Many companies used digital technologies to steer through the worst of the pandemic and developed a newfound appreciation for digital transformation. Many now put meaningful resources into digital transformation projects. Digital transformation is no longer about taking paper documents and putting them online—it’s reimagining business operations in a digital world.
But digital transformation isn’t easy. To digitize processes and improve them, organizations must use the best digital solutions and come up with great strategies. Companies that underwent digital transformation early and got it right now have a competitive advantage and deliver products and services faster. They have lower costs, and their offerings are of higher quality.
To capture the long-term benefits and sustain the momentum of transformation, organizations must reimagine their operations and embrace end-to-end digital transformation. Rather than simply measuring performance against budgets, team leaders must nurture internal talent, build new capabilities, and reward innovation. More and more companies are adopting end-to-end digital transformation and reaping big.
What is End-to-End Digital Transformation?
End-to-end digital transformation means using digital technologies to completely overhaul an organization’s business model, processes, and operations. Organizations use digital tools and platforms to optimize operations, automate existing workflows, and create new opportunities for growth.
To identify areas where digital technologies can be applied, a CIO analyzes an organization’s current processes and systems. The analysis involves examining the organization’s data management capabilities, current technology infrastructure, and overall digital maturity. Once areas of improvement have been identified, the CIO develops a digital transformation strategy outlining the goals and objectives for implementing new digital technologies.
The digital transformation process may involve re-engineering existing processes, developing digital products, re-skilling employees, and creating a new business model. Most organizations use RAD tools to accelerate end-to-end digital transformation.
A successful transformation calls for a holistic approach that encompasses a company’s operations—from the technology to the people and culture. By adopting digital technologies, an organization can become agile and resilient in the face of changing market conditions, competitive pressures, and customer demands.
Benefits of End-to-End Digital Transformation
Whole Process Improvements
For many years, leading companies have used data gathering and analysis technologies, customer outreach, and cloud-based technologies to refine specific business processes. As COVID-19 played out, even companies that had avoided digital transformation for years installed back-office AI systems or unveiled new applications. Whether your company was an early or late adopter of technology, chances are it benefited from digitalization and intelligent process automation.
End-to-end digital transformation takes things a step further, enhancing technology and data’s role. A company’s technological profile expands—people, processes, and technology all contribute to a data-driven environment. Additionally, there’s tighter control of resources and overhead, hence greater operational efficiency. This results in higher profits.
By digitizing labor-intensive processes, costs can be reduced by up to 90%, and turnaround times can be greatly improved. Replacing manual processes with digital ones allows organizations to automatically record data that can be mined to better understand cost drivers, process performance, and causes of risk.
Analytics and real-time reports on process performance allow managers to address problems before they become critical. For instance, product quality issues can be identified and rectified rapidly by monitoring consumer buying behavior and feedback on digital channels.
A Better Business Model
If well implemented, end-to-end digital transformation enhances everything your company does—following up on prospects, sourcing raw materials, manufacturing, managing employees, and tracking sales. Data is collected for every process and used for better decision-making. Departments don’t work in isolation, and employees can easily access the data they need from a single platform. Your organization can easily identify opportunities for growth and issues that need to be addressed.
End-to-end digital transformation allows companies to create new business models and deliver value in a digital economy. They can easily cut waste and improve efficiencies across functions. As data collection and analysis become more valuable in business decision-making, end-to-end digitization will become more popular.
Examples of End-to-End Digital Transformation
When the 2008 crisis hit, Adobe took a risk and moved from a license-based model to a subscription-based model (to focus on enterprise clients). They redefined their service offering and started providing cloud-based solutions, adopting a SaaS (software-as-a-service) model.
While undergoing digital transformation, the company focused on hiring top talent and creating a great work environment. It also acquired two companies (Omniture and Magento) to propel its growth. Adobe’s digital transformation happened on different levels. It taught businesses everywhere a very important lesson: digital transformation has to happen across the entire organization and completely transform how things are done.
Back in 2017, Nike discovered that their brand image had weakened. Consumers saw it as just another sportswear company. The company decided to undergo a digital transformation to improve its brand image and customer experience.
Nike started using analytics effectively and updated their e-commerce strategy with better membership options and an improved user experience. They aligned their online marketing strategy with offline activities. The end-to-end digital transformation helped the company to thrive during the multiple lockdowns caused by the pandemic. The company’s stock price also went up.
Implement End-to-End Digital Transformation, Don’t Just Digitize Individual Processes
Companies must embrace end-to-end digital transformation to meet changing customer demands and adapt to market trends. They should go beyond automating processes and reinvent their entire operations. Organizational structures, operating models, and employee roles should be redesigned to match the reinvented processes. Data models should be remodeled to enable better performance tracking, decision-making, and customer insights.
Digital transformation calls for old wisdom to be combined with new skills. For instance, a merchandising manager can learn to program a pricing algorithm. To reap the benefits of digital transformation, organizations must transform from top to bottom. They must reinvent business functions and restructure them using cutting-edge digital technologies.