Digital Transformation and Innovation: Adapt to the Future
In today’s tech-driven world, companies and enterprises are looking to automate the smallest functions in the company starting from manufacturing all the way to their CRM processes. The digital transformation era has been booming for years, and both customers and businesses have accelerated a recent surge in the usage of digital products.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. Digital transformation projects can also improve on existing business processes and experiences.
Companies over the years have moved from paper to online live spreadsheets to smart applications for managing business processes. We can see what everyone in a company is doing in real-time through utilizing enterprise management systems. With digital technology, we can reimagine how we do business and how we engage our customers.
However, the term "digital transformation" has become so widely used that often business owners don’t understand what it truly means or what needs to transform within their companies. The core principle of the term is to rethink old operating models, to experiment more, and to become more agile in your ability to respond to customers' and competitors’ movements in the market.
Digital Transformation: Ecommerce role in the process
According to the Worldwide Digital Transformation Spending Guide, spending on the digital transformation (DX) of business practices, products, and organizations continues "at a solid pace despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic." IDC forecasts that global spending on DX technologies and services will grow 10.4 percent in 2020 to $1.3 trillion. That compares to 17.9 percent growth in 2019, "but remains one of the few bright spots in a year characterized by dramatic reductions in overall technology spending.”
This data shows proof of an ongoing and active movement towards digital transformation. We previously saw retailers battle it out for customers and market share on the street, while wholesalers sent out paper catalogs. Now, you can’t imagine a retailer without an e-commerce front to their business, regardless of the industry they are engaged in. The benefits to having it far outweigh the absence. E-commerce drives sales help raise awareness of the products or services you provide and gives potential customers the opportunity to purchase your products from the comfort of their own homes.
“Many buyers are interested in online and mobile purchasing and expect to continue some of the same habits in 2021, signaling to companies that have already put a focus on e-commerce to continue expanding their digital capabilities,” Gina Parry, Vormittag Associates’ National Account Manager, shared during an interview with IndustryWeek. The company specializes in industry-specific business solutions and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, showing just how much emphasis is being put on e-commerce as a driver of digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: ERP and internal connectivity
Major corporations have implemented Enterprise Resource Planning software within their companies to allow for real-time connectivity across all departments. This was probably one of the first major adoptions and key points in digital transformation, with the likes of Oracle and SAP currently competing head-to-head in the ERP space to provide companies with modular ERP systems to implement.
The development of ERP software over the years is a testament to just how fast and adaptable digital transformation can be within a company. It comes with great benefit to the company as they optimize their processes, cut costs, maximize profits, and become more interconnected between their departments.
A Panorama Consulting Solutions report reflected that about 81% of companies are either in the process of implementing enterprise resource planning software or have completed integration. Globally, over 50,000 companies have integrated SAP Business One. Recently, the major ERP service providers recognized the importance of social media platforms as well, adding extensions to connect with social media platforms for transforming the user’s social accounts.
Theoretical Digital Transformation of Strategies and Objectives
After exploring both e-commerce and ERP systems, it is worth noting the latter isn’t the “be it all and end all” for digital transformation. There is no denying a company’s implementation of ERP software is a major indicator of their beliefs and adoption of digital transformation, but in fact, automation extends beyond tactical goals.
ERP mainly serves the purpose of automating functions and processes, but what about theoretical execution and strategies set in place throughout the company? will identify and model business problems; map and optimize business processes, via process mining, well beyond the processes embedded in ERP applications.
The Future is Digital
Digital transformation is a broad and deep world to dive into with several aspects and implementations for companies to choose from. Companies based in MENA and around the world are recognizing the potential digital transformation holds, and the huge positive impact it can have on the growth of the company.