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Principles and practicalities of digital transformation

Principles and practicalities of digital transformation
Joe Aherne of ReganStein says consumer demand is playing a central role in driving digital transformation in business. Picture: Dan Linehan

Joe Aherne, CEO, ReganStein, on digital evolution in business.

It’s a term that’s often bandied about, but a true understanding of digital transformation is often lacking.

We uncover the key principles and practicalities behind digital transformation.

The digital demand

The demand for digital transformation across all sectors and industries is near-palpable, from a consumer’s perspective.

By embracing digital transformation, companies are equipped to stay in touch with their target market at a moment’s notice, improve their customer service ratings, and further encourage brand trust and repeat business.

Adopting digital transformation strategies has paid off for countless businesses, with the other, more reticent brands and businesses being left far behind, sometimes to the point of complete collapse.

The crisis of Kodak

To outline the importance of digital transformation strategies, we can simply turn our minds towards the crisis of Kodak.

As digital photography took hold over the camera giant’s industry, Kodak hesitated to act.

It’s one of the world’s most famous corporate blunders, and it’s one that largely decimated the company’s market share in the realms of photography, cameras, and technology.

Established in 1888, Kodak created a near-dominance over its industry and sector, with a seemingly brand-loyal customer base spanning the globe.

But, in 2012, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. To its seemingly loyal customer base, however, this was no surprise.

The ins and outs of Kodak’s troubling times are well-documented, and while the company has managed to salvage some of its market share, its blunders and failures can be directly attributed to one single approach: a failure to innovate.

Joe Aherne, CEO, ReganStein pictured with L-R: Mark Redmond, CEO, American Chamber of Commerce, Nicola Byrne, CEO, Cloud 90, Simon Coveney TD, An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ivan Yates, Broadcaster
Joe Aherne, CEO, ReganStein pictured with L-R: Mark Redmond, CEO, American Chamber of Commerce, Nicola Byrne, CEO, Cloud 90, Simon Coveney TD, An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ivan Yates, Broadcaster

By opting to ignore the potential of digital photography, Kodak did not adopt a digital transformation strategy, and was soon overtaken by its all-too-eager competitors in the race towards capturing consumer attention.

The idea of ignoring what’s in front of you has never been a good strategy, and simply ignoring your company’s need for digital transformation won’t solve the problems that lie ahead.

The importance of digital transformation

But, beyond relationship building, improving customer service, and enhancing your product line, what does a digital transformation strategy truly do?

Digital transformation is an integrated, full-scale approach to changing your business and adapting it towards the needs of your customers, while embracing technologies that help you stay ahead of your target market’s needs.

Moreover, digital transformation is a cultural change, as adopting technologies that work for your business needs deeply alters the way you work, the way your teams operate, and the manner in which you provide services and products to your clientele.

An all-encompassing transformation

If the idea of digital transformation still feels somewhat obscure, perhaps a simple ‘scroll out’ of your perspective may help.

The way the world consumes media has changed in a multitude of ways over time, specifically over the past three decades.

The journey from the printing press to the always-on world of social media is impossible to ignore, and the effects of that digital transformation are felt in every corner of our world, homes, workplaces, and lifestyles, every day.

Ultimately, as a tool for ensuring business survival, and improved business growth, a digital transformation strategy should be viewed in the same way — an all-encompassing journey that fundamentally changes the way you do and deliver everything.

Lean-digital transformation

Now what happens if you marry lean and digital together to form a lean-digital transformation for your business?

A standalone lean transformation is a large scale programme implemented across all aspects of a business revolutionising how it operates from the inside out.

Joe Aherne, CEO, ReganStein and Simon Coveney TD, An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
Joe Aherne, CEO, ReganStein and Simon Coveney TD, An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Businesses benefit financially thanks to additional capacity delivering higher revenues as well as improvements in how the business operates.

Lean digital transformation is the process by which companies apply lean principles to the design, development, and delivery of new digital experiences for their customers.

To really tap into the full potential of digital technologies, lean needs to be integrated to ensure that the digital transformation adds value and eliminates waste.

The benefits of digital transformation

Beyond building your market share, improving your customer relationships, streamlining your service delivery processes, as well as enhancing your product line, digital transformation can:

  • Improve your team’s productivity: Adopting an effective digital transformation strategy will free up your team’s time in unique ways, enabling an increase in productivity levels, and automating important business functions to ensure adherence to strict quality standards.

  • Change the way you work: The way the world works is nothing like it was a mere century ago. For most of the corporate workforce, the punch card and cubicle are becoming rare, while the always-on approach of working from anywhere they need to be, becomes more commonplace, thanks to technologies that enable it.

  • Enhance your understanding of target market needs and customer journeys: Forget the comment box in your reception room: the tools and systems built to help your business better understand its customers are no longer just feedback systems. They’re enabling businesses like yours to spot the exact moment a customer loses interest in your store, makes a change in their behaviour, or simply starts looking for an alternative route to purchase.

  • Enable the future: Moreover, digital transformation helps your business predict its next move, and predict the future behaviour of your clients and target market.

    As a crystal ball mechanism for managing your business growth, digital transformation must become a business imperative.

  • ReganStein has a suite of digital transformation and lean-digital services where we can help you, regardless of where you are, on your digital transformation journey.

    reganstein.com

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