The term “digital transformation” can be defined broadly, encompassing many ideas and largely tied to an organization’s specific goals. For example, a digital transformation might entail a business switching from paper forms to a cloud-based system for better recordkeeping, or developing an application to improve customer engagement options.
Typically, pursuing a digital transformation means prioritizing tools that enhance a company’s operations, profits, growth potential and more. Here are five examples of what a digital transformation could look like for a modern business to use as inspiration for progress at your own organization.
1. Digital Transformation Creates Strategic Advantage for a Healthcare System
Sometimes, a surprising revelation triggers the demand for a digital transformation. That was the case when leaders of a global and academic healthcare system realized how often people used mobile devices to get information about available health-related services. Data showed 40% of website visitors used mobile devices to get information about the system’s offerings.
This healthcare system was already successful, achieving $5.2 billion in revenue and attracting 30,000 employees and more than 4,000 physicians. However, one of the keys to becoming and remaining competitive is recognizing the need for change and responding accordingly. That meant relying on next-generation digital technologies to improve patient engagement and boost brand value.
Although the healthcare system already had a mobile app, customers wanted more than it offered. Early steps in the digital transformation process involved viewing offerings from patient and caregiver perspectives in multiple contexts. Officials used that information to discuss the characteristics of optimal digital experiences and engaged a service provider to develop a new app.
Next, the client narrowed down features for the first release of the mobile app. The service provider mobilized tech specialists to meet those demands, and ultimately these digital transformation plans created a fielded unified experience application for the healthcare client just six months after initial planning.
Within three months, the application had a 64% month-over-month adoption rate across a target pool of 500,000 patients. Plus, the healthcare system expects $10 million in total savings due to associated physician efficiency gains and streamlined procedures in other clinical and back-office operations. Since the app allows co-pay authorizations when patients arrive, the client may see an additional $10 million from increased collections.
2. A Data-Centric Plan Helps a Multinational Food and Beverage Brand Excel
Nestlé has over 150 years of history and thousands of brands under its company umbrella. Executives continually look for practical and proven ways to enhance operations, and that often means being open to using data and adopting technologies.
The company focused on maintaining privacy, connecting with consumers, and pursuing ongoing experimentation during a recent digital transformation, according to Global Chief Marketing Officer Aude Gandon.
One component of that was developing a future-proof first-party strategy emphasizing data safeguarding and privacy, some aspects of which included using consent-mode features within Google Analytics and developing a global advertising technology roadmap.
Ensuring the digital transformation helps Nestlé connect with consumers means reaching 400 million customers with the company’s first-party database by 2025. That information will allow brands under the company’s umbrella to extract valuable insights that improve competitiveness. One Nestlé company used first-party data to achieve a 25% boost in ad spend return by improving connectedness with customers during seasonal events.
Finally, the part of the digital transformation plan focusing on ongoing experimentation heavily relies on cloud computing. In one project related to a coffee brand in Thailand, employees sent large volumes of data from past campaigns to Google Cloud. They then used machine learning algorithms to predict the most appropriate creative messages to show to specific YouTube audiences. This tactic caused a 17% increase in cost-per-view metrics and a 12% lift in ad recall.
These examples show why aligning long-term plans with certain focal points is often useful. Otherwise, it could become too easy to get off track with the digital transformation. That’s especially likely to happen if numerous decision-makers are weighing in with different opinions and not agreeing about the best ways forward.
3. Digital Supply Chain Planning Improves Pandemic Coping
Many digital transformations involve exploring how new technologies help companies reach their goals. For example, some business leaders are examining how Non-Fungible tokens (NFTs) could strengthen their supply chains. Improved supply chain visibility is a priority for many leaders, regardless of industry, and some experts believe NFTs could track parts from various locations, allowing better delay forecasting.
In one case, DuPont utilized digital supply chain planning through scenario modeling that fostered better preparedness. The company’s supply chain experts scrambled to cope with the global market’s unpredictability in early 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened. They found the systems they’d previously used no longer met needs in the unprecedented circumstances. Leaders decided DuPont needed a customized digital platform.
The resulting creation was a digital tool that allowed people to plan for what-if scenarios that allowed for better business decisions, even in an uncertain environment. The system uses a custom-built algorithm and open-source platform that enable people to run multiple potential scenarios at once within minutes. That saves time and provides trusted results.
Users can also get financial projections, capacity planning, and inventory planning for up to two years into the future. That makes it easier for supply chain executives to make the choices they need to get products to those needing them. This digital platform supports distributing and manufacturing of more than 1,000 products that reach people worldwide. It also allows future scenario testing for nine supply chain categories across 75 locations.
DuPont’s supply chain planners run more than 20 scenarios per month. The company also has over two dozen people trained to use the tool.
4. Electronics Brand Aims for an Omnichannel Approach
The digital environments in today’s business environments are always changing. That’s because improvements and advancements continually happen, pushing leaders to evolve their companies.
In one case, Currys, a market-leading brand in the United Kingdom’s tech retail market, pursued a transformation that would turn it into a digital-first omnichannel retailer. Leaders already knew that 60% of the company’s customers preferred to shop across multiple channels, so the push to suit shoppers’ wants made sense.
Executives had a three-pillar plan for making improvements:
- Ensuring an easy shopping experience
- Providing a connected customer journey
- Creating capable and committed employees
Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform allowed for meeting all those goals. It showed a 360-degree view of marketing, sales, and service interactions associated with every customer. Company decision-makers also used specialty software to update legacy infrastructure and cloud-based tools to give people the information they needed from any location.
These improvements created digital enhancements that affected online and in-store shopping experiences. They also meant employees could focus on building lasting customer relationships rather than merely serving people during single purchases and never attempting to lengthen the relationship.
Additionally, the digital transformation gave customers more personalized experiences, providing them with relevant prices and other product information to reduce friction. Whether people want to buy a new TV or a kitchen appliance, they’ll appreciate having need-to-know information that guides their interactions.
5. Cloud Computing Helps the University of Bristol Reach More Students
One of the primary goals of a digital transformation is to unlock more opportunities for a respective organization. Such was the case when University of Bristol officials wanted to branch out into remote learning. That would provide educational options for more people than the approximately 28,000 students per year who take in-person classes annually.
University executives chose a cloud technology solution and realized that moving into the realm of online courses would bring multiple benefits. For example, it would open new commercial appeal for the higher education institution while giving learners the freedom and flexibility to attend regardless of their locations or backgrounds.
Leaders also believe this digital transformation will improve its academic research arm. The University of Bristol counts international meteorological bodies, pharmaceutical researchers, and health care organizations as partners. All those parties have different requirements, but partnering with academic institutions allows researchers to take advantage of computing and storage resources that further their projects.
The university’s leaders knew their digital transformation would span multiple years. However, they did the smart thing from the start and worked with technology experts that could advise them every step of the way. These parties assisted in defining a target operating model and teaching the university’s employees the new skills they’d need to succeed with the cloud-based technology.
Much of this tech support happened remotely, although it went smoothly. That emphasizes the provider’s knowledge in helping clients digitally transform without the potential restrictions of geographical boundaries.
Digital Transformations Take Many Forms
These five examples prove there’s no single way to enact a digital transformation within a company. However, businesses are most likely to get the best results when they take the time to determine what would most severely limit future growth and success. Paying attention to those issues could provide decision-makers with the evidence they need that a digital transformation must happen soon. They’ll also better understand which problems to tackle first when making digital improvements.