Data is the foundation for digital transformation

“Digital transformation” is a phrase that has been bandied about quite often in the recent past. Yet, do we all understand what digital transformation is all about?

Digital transformation is really an umbrella term that covers the adoption of digital technologies to create or modify existing processes in an organisation. In other words, digital transformation allows us to reimagine our business processes with digital technology to support us. It can either involve adopting new technologies to simplify traditional processes and move them online, or it can be used to enhance and bring greater value to brands that are already online. Thus, digital transformation enables businesses to relook and revamp their processes in such a way that improved customer experience, enhanced decision making and better efficiencies are made possible. True digital transformation happens when not only are new digital  technologies used but also people think of innovative ways to leverage that technology to bring about positive change.

Digitisation powers digital transformation

Over the years, it has become imperative for businesses to digitise the way they engage with customers as well as employees. This widespread digitisation of business processes across the world helped businesses to gain access to huge volumes of data. It is no secret that in this data-driven world, companies can compete and thrive based on the data they own and the valuable insights the data provides. Accessing the data available and analysing the data go hand in hand to ensure a successful digital transformation effort.

However,the fact of the matter is that while most organisations have a plethora of data at their disposal, there are issues that many of them face with accessing and using the data that they possess:

Data quality – Quite often, the quality of the data businesses possess is not good. Transformation efforts require good quality data as well as the shedding of data that is not useful and will never be used.

Complex legacy systems – It is tough to integrate legacy systems with modern systems that are part of an organisation’s infrastructure. This can cause difficulties in the combining of data and an ability to look at the big picture.

Availability of data in silos – Often, the data available to a particular business unit of an organisation is not available to other business units. These are known as data silos and integration of data across business units and the gaining of information from this data becomes quite a challenge!

Data: The driving force behind digital transformation efforts

Once good quality data is available, it allows businesses to make quick decisions that accelerate and aid business transformation. It has the added benefit of being able to measure a wide variety of business activities – these could be both internal (like employee productivity) and external (like customer data). Such data can also be effectively presented to the management to get buy-in for digital transformation efforts.

Let us look at some of the areas in which data can benefit digital transformation:

  1. Improved customer service – If customers’ preferences and interests are derived in the form of data, it can be used by organisations to improve the running of their business and provide superlative customer service, thus driving digital transformation in the area.
  2. Optimising the productivity of employees – Data-driven digital transformation can improve several aspects of employee productivity by enabling greater collaboration, automation of complex tasks and seamless project management capabilities. 
  3. Improvement of operational efficiencies by capturing data points across business processes – Many companies optimise processes and operations with the ultimate aim of reducing costs incurred. Data available is used by companies to reduce any kind of overhead, improve resource efficiency and promote business agility.
  4. Using customer data to create personalised messaging and service strategies – According to Harvard Business Review, a whopping73% of customers prefer to do business with brands that personalise their shopping experience. The data that is available to marketing departments can be used to better understand customers and run more effective marketing campaigns.

Data and analytics are the fuel for any digital transformation business process efforts. While there is a lot of information that can be gleaned from available data, the key is to take appropriate actions to improve processes and plan well for the future using this data. True digital transformation is tough and that is the reason many digital transformation efforts often fail. However, a business that truly harnesses the capabilities of data is setting itself up for a high probability of success!

*For organizations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organizational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organizations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organizations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

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