your customers. All of those factors go into creating a better user experience.  

You can then craft better marketing campaigns, improve your new products, and develop new offers that serve the ideal customer experience. 

Can Improve Collaboration 

It’s now easier than ever to share documents online and collaborate on them in real-time.  

In addition, remember that going digital will require training to help your employees understand the benefits of the change and learn how to use new technologies. Proper training can bridge age gaps and social divergences while encouraging your team to communicate and collaborate.  

Can Consolidate and Simplify Operations 

As we mentioned before, a digital business transformation can help you consolidate and simplify your operations. 

For example, you may find a tool that can replace three different apps. Or, you may discover chat software that provides answers to common questions, thereby reducing the number of support requests overall.  

With ecommerce ERP integration, your online store and ERP are synchronized to automatically update your business data in real-time. That means there’s no need to enter orders manually into your ERP platform, saving you time and eliminating the risk of costly mistakes. 

Improves Agility and Innovation 

Digital tools and landscapes are always changing and evolving. As a result, your company needs to stay on top of these changes and be able to adapt and innovate quickly. Staying agile is crucial if you want your business value to remain competitive. 

How to Start and Succeed with Digital Transformation 

There are a few steps you’ll need to take to start with your digital transformation process:  

Determine What Digital Transformation Success Means for Your Business 

The first thing you need to do is establish what digital transformation efforts mean for your business. Take into account your current challenges, customer feedback, and industry ecosystem. Be sure to also look at any other factors that ​can influence your business.  

Evaluate Current Tech Stack, Technologies, and Employees 

Evaluate what technologies, tools, and software you’re already using and the skills your employees have. That will prevent you from under or over-transforming.  

In other words, know what you have so you don’t end up duplicating tools or forgetting a crucial tool or solution.  

Establish How You’ll Go Digital  

Digital transformation initiatives are different for every business. They could include:  

  • Opening an online store 
  • Automating your AR business processes 
  • Adding a support chatbot or a live chat feature on your website 
  • Using cloud-hosted software instead of on-premises solutions 
  • Creating a company wiki to serve as a central source of truth 

Create a Roadmap 

Effective digital transformation isn’t an overnight process, nor can you successfully initiate and complete it without a plan in place.  

It’s essential to create a roadmap that will outline the exact steps and timeline of the entire process.  

Ensure Your Employees Have the Right Skills 

According to the 2020 State of the CIO Executive Summary, 89% of IT heads indicated they have to rely on advisors to figure out new technology.  

That makes it all the more vital you ensure that your employees have the right skills and know-how to use the new technologies. That might also mean you’ll need to hire outside help to assist in your company’s digital transformation projects. 

Communicate Your Plan to the Entire Company 

Explain the benefits of digital transformation to your team and how it will impact their workflows. Also, explain what will be involved and inform them about the training they’ll receive. Ensure that they know who to talk to if they need more support. 

The above steps will help you get started on your digital transformation journey. Don’t have the funds or resources? You can apply for a grant that will help you get started with the project. 

Final Thoughts: What is Digital Transformation? A Definition and Guide 

Now that you know what digital transformation is and how it helps digital businesses with rethinking the way they work, it’s time to start implementing what you’ve learned.  

At k-ecommerce, we’re here not only to help SMBs simplify and accelerate online growth but also to help businesses automate and work more efficiently.   

Let us help you succeed with your digital transformation. Contact us today and schedule a demo so you can see how k-ecommerce offers modernization and automation for your ecommerce business strategy.