Digital transformation (DX) refers to the process of converting a business's processes and technology to a modern, cloud-first architecture. It leverages the latest technologies like mobile, cloud, AI, sensors, and analytics to solve problems or make processes seamless. It brings a sweeping change to an organization's operational and cultural aspects in a phased and strategic manner to yield better results. It can also refer to advancements in traditional technologies such as iOS and Android mobile app development, where innovators are pushing the boundaries of technology to enhance service quality.
Disruptive technologies have given many industries a makeover in the way they operate their business and provide services to the consumers. Today, business leaders are embracing digital technology to create potential opportunities and power their expansion.
Technology has changed customer expectations. DX helps industries meet those expectations, such as by providing quick delivery of goods and services, a better quality of life via smart cities, and a better education system.
For example, consumers expect a high level of personalization and on-demand access to products. Thus, industries need digital technology to compete more aggressively and attract "highly informed" digital customers.
Non-digital industries face a range of challenges due to underdeveloped tech, such as the need for higher process efficiency, increased regulatory measures, and the requirement to address changing demographics. With DX, teams can create new business and operational models and test out more advanced service flows.
With digital transformation, industries aim to implement innovative, agile, scalable, customer-centric, and more efficient processes. They may use Big Data and the IoT to stay connected with their customers and stakeholders and gather real-time information to make critical changes to their business operations.
Digital transformation priorities are likely to vary depending on the sector in which a business operates, as each industry has unique challenges that might require a different approach. Generally speaking, though, most industries will focus on getting rid of outdated processes and introducing disruptive technologies that reshape their core strategies.
Let's review some of these sectors in detail to understand the digital proliferation that they are witnessing with the use of technology.
Smart factory initiatives will lay the foundation of digital transformation within the manufacturing sector, especially a powerful combination of improved IT and the use of IoT. Manufacturers can quickly improve their operational efficiency through the use of automated assistance technologies such as 3D printing, robotics, AI, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
These technologies enable manufacturers to produce higher-quality goods on a larger scale, condense production timelines, and streamline the supply chain to serve customers better.
Much of the innovation in the construction space comes in the form of process and management improvements. SaaS tools in particular can help construction teams gain more efficiency in the construction process, reduce operational costs, and utilize resources optimally. Labor marketplaces such as Buildzoom that help buyers evaluate and hire contractors have also reoriented this sector toward an "online-first" customer acquisition process.
The construction sector is also uniquely positioned to capitalize on the civic trend toward building "smart cities". In practice, this means that construction companies can benefit from brushing up on the latest technology related to the Internet of Things. Digital tools can help monitor onsite safety and carry out predictive maintenance in a much better way.
The agricultural sector can use digital technologies to automate and improve their day-to-day operations. Specialized hardware paired with crop monitoring and management software can enable farms to scale their production without the need to hire more laborers.
From a marketing and delivery perspective, farmers can use specific mobile apps, available on Android and iOS, to check their products' market price and prevent exploitation by middlemen. Smaller farmers can also engage with customers using digital channels.
Telecommunication is at the threshold of a revolution that will change its entire landscape. Expect 5G to be rolled out in the next few years, providing incredibly advanced connectivity among networked devices, tablets, home appliances, and automobiles. This shift will enable technology companies to meet the surging demand for high-speed mobile data.
Augmented reality (AR) is another aspect of emerging technology that could become a driving force behind millions of mobile app downloads and require a corresponding boost to telecommunications infrastructure.
The banking and finance sector can use DX to enhance the customer experience. Modern operations tech enables them to create a connected network that immediately identifies customer problems and provides instant solutions.
At a high level, banks and financial institutions can increase the speed of payments and money transfer, streamline the identification process, create a robust exchange and remittances platform, and serve customers more efficiently. These changes specifically require this labor-intensive sector to leverage AI in order to digitize manual processes and offer secure, stable, and competent service.
Today's informed consumers expect their goods to be delivered quickly, and they want to track the time and distance their products travel without any hassle. To meet customers' rising expectations, logistics companies can use DX to connect and share data with their fulfillment partners to ensure a smooth delivery process for the end consumer.
Automating the transportation process, building integrated solutions, monitoring end-to-end networks, and predicting consumer behavior will help the interdependent logistic industry operate faster and more securely.
The retail industry currently faces a great deal of uncertainty related to the global pandemic. Its highest priorities in a digital transformation are therefore to provide a safe and secure shopping environment, deliver contactless transactions to brick and mortar shops, and provide an enriching and immersive experience while buying online.
With e-commerce and retail apps, the customer feels more connected to the shopping experience. Better-resolution images, virtual reality, and 3D views of products are some of the changing trends that digital transformation can provide the retail sector and offer consumers an effortless buying experience without even needing to step out of their homes. The retail industry is feeling pressure to rebound heading into 2021, and digital transformation may be more of a necessity than a luxury.
Digital transformation in healthcare is generally focused on enabling a sustainable health business model that leverages a smart healthcare system. From an administrative perspective, providers are increasingly shedding closed legacy ecosystems for tools that use interoperable data and open, secure platforms.
Field researchers are optimistic that, through aggregated cloud data, fatal diseases such as cancer and life-long ailments such as diabetes could receive a permanent cure in the future. Moreover, early diagnosis with sophisticated tools and testing kits can prevent infections from diseases and prevent the trigger of community spread just as in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Large consumer goods companies have already started introducing biosensors and software into devices that can quickly collect and generate data. DX can help in the development of smart technologies that can instantly produce personalized health data. It will empower people to comprehensively monitor their health and make decisions accordingly.
As software becomes more sophisticated, digital technology could move beyond generic calorie counting and step counting, and provide more metrics for personalized health data.
Digital transformation does not need to be confined to the private sector. Local and regional governments can use AI and IoT to create sustainable smart cities that boast innovation and seamless services. We can expect connected homes, cars, and a connected public infrastructure using smartphones in the years to come.
Citizens can also expect their smartphones and devices to store their driving licenses and identification tools, which will reduce the red tape associated with government processing. IoT can help with day-to-day processes such as managing traffic congestion and making the public lighting system more energy-efficient.
All industries have different digital requirements, but their collective need for digital transformation stems from market pressure to serve their end users with increased efficiency.
When considering which industries have a greater need for digital transformation, the government sector is a major contender, as it tends to embrace new technology more slowly despite a very large user base (the general public). The education sector can also use emerging technologies to secure academic records and improve operational margins amid funding crunches.
Crowdbotics enables organizations to implement digital transformations by providing managed app development services to bridge the gap between users and technology. We have deep custom app development experience across a wide range of industries and organizational scales. If you're considering a digital transformation initiative, get in touch with our expert PMs and developers today.
October 28, 2020