What is Digital Transformation for large companies? The short answer is that digital transformation is a new way of thinking. It’s a shift in how a company thinks about using technology to achieve its business goals.
Look at companies like Uber, Airbnb or Amazon. Everything they do is based on using evolving technology to meet customer needs. That way of thinking is largely what has catapulted their success.
Do All Companies Need Digital Transformation?
No. Very small companies, such as local restaurants, don’t necessarily need to join the digital transformation age. But in general, most companies should begin the process of exploring ways to integrate new technologies into their business.
For example, let’s talk about a consumer packaged goods company. They can integrate cloud technology into everything from customer service and marketing to sales and manufacturing. Any company with a lot of moving pieces can use digital transformation to play a role in tying these pieces together.
The larger a company becomes, the more it needs to embrace digital transformation. New technologies help departments talk to each other and the company serve its customers better. Because these are two things that large companies often struggle with, digital transformation just makes sense.
What are Examples of Digital Transformation?
There are countless examples to cite, but here are a few to think about:
- Caterpillar’s heavy machinery is now smart machinery. It uses the cloud to communicate potential maintenance issues before major problems occur.
- BASF created technology to sense diseases in plants. That way farmers can deal with issues before they spread throughout the crop.
- OneWeb (purchased by Airbus) uses a network of over 600 satellites to provide internet anywhere in the world.
- Marketers and customer service teams in all types of companies now use chatbots on social media and their websites. Chatbots are often able to answer customer questions or perform basic tasks without the need for an employee to get involved.
Each of these is different, but also similar in a way. They are ways that companies are using new technologies to entirely change how their business is done.
Why Do Some Large Companies Resist Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is tough. The easy part is investing in new technology. The hard part is actually rethinking how your business is done so you know what technology to look for. That’s where the “transformation” part comes into play.
As a simple example, let’s talk about chatbots. Some companies see them as impersonal, thinking their customers would never want to communicate with a robot to fix their issues. Others may see the customer service benefit, but the brand team doesn’t like the idea.
Digital Transformation is also hard to implement due to office politics. The more people involved and affected by a change, the more likely it will get shot down. Businesses exist to make money, and time or energy spent pursuing digital transformation won’t guarantee results.
Digital transformation at large companies can be a hard sell. But the world is also changing faster than ever before. Is your company preparing itself for future success by engaging in digital transformation?