Digital transformation is the use of a number of digital technologies to enable an organization to improve or evolve their business process, culture and customer experiences to meet today’s rapidly changing business environment.

This is achieved through smart integration of digital technologies, processes and competencies across all levels and functions in a staged and strategic way.
The key thing to remember is that digital transformation will look different for every company, simply because each company structure and operation are different.

This means companies will require different levels of digital and software integration which will change day-to-day operations and how they deliver value to customers.

Why does digital transformation matter?
A business may take on digital transformation for several reasons. But by far, the most likely reason is that they have to: It’s a survival issue for many. According to the American Enterprise foundation in 1958, U.S. corporations remained on the stock market index for an average of 61 years, by 2011, it had dropped to 18 years. Today, companies are being replaced on the index approximately every two weeks. Technology has driven this shift, and companies that want to succeed must understand how to merge technology with strategy.

To make our definitions tangible, it will help to understand that there are three major types of digital transformation:

Internal Digital Transformation
As the organization grows, and the data that you store also grows, so too should your systems. If you add new products or expand your client portfolio, then this necessitates the expansion of your data warehousing system. In turn, the reporting functionality within your software must be dynamic and keep up with the pace of your past changing and vibrant business.
The first type of digital transformation is what goes on inside of a business. Internal digital transformation is any sort of technology that employees use to work with each other and business partners. Streamlining all interactions and creating central locations for work and files.
This leads to several things:
1. Increased workplace productivity
2. Better customer experience
3. Better time management as tasks take less time.
4. Automated systems that can reduce overhead.

External Digital Transformation
The next form of digital transformation is external transformation. This focuses on the organization’s relationships with its customers, suppliers, employees, and partners. E-commerce is the most obvious example. E-commerce not only improves the business processes between trading partners, whether B2C or B2B, but it can also improve the nature of the business relationship, from one that is largely transactional to one that is more strategic. Netflix for example runs an algorithm that selects films according to the users viewing history and will suggest content that the user is more likely to watch. This allows Netflix to gain a deeper understanding of customers both online and offline.

Data-driven Transformation
As Africa becomes more digitized, data-driven decisions will make or break organizations. Digital transformation will help businesses future proof by using data and analytics to study information gathered. This will help companies interpret customer decisions, make better marketing and sales decisions while giving them the ability to provide quick and timely solutions to customers.

Gone are the days of going by your gut, in an economic reality where entire industries are changing, actionable intelligence is the new currency. Data and information have become core business assets, sources of revenue, and critical enablers in the information age.

Final note:
As technology change increases, industries will continue to be forced to change. Gone are the days of making decisions by gut instinct. We are in an economic reality where entire industries are changing and actionable intelligence is the new currency. The corporations that regard and pursue digital transformation in a multi-dimensional way will find greater success than those that don’t. For small businesses just getting started, the advantage you have today is that you can digitize your processes and future-proof from the word go. Talk to the experts now and find out how you can begin the transformation process for your business