The Business Benefits of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation improves many facets of a business. Learn about how businesses benefits from digital transformation.

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    Digital transformation doesn’t offer much of a competitive advantage these days.

    It’s become this basic competency for running a business — any business — in this wild and complex digital landscape. Put another way, your future survival depends on it. Digitize or die.

    Yet despite the grim realities dominating the DX conversation and accelerating investments
    In every industry, the business benefits of digital transformation remain extremely compelling. Technology still offers some hope that we can turn things around.

    Done right, DX stands to improve the customer experience, streamline operations, and drive sustainable growth. It boosts the bottom line on two fronts: by generating more revenue and unlocking opportunities for cost-savings across the entire value chain.

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    Here, we’ll look at some of the ways digital transformation benefits businesses across the board:

    Digital Transformation Drives Data-Driven Insights

    According to Deloitte’s 2021 Digital Transformation Executive Survey, digital has evolved from being an “enabler” of strategy to the core foundation of all competitive strategies.

    Unsurprisingly, the findings revealed “digitally mature” companies to be more resilient and better equipped to navigate rapid change – with a greater capacity for innovation. As a result, digital leaders were able to achieve better financial outcomes than peers with a less developed digital strategy.

    While there are countless ways that DX could help your businesses slash costs, reduce waste, and save time, the real-game changer is upgrading your legacy tech and processes.

    Migrating to the cloud means you’re no longer overspending on software upgrades, maintenance, or keeping your servers running 24/7. Automating manual tasks allows human workers to focus on activities that generate real business value, serve more customers, and deliver high-quality solutions.

    But it’s that shift away from on-prem systems and siloed information that unlocks the agility, flexibility, and intelligent decision-making you need to compete.

    See, digital transformation is always about data – and a unified, cloud-based system that allows you to work with that data sets the stage for the large-scale transformations that set you apart from your competitors.

    Forrester researchers say a new type of company is emerging – one that embeds data, advanced analytics, and continuous learning into its entire operating model. These “insights-driven” businesses capture and analyze the right types of data – then continuously derive actionable insights from those data sets and apply closed-loop processes.

    DX Unlocks Productivity and Process Efficiencies

    One of the greatest advantages of digital transformation is that it allows businesses to leverage AI, ML, and automation to drive efficiencies at every level.

    That might mean building intelligent workflows that enable you to respond in near real-time to rapidly changing customer needs and market conditions, ramp up production, or personalize at scale.

    But – you can’t do everything at once. Automation demands a phased approach.

    Early DX projects will focus on eliminating manual processes to save time, money, and prevent errors – but it doesn’t end there. Eventually, AI and automation become “strategic partners” that help companies unlock new opportunities to create value.

    That said, even the more “basic” automations can have a dramatic impact on your business.

    Automating accounts payable (AP) workflows alone lowers invoice processing costs, speeds up processing times, and reduces exception rates. According to a Metafile white paper, the average invoice processing cost hovers somewhere around $9.25. Yes, that’s per invoice and before additional costs like paper and printer ink come into play.

    Think about how many invoices you process each day, and, already, you’re looking at some serious cost-savings.

    Professional services firm CumulusPro leveraged Azure’s data management and storage solutions to streamline billing solutions, generate app usage reports, and tackle data challenges. The company used Azure Data Factory to automatically pull data from various sources at set intervals – and in response to event-based triggers. The data is stored in Azure Data Lake and integrated with Power BI for easy reporting. Data Factory pipelines gather additional insights for analysis and automatically transform that data before storing it.

    These improvements enabled the company to run reports on client usage patterns, process-related issues, and complex billing models and proactively address concerns. CumulusPro can now deliver solutions to clients faster – and they’ve been able to add more customers to their roster.

    McKinsey estimates that organizational agility could boost financial performance by up to 30%. But – analysts note that “agility gains” may not translate to obvious profit or loss, as many strategic decisions will be about reducing waste or reinvesting resources into growth opportunities or future transformations.

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    That means, you’ll need to define clear DX goals and figure out which metrics to use to chart your progress. Ultimately, you’ll need to develop continuous improvement strategies that set the stage for sustained growth and innovation.

