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Digital Transformation Framework

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By: Nihad Hassan

September 1, 2021

Successful organizations operate with a clear vision in mind; they select a predefined direction or route to reach their final destination, achieving business objectives. Without a roadmap, organizations will focus on solving their daily work problems, not fostering growth, and creating continued values for their stakeholders.

As the world moves steadily to become completely digital, organizations worldwide integrate technology into their business processes. Although the digital transformation topic has been under hot debate for years, it was the COVID19 disease that accelerated the adoption by years in a few months.

The benefits of digital solutions are far from listing them in one article. The most noticeable ones are creating competitive advantages, reducing operational costs, increasing operational efficiency, meeting compliance requirements with various rules and regulations (e.g., GDPR), improving customer experience, and making better-informed decisions.

This article will suggest a digital transformation framework that organizations can use to build a new business model that benefits from the numerous advantages of applying digital solutions.

What Is Meant by Digital Transformation Framework?

The digital transformation (DT) framework is roadmap organizations use to identify the goals from digitizing business processes.

DT will vary between organizations based on their work, challenges, and demands from adopting digital transformation. However, no matter how the following approach to implementing a digital transformation, IT leaders should consider some constant elements when developing their digital transformation framework. The elements are:

  1. Digitizing the customer experience
  2. Digital transformation of systems, processes, and workflows
  3. Culture and leadership
  4. Workforce enablement
  5. Digital technology integration

Each organization will have a different approach to implementing digital transformation; the following lines will give a general guideline that most organizations can adapt to develop their digital transformation framework according to their current circumstance.

The proposed digital transformation framework

Digitizing the Customer Experience Customers are at the heart of any organization. To offer the best service for them, it is essential to understand their needs, purchase habits and tailor your products and services accordingly.

The widespread use of internet technologies worldwide and the dominance of social media platforms make tracking customers' online behaviors easy. For instance, a user's web browsing history, purchase habits, social interactions and search history can be recorded and linked to their real identity using various tracking techniques (e.g., cookies, digital footprinting, Etag tracking, and social media tracking via Facebook Like and Share buttons).

Leveraging digital solutions to profile customers and analyze their behavior on social media will boost customer experience and help businesses customize their products and services according to customers anticipated usage of the products/services.

Digitizing Products and Services

Digital transformation for products and services is concerned with achieving the following three goals:

  • Digitalizing existing traditional products/service
  • Launching new digital products/services
  • Enhancing customers experience using digital technology

Although selling products through digital channels (e.g., the internet) is considered a digital transformation; however, it was already used widely by most organizations when they had launched their digital e-commerce portals.

Digitizing Operations

Digitizing work operations can bring considerable benefits to organizations. For example, tracking shipments using sensors can streamline business operations in many ways. Converting paper-based documented inventory into a computer-based system or database. Utilizing big data analytics can help a business make better-informed decisions on time.

Cybersecurity and digital transformation

The ongoing spread of the COVID19 pandemic has forced most organizations to change their work culture to adopt the work-from-home model. This massive shift to remote work has introduced various security challenges. Cybercriminals did not miss the chance and intensified their cyberattacks against IT systems worldwide.

As technology advances, the number and sophistication of cyberattacks are on the rise either. According to Cybersecurity Venture, cybercrime costs will reach $10.5 trillion in 2025. As digital transformation is accelerating rapidly, pushed by the ongoing spread of COVID19, new business models dependent on technology appear rapidly -especially remote work, mobility, and hybrid cloud environments. The quick and unplanned adoption of digital solutions will result in an equal increase in cyberattacks worldwide.

Any digital transformation framework must consider cybersecurity at its heart. For instance, when adopting digital transformation in a particular organization, we are digitalizing its work operations by utilizing digital solutions such as making the relationships with customers completely digital and shifting different internal tasks to become fully digital such as internal communications, sharing data, and payment processes. As we note, every work aspect mentioned before depends on the availability and security of data. This is why cybersecurity is very important for the success of any digital transformation effort.

Summary

Organizations need to have their cybersecurity posture to be aligned with their business objectives. For instance, despite the importance of adopting digital transformation for any organization working in any industry, it is essential to make the shift securely without risking exposing organization sensitive data to a data breach or other cyber threats.

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