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Digital Transformation Strategy: The Ultimate Guide

Digital Transformation Strategy: The Ultimate Guide

If you are surviving the competition, then you must have heard of Digital Transformation by now. Are you offline and falling behind? If you don’t have a digital transformation strategy for your business then this should be a must-read for you!

55% of companies without an existing digital transformation program say the timeframe to adopt one is a year or less – Digital Business Report, 2016

What will you learn by the end of this blog?

  • What is Digital Transformation?
  • Elements of Digital Transformation
  • Digital Transformation Strategy
  • Understanding Deeply with the Help of Digital Transformation Examples

Meaning of Digital Transformation

“How can I radically improve the performance and reach of my enterprise with the help of technology?” is a common question across the globe.

Industries today are using digital developments like social media, AI, IoT, analytics, and more to improve their internal processes, customer relationships, and more.

Digital Transformation is the deep and accelerating transformation of business models, competencies, processes, and activities to fully exploit the opportunities and changes of digital technologies.

How can I transform my business to be ahead of my competitors in the digital world?

Digital Transformation Framework

To transform a business, there are three different elements that act as pillars:

  • Customer Experience
  • Operational Processes
  • Business Models

Each of these three pillars having different elements acts as building blocks for digital

Pillar #1: Transform Customer Experience

One of the most important aspects of digital transformation is altering customer experience. It includes understanding customers, top-line growth, and customer touch points.

  • Understanding Customers

Companies are investing its resources to understanding specific market segments, and specific geographies, in details. One of the common ways is to explore social media to know what makes a customer happy and what makes a customer dissatisfied.

Building Customer Loyalty: Companies are building new online communities to build loyalty with customers for their services and products. While others are working on products to build their brands.

Understanding Customer Behavior via Analysis: In order to track and understand customers’ behavior in more detail, companies are investing huge sums of money on building analytics capability.

  • Top-Line Growth

Companies are using innovation and technology to enhance in-person sales conversations. For instance, digital marketing for financial companies include tablet-based presentations instead of paper-based slide decks to make sale pitches.

Better understanding helps businesses to transform the sales experience


By integrating customer purchasing data and behaviour patterns, companies are providing more personalized customer services to boost their growth.

  • Customer Touch Points

Undoubtedly, customer services can be enhanced significantly via digital innovations. For instance, ICICI Bank’s Twitter account answers client complaints quickly, helping customers avoid going physically to a brand.

Many companies are offering self-service with the help of digital tools which allow the clients to save time and company’s money. Many companies are, therefore, offering customer apps to enhance customer touch points.The smartphones are linked to the customer’s profile which helps integration across apps, SMS, and social media platforms.

Pillar #2: Operational Processes Transformation

Most of the companies extend digital transformation only to the customer experience, however, companies nowadays, are also realizing the strong benefits from transforming internal processes via performance management, worker enablement, and digitization.

  • Digitization

With the help of automation, companies are able to refocus their people on more strategic tasks. Automation allows researchers to focus on creativity and innovation while cutting down repetitive efforts.

  • Worker Enablement

The tools that virtualize individual work for instance, ‘work from home’, and ‘allowing employees to talk to anyone in the organization’ have become powerful enablers for knowledge sharing.

For example, people benefit from collaborative and networking tools. Here people, say for instance, salespeople, can identify experts and get questions answered in real time.

  • Performance Management

Transactional systems help management better understand customers, regions, and products helping them make decisions based on real data rather than assumptions.

Pillar #3: Transforming Business Models

Companies are redefining how functions interact and evolve the boundaries of the firm. The major blocks of the digital transformation of a business are digital globalization, creation of new digital businesses and digital modifications to the business.

  • Digital Globalization

Companies are increasingly transforming from multinational to truly global operations. Digital technology along with information is helping businesses to gain global teamwork while remaining locally responsive. This increases efficiency and lessens the risk.

  • Creation of New Digital Business

What else could be done for Digital Transformation? Companies are now introducing digital products that go with traditional products. For instance, sports apparel manufacturer started selling GPS  to help track and report on user’s workout.

  • Digitally Modified Businesses

Digital Transformation is not about changing the way we do technology but changing the way we do business. If we want to survive the market, it is important to transform the way we do business.

What could be done?

Building digital or service around traditional products. For instance, post offices creating a free digital mailbox attached to each physical mail address.

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5 Key Areas to Make Digital Transformation Strategy

Transforming your business is a complex process for companies to accomplish. They must look at how the digital age is impacting their business process and will have to make decisions out of comfort zone.

If you are on the digital transformation process, these 5 points will help you make the digital transformation strategy a success.


Going forward companies must take active decisions to stimulate cultural changes throughout their enterprise so they can better respond to digital changes. Departments should work together to create joint efforts that smooth the workflow process instead of hindering them.


The inclination towards digitalization has been ongoing for few years now and it will continue to accelerate. There is scope for improving the performance of the businesses. However, there is no one way that must be done to digitally transform your business, but a series of processes.

Digital Culture

There should be a shift in the culture of a company that involves recognizing the value in the transformation. It won’t be a problem for digitally-born companies as they would be looking for getting the most out of their digitalization processes rather than questioning its intrinsic value. Whereas, old and larger companies will have to begin to look at their business in a different way to develop a digital approach.

