Digital Transformation Technologies: What To Adopt and How
Hello, world! Live streaming from cyberspace for you. Did you know that in the past 12 months the internet welcomed over 196 million new users? That’s an average of more than 500,000 newcomers a day!
Humans have moved to the digital world, and they took the global market with them. According to International Money Fund (IMF) forecasts, around 65% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is going to be digitised by 2022 and digitally transformed companies will contribute more than half of the global GDP by 2023.
While these statistics look fantastic, others seem quite upsetting: at least 40% of businesses are predicted to collapse if they don’t implement digital transformation technologies, 45% of company owners don’t think they have the right technologies to adopt digitalisation and 59% of those who haven’t started digitalising fear they’ve already missed the train of progression.
What we have here is digital market growth putting pressure on companies, while half of them are afraid and don’t understand what they need to do. MadAppGang doesn’t want to watch businesses give up and sink in the data ocean. Since we’re tech-savvy guys, who help companies compete in the digital market, we’d like to sort things out. Here, we share our experience and knowledge of which business areas you need to improve digitally, the benefits you’ll gain, and the technologies required. Check out the business section of our blog for more information for entrepreneurs. Let’s get it started!
The key business areas digital transformation improves
There is nothing new in the fact that digitalisation improves business performance and strengthens the company’s market position. According to executives, the main benefits of digital transformation are improved productivity (40%), faster market entry (36%), and satisfying consumer expectations (35%).
A full 60% of marketers say technology has greatly increased their competitiveness. And last, but definitely not the least, statistics say that digitally mature companies reap five times higher profits than their peers. Doesn’t it sound more than promising?
But to turn these promises into your company’s achievements, let’s figure out what areas you have to digitalise to get a piece of that profit pie.
The customer is always right. We do business for people and thanks to people, so bettering the customer experience is the first thing to focus on. What’s more, 32% of buyers would stop interacting with a company they like after just one bad experience. But what is the role of digital transformation here?
First of all, it helps you build a connection between your company and customers, and make their experience more personalised. According to Salesforce, 84% of consumers don’t want to be treated like a number, so small things like using people’s names, remembering their preferences and understanding their needs influences loyalty. The implementation of modern technology simplifies and automates these processes, and helps businesses achieve a 20 to 30% improvement in customer satisfaction.
Secondly, in the age of information, people are more and more worried about their data safety. Technology became our constant companion and knows more about our lives than our families do. On the one hand, access to this information gives businesses a great opportunity to be closer to their consumers, but on the other, it necessitates modern and reliable security tools.
Ninety-two per cent of users believe that only companies with a proactive approach to personal data security can avoid data breaches, 63% claim that most companies failed to use their data transparently, and 89% tend to be loyal to companies that proved to be safe and trustworthy.
Digital transformation is about making your customers’ journey easier and faster. Seventy-six per cent of people will recommend your brand if their experience was simple and smooth, while 57% are ready to pay more for it. Modern tools and solutions simplify clients’ interactions with a brand and product delivery.
Time is money, so when you lose one, you lose the other, too. Workflow automation has become a significant part of the digital transformation journey for 97% of companies. And they have their reasons. According to surveys, 90% of employees feel exhausted because of repetitive tasks they believe to be simple to automate. In turn, 68% are overloaded with day-to-day activities at work, and for 81% the lack of task automation may cause burnout, which leads to higher rates of talent turnover and attrition.
One reason why the use of modern technologies is not only for delivering services and products but also for developing them. As part of your digital transformation strategy, automating operational processes it’s totally worth it. For 88% of small and medium-sized businesses, workflow automation allows them to compete with larger companies. The product can be developed faster, people don’t waste time on routine tasks, there are fewer failures caused by human error and other pleasant benefits. All this is thanks to automation. And those organisations that have already adopted an automated approach report a 24% cost reduction.
Another benefit of digital transformation for operational procedures appeared with Covid-19. Due to lockdown restrictions, most companies had to move to remote work. Sixty-eight per cent of respondents to a New World of Work survey said that switching to remote work was only easy because they already had the technology in place.
Employees, for the most part (77%), are much more productive working from home rather than in the office, and 99% of them would choose to work remotely on a regular basis. According to the forecasts, by 2028 around 78% of teams will have staff outside of the office. That means digitalisation of the workflow and finding the right technologies to manage teams remotely is a high priority these days.
