January 7, 2022
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Why does digital transformation matter?

In this article, Ntara cofounder Jeff Morris discusses how, now more than ever, digital transformation is a must. Businesses must integrate digital technology into every department, across all levels of the organization.

Why does digital transformation matter? 

Today’s consumers are in the driver’s seat more than ever before, regardless of what they’re buying. They expect access to relevant content anytime, anywhere, in any format, on any device they choose.  

To meet your customers where they are, your organization must embrace digital transformation. 

What is digital transformation? 

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology across all areas of an organization. It fundamentally improves the way a business operates by automating processes—saving time and money. Digital transformation provides new, better ways of reaching your target customer, measuring ROI, and streamlining operations. 

Digital transformation in healthcare 

McKinsey reported that telemedicine experienced 10x growth in 15 days during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. That means digital technology literally transformed the way we received healthcare en masse.  

Additionally, digital allows healthcare companies to use big data for predictive healthcare recommendations. It also promises a better and more secure system of healthcare records.  

Despite these benefits and more, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are lagging in terms of digital strategies. A recent survey said that only 7% of these organizations had gone digital, compared to 15% in other industries. 

Digital transformation in manufacturing 

Digital transformation for manufacturers is a long-term commitment. It requires budget, time, and support from all areas of an organization.  

A major trend we see in manufacturing is the centralization of product data, typically done through product information management (PIM) systems. This centralization automates manual processes, freeing up employees to do more valuable work. It speeds time to market with new products. And it reduces human error and operating costs. All this often leads to higher revenue, higher profit margins, and additional revenue channels.  

Additionally, some of the most successful manufacturers are collecting data about their customers, tracking data on their marketing initiatives in easy-to-use analytics dashboards.  

We have clients collecting customer information directly to improve their brand experience and build better relationships with their customers. They use that same data to fine-tune their marketing strategy—and to bring products to market more rapidly. 

The importance in all this is creating a digital ecosystem that allows you to track and interpret this data—to make it actionable. The goal with digital transformation for manufacturers is to streamline and optimize. The more actionable your tracked data is, the more efficient and performant you will be.  

Why digital transformation sometimes fails 

In most cases, when an attempt at digital transformation fails, it’s because it is underfunded and/or understaffed.  

To begin your digital transformation journey, you’ll need executive buy-in, budget, and a team of internal staff who understand the magnitude of this type of commitment. Again, digital transformation isn’t a one-and-done project; it’s a cultural shift within your organization.  

Your executive sponsor can promote digital initiatives among company leadership, keeping them high in visibility and priority for the entire organization. Your annual budget must cover both CAPEX and OPEX expenses. And you need adequate staff to keep digital projects moving.   

In most cases, you’ll also need a consultant or agency partner who understands your industry and your opportunity. It’s important for your partner to understand the ways in which a digital transformation impacts technology, processes, and people. 

The time for digital transformation is now  

According to a 2019 McKinsey survey, 93% of executives thought that digital was critical to achieving their strategic goals. COVID-19 increased the digital transformation budgets in 79% of companies—and businesses who embrace digital are 26% more profitable than their peers.   

However, in 2021, 47% of businesses said that while they know digital transformation is important, they haven’t started it yet and aren’t ready to begin.  

Even though experts are expecting global spending on digital transformation to rise to approximately $2 trillion this year, many businesses lag behind. At this point, the question around digital transformation isn’t “if” or “when.” It’s: “Where are you in yours?” 

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