    Transformation Enables New Ways of Working

    We recently wrote a piece on the current state of DX and found that enabling the best version of remote/hybrid work remains a priority – in 2022 and beyond. And – yes, even those committed to settling into a full-on post-COVID return to the office need to prioritize these investments.

    If phase one was focused on getting to the cloud and ensuring that everyone could complete essential tasks from home, phase two is about using technology in a more thoughtful way.
    That means, digital transformation projects need to go beyond Zoom calls and uninspired virtual events and focus instead on high-impact areas that unburden employees from day-to-day friction.

    Note that high-impact doesn’t necessarily mean overly complex or expensive. Consider how you might make it easier for employees to locate critical information or what you can do to eliminate friction from daily workflows.

    Chedid Capital, an investment group that specializes in the insurance industry, used the Power Platform to create a more accessible and efficient system for managing performance reviews for its 600+ employees across 15 locations.

    Prior to COVID, objectives and performance metrics were tracked via Microsoft Word and Excel and the reviews themselves were done in face-to-face meetings. This made it difficult to retrieve docs, processes were error prone, and there was a lack of transparency.

    Users can track progress toward daily targets and yearly goals and discuss them with their colleagues and supervisors in Teams. The app feeds data into Power BI, so HR can see company performance at a glance and drill down to specific departments or employees to learn more. Managers can provide clear feedback during performance reviews – and intervene when employees are struggling. And employees have a better understanding of what’s expected of them – and what they need to do to improve their performance.

    Or – maybe empowering employees means upgrading your infrastructure like Siemens Healthineers.

    The company provides diagnostic medical equipment and software to hospitals and historically, ran hundreds of thousands of apps and workloads from on-prem data centers – along with some limited hybrid solutions. This made it difficult to update machines and support clients. What’s more, the company frequently ran into problems – transferring large files on hospital networks with low bandwidth or navigating restrictions re: patient data storage.

    Last November, Siemens adopted Azure Arc, which enabled them to seamlessly connect to client equipment remotely — allowing them to deliver updates and new service offerings faster and more often – while also maintaining consumer privacy and security requirements..

    The Siemens team can now develop, improve, and deliver new solutions like embedded AI to equipment that’s currently in-use — helping its healthcare clients make smarter decisions that support better patient outcomes.

    Even if you’re not particularly inclined to make things easier for employees, there’s a hidden cost that comes with sticking with outdated or inefficient processes and solutions.

    For instance, if employees are relying on outdated solutions or poorly-designed processes they waste a lot of time and make a lot of mistakes, which can undermine the customer experience, data integrity, and your profit margins. It also increases the risk of data breaches, regulatory non-compliance, and inconsistent customer experiences.

    Digital Transformation Benefits Customers – and By Extensions, the Bottom Line

    The same DX initiatives that drive internal process improvements and collaboration among employees have the power to transform customer experience in meaningful — and incredibly profitable — ways.

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    Most companies are sitting on a gold mine of customer insights — they just can’t access them or use them effectively. Digital transformation initiatives that focus on unlocking those insights enable companies to truly get to know their customers — and their needs, behaviors, pain points, and preferences.

    And, it’s that newfound understanding that sets the stage for massive gains.

    DX enables orgs to unlock the value of their customer insights and create personalized journeys, content, and experiences. That data will help employees at all levels understand customers on a deeper level – and in turn, those insights will drive every aspect of your business strategy.

    When customer data informs the business strategy, companies have the opportunity to redefine how they engage and serve customers, what products and services they offer, and how they package and deliver solutions and experiences.

    Improving data collection, management, and organization-wide literacy allows businesses to transform the customer experience from all sides. They can create personalized journeys, content, and experiences.

    Final Thoughts

    The business benefits we’ve outlined here are industry-agnostic and apply to orgs of all shapes and sizes – regardless of what they sell or who they serve. That means, DX benefits are as vague as they are exciting and essential.

    Goals like “transforming the customer experience” or “increasing process efficiencies” serve as DX skeletons that need to be fleshed out – with real data that reflects the unique pain points, requirements, and goals of your business and its customers.

    Velosio’s Microsoft experts know the ins and outs of the entire ecosystem — D365, Office 365, Azure, the Power Platform – and how it can transform your business across multiple dimensions. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business win in a new digital era.

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