Why is digital transformation more important than ever?

Freestyle
5 min readApr 17, 2023

While many organisations recognise the importance of digital transformation, few are able to successfully execute a comprehensive digital transformation strategy.

With research showing only a small percentage of executives believe their digital transformation efforts have successfully improved performance and equipped them to sustain changes in the long term.

To successfully execute digital transformation, organisations must have a clear understanding of what it is, how it works, and what steps are involved.

Digital Transformation in a Nutshell

Digital transformation is the process of leveraging digital technologies to transform how businesses operate, deliver value, and interact with customers.

The ultimate goal of digital transformation is to create a more agile, efficient, and customer-centric organisation that can adapt to changing market conditions.

Why Does Digital Transformation Matter More now?

Digital transformation is just as important as it has ever been, but the focus, and where we may apply more weight in approaching it, is shifting all the time.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the pace of digital transformation, as organisations were forced to adapt to new ways of working and interacting with customers. This was largely around physical restraints, meaning digital channels become, in many cases, the only channels for businesses to serve their customers. The focus then was all around ensuring those channels were available and the best they could be.

Post Covid-19, a cost of living crisis is gripping a large portion of the world, shifting the digital transformation focus slightly from new ways of working to things including;

  • Reducing operating costs, maintaining margins and working more efficiently.
  • Delivering greater value to customers, who are being forced to make tough decisions on where they spend their money.

But, regardless of today’s challenge, in a world where customers expect instant gratification and seamless experiences across multiple channels, organisations that fail to embrace digital transformation risk becoming irrelevant.

By embracing digital transformation, organisations can unlock new opportunities for growth, improve efficiency and agility, and create new business models that meet the evolving needs of their customers and bring stability in uncertain times.

The Three Stages of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a complex process that involves a range of activities and initiatives. However, we believe digital transformation can be broken down into three key stages: Explore, Validate, and Create.

Explore: Business, Customer, and Technology Insights

The Explore stage of digital transformation is all about gaining a deep understanding of your business context, your customers, and the technology landscape. During this stage, you should be gathering insights and data to help inform your digital transformation strategy.

This stage involves a range of activities, including:

  • Conducting a business and technology assessment to identify areas of opportunity for transformation.
  • Conducting a customer needs analysis to understand the needs and pain points of your customers.
  • Developing a technology roadmap that outlines the technology investments required to support your digital transformation strategy.
  • Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you measure the success of your digital transformation efforts.

By gaining a deep understanding of your business, your customers, and your technology landscape/ecosystem, you can identify opportunities for digital transformation that will deliver the greatest value to your organisation.

Validate: Generating and Validating Concepts & Initiatives

The Validate stage of digital transformation is all about generating and validating concepts and initiatives. During this stage, you should be testing and validating your digital transformation concepts to ensure that they are viable, desirable, and feasible.

This stage involves a range of activities, including:

  • Generating a range of digital transformation concepts and initiatives that align with your business goals and customer needs.
  • Developing validation tests that will help you determine the desirability, viability, and feasibility of each concept.
  • Deciding which concepts to kill, pivot or continue with.

By validating concepts and approaches quickly and cheaply you are reducing risk, only investing further and moving forward with the most viable concepts.

Create: Building, Launching, and Scaling the Right Solutions

The Create stage of digital transformation is where the rubber meets the road. It’s where you take the concepts that you’ve validated in the previous stage and turn them into solutions that can be launched and scaled to deliver real business value.

This stage involves a range of activities, including:

  • Building and launching a minimum viable product (MVP) to test the concept in the real world.
  • Iterating and refining the MVP based on feedback and data to ensure that it meets customer needs and drives business value.
  • Scaling the solution to deliver value at scale and capture the full potential of your digital transformation investment.

The Create stage is arguably the most challenging stage of the digital transformation process. It requires a high degree of agility, flexibility, and adaptability, as well as a willingness to experiment and take risks.

Digital transformation is more than new tech or software

Where we see digital transformation fail is where it has been driven by a tech first approach, where something shiny and new is plugged in with no real understanding of the why. To do it right, you need to understand that it is not actually about implementing digital solutions or tools. It’s a holistic approach to changing the way a business operates and serves its customers.

Done right, digital transformation is really about business transformation, which can involve reinventing a company’s core business model, products, services, operations and propositions. We believe it is the key to creating sustainable value for customers and shareholders.

Freestyle has the expertise and capabilities to help businesses create and implement successful digital transformation strategies. With Freestyle, companies can achieve digital transformation faster, more cost-effectively, and with greater impact.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you, get in touch. Drop us a line: hello@freestyle.agency

Author: Ritchie Brett, Strategy Director, Freestyle

Originally published at https://freestyle.agency.

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Freestyle

Freestyle is the digital transformation agency that keeps brands at the top of their game.