Budget Allocation

There’s a high possibility that you might be thinking digital transformation is equal to increasing technological budgets. However, if you don’t have a clear objective in mind, it can lead to poor results and produce a belief that the digital transformation isn’t efficient enough.

To be honest, transformation is more of a strategic direction. Much of the ability to make the correct decision will be on the basis of how the leadership views the future of their company.


Shifting the mindset, companies can begin to view their business to the path of process innovation. Their services and products are important, however, how they can tweak the process to create this will produce new efficiencies.

With technologically enhanced processes, you can start to introduce slight changes in your product and get detailed customer feedback at an accelerated speed. This continuous effort at introducing new changes can be analyzed to see what is working in the market and what should be dropped quickly.

Digital Maturity

The companies that have digitally transformed in the best possible way are the ones Digitally

What do I mean by Digital Maturity? The companies having a strong combination of digital activity with strong leadership to turn technology into transformation. Performance and digital maturity are positively correlated i.e., those with better digital maturity model outperform others.

Digital Transformation Examples

Here are inspiring digital transformation case studies to start or accelerate your current efforts:


There has been a massive shift in consumer behavior and they are in the process of adapting digital way of working and company processes. For instance, in 2015, McD began installing kiosks where customers can quickly customize their hamburgers. Also, they were the first company to adopt Apple Pay Mobile pay and are continuing to look for new innovative solutions

McCormick & Companymccormick-company

A 125-year old spice company, McCormick & Company recently realized the need to digitally transform with an aim to remain a market leader in the modern world.

McCormick launched FlavorPrint, an online flavor recommendation tool that visually represents the tastes of consumers. The visitor starts with a 20 question quiz about food likes, dislikes, and eating habits. FlavorPrint takes this data and generates personalized suggestions about recipes via algorithms.

“We are just now becoming aware of what all the digital expertise can do if we are smart enough to take advantage of it” – Jerry Wolfe, Former Chief Information Officer, McCormick.

FlavorPrint has been such a success that McCormick spun off into its own technology company called Vivanda.


There is a lot going on at Disney World and Digital Transformation makes this world successful. In 2011, Disney World was faced with a declining rate of customer satisfaction. That time, Walt Disney Co.’s CEO, Bob Iger pitched his plan for MyMagic+.

This was a billion dollar investment aimed at improved the customer experience. MyMagic+ consists of a wristband, mobile app, and website. This allows the company to track and analyze customer behavior so they can create a seamless and personalized Disney World experience for its clients.

Under Armourunder-armour

Under Armour didn’t want to limit themselves to apparel company when they introduced ‘connected fitness’, where they used to track, analyze, and share personal health data right to clients’ phones. The vision was established, however, Under Armour didn’t have the technology, therefore, they had to completely rethink their digital strategy.

Firstly, they acquired several technology-based fitness companies like European fitness app Endomondo, MyFitnessPal, and MapMyFitness for $715 million. These companies provided Under Armour with a large customer database and the technology needed to get their fitness app up and running.

Digital Transformation Benefits

  • According to Digital Evolution 2015, 39% say their digital transformation efforts have helped them make strong progress in initiating real-time transactions while 32% say it has helped them make strong progress in improving the efficiency of operations. Also, 28% say digital transformation strategy has helped them gain new users.
  • 71% of digitally maturing companies say they attract new talent on the basis of their digital vision. (MIT Sloan Management Review & Deloitte University Press, 2016)
  • By 2018, a minimum of 20% of all workers will use automated assistance technologies to make decisions and get work done. (IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation 2016 Predictions, 2015)

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Digital Transformation Challenges

  • One of the biggest challenges of digital transformation is developing new business strategies and models to increase engagement and connectivity (43%) and recruiting employees with the right digital skills (32%). (BT CIO Report, 2016)
  • Many executives see a lack of organization agility (25%), security concerns and insufficient technical skills (25%), lack of an overall strategy (33%), and too many competing priorities (43%). (Digital Business Global Executive Study, MIT Sloan Management Review, 2015)
  • 82% of the companies think that responsibility for overall leadership of digital transformation has been formally assigned to someone within the organization. (Digital Leadership 2015: Making a Difference Report, Apigee Institute)
  • By 2017, 60% of the companies with a digital transformation strategy will make it excessively important for any single one functional area and create an independent corporate executive position to manage the implementation. (IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation 2016 Predictions, 2015)

To make companies understand and empower, there are many events where Digital future is discussed. For instance, Webit.India is one of the events where industry experts discussed digital transformation strategy for brands as well as future of Digital Transformation.


What does Digital Transformation require? Without leadership, you can’t digitally transform your business.

Are you Digitally informed?

Companies all over the world are experimenting with and benefiting from Digital Transformation. Clearing your Digital Marketing Concepts is one of the best ways to survive and evolve in this competitive market. Get your hands on Digital World.

Image Credits: Capgemini Consulting, Huffington Post

Sakshi is a content marketer during the day and a reader by night. She writes content sprinkled with a twisted imagination. She has done her graduation in psychology from Delhi University and has an insane love for history.

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