Introduction Today’s highly dynamic business landscape requires that all companies be flexible enough to quickly
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some FAQs on Digital Acceleration
A digital accelerator is any phenomenon, technology, or methodology that enables quick shifts towards a digital-first approach for doing business. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic is a great example of a digital accelerator, as its related disruptions forced businesses everywhere to change the pace of their digital adoption to meet the challenges and demands of the crisis.
New core applications, changes in corporate culture, and even available talent can all be digital accelerators, as all of them make it easier to adopt new technologies and adopt a more agile and digital-first strategy.
Accelerating a digital transformation isn’t just about implementing technology at a faster pace. There have to be several organizational and strategic changes for the process to become a true digital acceleration. There are plenty of shifts to be made and every company will have its own specifics but there are 5 keys that work for virtually every business:
- Data has to be at the center of decision-making. For that, companies need to embrace data science tools and practices that allow them to get relevant insights almost in real-time to inform each and every one of their actions, from the mundane to the ones that affect the business at large.
- Data science efforts have to focus on the customer journey. The rhythm of today’s markets goes hand-in-hand with what the customers want. Since people’s wants are fleeting and ever-changing, businesses need to develop a customer-centric approach to doing business that allows them to pivot to take advantage of new opportunities.
- Investments have to be aligned with business objectives. Companies need to decide which technologies to adopt according to the bigger picture. Thus, they have to implement tools and platforms that can provide value in the short, mid, and long terms, and not because they are “nice to have” or because “everyone else has them.”
- The change in pace first needs to happen in practice rather than in infrastructure. Modernizing outdated or mainly-manual processes can take a lot of time that companies can’t afford to lose right now. While doing those changes to the core IT infrastructure is mandatory, businesses can leverage readily available tools (especially cloud-based) to quickly take advantage of new technologies.
- Everyone in the company needs to be on board with the digital acceleration process. There has to be a culture of transformation and innovation across the business. Thus, executives and managers have to foster spaces for innovation and workforce training, thus better-preparing employees for the changes ahead.
While some people would be quick to answer that “digital” in “digital transformation” refers to the digital tools and platforms a company should adopt to modernize itself, there’s much more to it than that. Aside from the software and the technologies, digital also refers to a mindset, a way of understanding how a business should operate today.
That new mindset covers several things but the most important one is that a modern company has to be digitally and data-driven. This means that technologies should power new ways of approaching the same business tasks to increase productivity, performance, and efficiency. In this context, digital also means increasing agility that provides companies with enough flexibility to adapt to new challenges and changing environments.
Though there isn’t a consensus on how to name the 4 main areas of digital transformation, there are certain things in common in virtually all definitions. That’s why, at BairesDev, we follow the definitions as explained by Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, that says that digital transformation should focus on doing the following things:
- Empowering employees. There isn’t a transformation possible without the skills of employees. Providing the workforce with the right tools and expertise is the cornerstone of any successful digital acceleration process.
- Engaging customers. Customers dictate the pace of the markets, which is why businesses have to be always ready to meet their demands. That means companies need to implement the technologies and processes people have come to expect from businesses to provide a pleasant customer experience.
- Optimizing operations. Reimagining the company’s workflow to leverage the benefits of technology is a must of digital transformation. Removing roadblocks, preventing bottlenecks, dissolving data silos, and increasing collaboration while boosting productivity are all parts of digital acceleration.
- Innovating services and products. Technology allows companies to reinvent their products and services by adding new features, sophisticating their offerings, or even changing them altogether. As innovation is capital to digital transformation, companies need to put it to work to enhance their products and capture more revenue.
A traditional digital transformation process can take years to be finished. During that time, companies slowly embrace key technologies, training their employees, and easing-in their clients into the new digital offerings. Doing that can lead to the business’ entire modernization but, unfortunately, it takes a lot of time.
People have come to expect a certain level of digitization from the companies they engage with, and they won’t wait too long to get it. That’s why companies need to accelerate their digital transformation processes. They don’t have time to play it super safe, because competitors are facing the same challenges and will likely ramp up their digital efforts. Additionally, the potential emergence of a disruptive startup could jeopardize incumbent businesses in any industry, given them an extra push to quickly modernize themselves.
Customers and markets’ pressure aside, there are also the many benefits in the short, mid, and long terms that a digital acceleration process can bring, from a boost in productivity to the possibility of identifying new business opportunities.