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What is digital transformation?

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have probably heard the latest technology buzz words – and digital transformation was most likely one of them.  So, what does digital transformation mean? Let’s break it down.  The traditional definition of digital transformation is “the adoption of digital technology by an organization. Common goals for its implementation are to improve efficiency, value, or innovation.”

This problem with this broad definition is the lack of consideration for what application means at the organizational level. Digital transformation can mean so many different things, depending on your company, industry, or operating model.  Because it does and means so much, it’s likely that you are actually already applying digital transformation to some degree. But is the approach truly benefiting your business?

So, why is digital transformation so popular right now?

The growth of sophisticated enterprise systems has evolved. You can digitize more things now than you ever used to.  There are systems for engineering, finance, sales, supply chain, inventory management, people management—you name it. This evolution leads us to believe that implementation of any system into a single area can be seen as a success towards digital transformation, but is it really?

For example, industrial internet of things (IIoT) has been fiercely marketed and hyped up recently.  The typical use case connects machines and determines their up/down times, therefore exposing operational equipment efficiency (OEE).  While this is nice to have, is it really digital transformation?

How to achieve successful digital transformation

Companies that are having success in their digital transformation are looking at the bigger picture. They’re also figuring out how to digitally transform their company across not just technology but also people and processes.  And not just within one department or enterprise system, but across disciplines and systems.

Sure, scanning a document and converting into a PDF file stored on a computer or storage device is technically considered digital transformation, but is this truly transforming how you do business?  Is this how you accelerate time to market with a new product?

True digital transformation only takes place when you affect change across the enterprise, and include people, process and technology.  This takes time, effort and planning—lots of planning.  If you’re serious about digital transformation and know your business would benefit from it, take a look at the big picture and think about how you can really make a difference within your organization. Not sure where to begin? We can help you make a plan. Contact us today. (link to contact us page)

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