Business model refers to the way businesses produce and deliver value. Basically, it’s your business’ nature. With technological progress some companies haven’t just changed paper for Google Docs or conference halls for Zoom, they changed their market strategy and brand image. One of the greatest examples is Netflix.
Back in 1997, Netflix used to be a DVD rental company but by 2009, even though its client numbers had grown to 10 million, the company realised that high profits today don’t guarantee success in the future. Times change and a progressive brand knows it needs to keep up, so Netflix moved to online video streaming, and (not a spoiler) it worked even better.
This story shows us that sometimes digital transformation is not only about business optimisation but also about changing what your business actually is. Monitor market trends, fit in to compete, and think about what your company can give people in order to win.
Technologies to adopt for digital transformation
Now you’ve seen the importance and advantages of going digital, you need to understand what modern technologies you can use and how your company will benefit from these.
Big Data and Real-Time Analytics
You remember, now is the age of information. Everything is data, and your heart produces bytes instead of beats. Access to vast amounts of data and the opportunity to collect it, analyse it, and make data-driven insights actionable all adds up to business benefits. But as uncle Ben once said “With great power comes great responsibility”, and your responsibility is to figure out how to ethically collect the information and securely manage the data you garner.
In this situation software for big data analytics is an irreplaceable technology. It helps you monitor market trends, show your customers’ preferences, check on the competitors and, as a result, improve your performance. Forewarned is forearmed, huh?
You may ask: But how can big data analytics help my business exactly? Let's name a few of the aspects it influences.
- Customer experience personalisation
Since big data analytics helps you collect, store and analyse data, all your clients’ personal information and their preferences are easily accessible and used to improve customer experience, making it more personalised.
- Enhanced decision-making
With in-depth analysis of data from different sources, modern analytical tools can not only sum it up in readable statistical models but also perform predictive modelling, which betters business decision-making.
- Higher productivity
This improvement logically follows from the previous two. As operations that we used to perform manually are now automated, your team can focus on other high-value work, which drives growth and cuts spending.
The cloud is no longer a sensation; people all over the world use virtual spaces for day-to-day data storage. Many businesses have also moved from physical servers to the cloud, and can easily access data online. But what else can implementation of cloud computing do for a company, and what other benefits does it bring? Let’s find out.
First of all, cloud technology is an opportunity to scale your business’ IT infrastructure both up and down. Before, a lot of data or traffic could overload a company's server and lead to breakdowns. To connect a new server was a challenging task, and expanding the user base or adding extra tools required a reconstruction of the whole system. Cloud computing lets you enhance your IT infrastructure hassle-free. You can add an extra server, feature, or tool whenever you need it with just a few clicks, while maintenance is completed without you lifting a finger.
Second of all, cloud computing means adopting a cloud-native approach. We’ve described this point by point here, but let us briefly explain what the cloud-native approach is and why it’s a must for modern businesses.
A cloud-native approach refers to building and running applications in the cloud using all of its key advantages: flexibility, scalability and resilience.
The structure of cloud-native consists of a countless number of microservices, each independent and responsible for one function in the app. That means an application built with this approach can be improved without reconstructing the overall code. App development is faster, bug-fixing is easier, and the client is happier.
In addition to these benefits, cloud-based software has better performance and can power the latest technologies with fewer failures. For instance, the cloud-native approach opens up AI and machine learning (ML) technologies for businesses. Both AI/ML and cloud technology share the same deployment patterns, so it’s easier for them to cooperate. And since AI and ML require elastic computing, implementing them into cloud software works best.
At MadAppGang we develop cloud-based apps using the giants of cloud computing platforms: AWS, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean and Azure. Today there are numerous options and possibilities in software development, leveraging these well is a matter of clever use. Users don’t want applications based on outdated technologies, that lack performance, or have fewer features. So, for businesses, embracing new ways of engineering and cloud computing, in particular, is a must.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
Not so long ago AI and ML sounded like something from sci-fi movies about robots and the distant future, but now they're commonly used technologies worldwide.
So there’s no confusion between the concepts and their difference, let’s define each: AI is the ability of the system to react to previously set signals, so it uses constant responses, and ML is a system’s capacity to analyse all collected data to generate proper reactions so that it’s able to adapt and learn.
