There is a monumental shift amongst companies towards being digital first by design. From manufacturing to services, the digital transformation of companies over the past decade - more so during the pandemic - has been evident. Digital transformation has changed the way we make business decisions and how we apply technology in new and meaningful ways.
It also presents immense opportunity for enterprises to capture the value of the extent of this digitisation and data to drive sustainable solutions. For instance, it is estimated that the value unlocked by artificial intelligence alone in supporting sustainable food systems, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems, is up to $127 billion a year in 2030. The digital transformations of leading businesses today are energy efficient, powered by renewable energy, and equitably accessed. It is increasingly purpose-led and offers value to all stakeholders, creating a strategic imperative to ensure such businesses remain both resilient and competitive.
Digital transformation has made it possible for industries to work towards a sustainable digital economy. As markets transform, businesses must adapt and be able to continue to innovate in a sustainable manner which is why digital transformation is key to staying competitive.
What is Digital Transformation
In general, digital transformation is defined as the process of utilising digital technologies in order to modify or create new processes and products to meet modern market and business requirements. This integration of digital technology into various areas of a business fundamentally changes business operations and what is delivered to end users whether they are products or services.
Digitisation vs. Digitalisation
Related to digital transformation, digitisation and digitalisation are often mistaken for each other:
- Digitisation: the process that occurs when analog information is translated into digital data.
- Digitalisation: the utilisation of digital technologies to transform business projects and processes.
Elements of Digital Transformation
Though digital transformation is unique to a specific business or organisation, the following digital transformation elements are common themes along this journey:
- Culture, communication, and collaboration
- Digital technology integration
- Operational agility and excellence
- Leadership and strategy
- Workforce enablement and upskilling
Central Transformational Technologies
Aside from digitisation, the following have played roles and will continue to be vital to industries’ digital transformation strategies:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Machine Learning (ML)
- Cloud Computing
- The Internet of Things (IoT)
- Blockchain Technology