That means when we deal with artificial intelligence we follow a set scenario, like in chatbots: when you press ‘start’ it offers you a few alternatives, and when you select one, it gives you some previously integrated options. Your interactions with the technology won’t be different from what other users experience. Machine learning works differently. You’ve noticed that we all have individualised recommendations on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok according to our preferences, right? That’s because these platforms use ML to analyse the information and generate personalised solutions. The technology learns our interests and gives us what we might like.
So, how can you benefit from these technologies?
One of the key benefits of using AI and ML technologies in business is faster and easier decision-making. For instance, AI-based clinical decision support systems (CDSS) in healthcare are able to analyse enormous amounts of data and provide treatment options, identify possible issues, improve efficiency, and make healthcare practitioners' jobs easier. In the fintech industry, AI-first banks have created shortened loan experiences for their clients, utilising considerable automation and near real-time analysis of consumer data to deliver rapid credit decisions.
Another aspect AI and ML technologies cover is fraud detection. Even though this benefit seems like a purely financial application, scams are a common issue for any company that handles transactions. Back in 2016, it took more than 40 days to detect fraud, nowadays ML allows businesses to monitor money flow in real-time, and identify scams fast enough to prevent them. The fintech company Feedzai suggests that ML technology can detect up to 95% of all fraud.
Better hardware maintenance is another important advantage you can have when implementing AI/ML technologies. Park Place Technologies, for example, use cloud computing and ML to remotely detect hardware failures and manage organisations’ critical infrastructure. The platform can identify technical defects in networking, server, and storage devices across the data centre, sending notifications to the company's operations staff and allowing faulty components to be fixed faster.
MadAppGang used AI technology when developing Evergen, a decentralised energy platform. Evergen helps users get information about their solar and battery system performance and alerts operators so they can promptly respond to any potential issues. Thanks to AI, the system can also monitor weather conditions, predict future energy consumption, calculate the necessary amount, and distribute it evenly among users.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to any network of smart interconnected devices. For example, your smartwatch is connected to your phone, your phone to your tablet, and together they are connected to your car. Implementing IoT means bolstering your business’ accessibility, efficiency and productivity. Let’s discuss this technology through one of its applications: the smart home.
Smart homes allow people to manage multiple home appliances via software on their devices, for example, to dim the lights via an app, or to unlock the front door remotely.
Dedicated smart home software uses sensors and other hardware in smart appliances to analyse data and warn homeowners if something has gone awry. Users can monitor the overall condition of the household and also control and manage all the hardware, for example, set the temperature, check their energy use, remotely move cameras, or prepare coffee (and even make a coffee machine prepare coffee in advance).
IoT often uses AI/ML technology to make people’s lives easier and much more comfortable. For instance, there are such tools as SmartyPans that can control the temperature, weigh food and even remember recipes, and the ICON.AI smart mirror, which has a built-in voice assistant and can diagnose skin diseases and advise on makeup.
For business, IoT is a possibility to simplify work by letting technology manage the processes and offer a more convenient, accessible, and interactive user experience for their customers.
Whatever this world offers, smartphones are still our favourites. Eighty per cent of people use their phones inside of a physical store to shop, and 85% of travellers book tickets and accommodation via mobile devices. One of the best ways to reach your customers is to improve your service or product delivery by investing in mobile apps and a mobile-first approach.
Mobile apps improve the way brands communicate with clients and make their experience easier and more pleasant. With an application, people can buy or order stuff on the go, manage their lives, and as we learnt in the previous sections, even manage their own homes. Moreover, mobile technology simplifies the way companies get the information they need to improve the customer experience.
People use their phones to reach your product easily, but they want to have a good experience. That’s why it’s important to not only adopt mobile technology but also to focus on its quality. Fifty-seven per cent of customers won’t recommend a brand with poorly designed mobile websites or applications, and 50% will even stop using them.
At MadAppGang we provide Android and iOS app development, and we know how important it is to have a user-friendly interface to satisfy clients, and how not to mess up the user experience. So, in case of any problems, we’d be glad to lend you a hand.
When and how to start?
Covid-19 has hastened the adoption of digital transformation across the globe. The pandemic has affected all industries and absolutely all business areas: from team collaboration to service delivery. So, to answer the question of when you should start your digital transformation journey: there is no better time than now.
In order to survive and get on top of the competition, companies have to become digital-first, and nowadays, 89% of businesses have already adopted or are going to adopt a robust digital strategy, so it’s better to hurry up.
Need help with digital transformation? You can always rely on a professional team like MadAppGang to level up your brand fast and hassle-free. Good luck and meet you on the way to cyberspace.